Iona vs Oregon March Madness Odds, Betting Pick & TV Info

Posted by Kenny Bell on Thursday,March 16, 2017 9:44, EST in

Oregon was the Pac-12 regular-season champion and a legitimate threat to reach the Final Four – before star big man Chris Boucher blew out his knee in the Pac-12 tournament. The Ducks are a No. 3 seed in the Midwest Region of the Big Dance and are big favorites over No. 14 Iona in the college basketball odds.

Iona vs Oregon March Madness Odds, Betting Pick & TV Info

When: Friday, March 17, 2 PM ET
Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento
TV: TBS
Stream: March Madness Live
RadioIona / Oregon
Opening NCAAB Lines: Oregon -14.5

Why Bet On Iona?

The selection marks the 12th NCAA appearance for the Gaels (22-12, 12-8 MAAC) and first back-to- back trips since appearances in 2012 and 2013.

For the second straight season, Iona’s trademark blend of up-tempo offense, long-range shooting and defensive indifference was enough to swipe a bid in the MAAC out from under the two best teams in Monmouth Hawks history. Iona boasts the best FG percentage and 3-point FG percentage in the MAAC, but the Gaels are also the only team in NCAA tournament history that is winless in at least 10 trips to the Big Dance.

One key to Iona’s improvement was the return to form of Deyshonee Much. He’s in his second season with Iona after transferring from Buffalo. He is long for a guard and can really shoot. He had a subpar season after being the third-leading scorer and leading 3-point shooter on the team last season.

The Gaels are one of the most explosive offensives in the tournament thanks to their prolific three-point shooting; 40.0% of their shot attempts come from beyond the arc. They average 9.8 made threes on 24.6 attempts per game for a 39.7% rate, which are all top 20 marks.

Sam Cassell Jr. (10.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 3.1 apg), son of the former NBA star, gives the team an extra scoring spark and is an X-Factor off the bench. Because Iona plays small, it often won’t win a battle on the glass, which could be trouble against a team from a power conference. Defense also is not this team’s strength. The Gaels rank 272nd nationally in points allowed. Be advised that Iona has hung 70 or more points on the scoreboard in 11 straight outings.

Their 14 road wins are actually tied for the fourth-most in the nation behind Gonzaga, Duke and Florida. It’s the first-ever meeting between Iona and Oregon.

Why Bet On Oregon?

No team heard worse news last week than Oregon. Late Friday night, doctors informed Dana Altman that senior forward Chris Boucher had torn his ACL. It was a devastating turn for the sport’s most unlikely success story. It also posed new questions about Oregon. No team blocked a higher percentage (17.7) of opponents’ attempts this season; the lynchpin in that effort was gone. Boucher was the team’s leading shot-blocker, and it’s no mistake that Pac-12 opponents scored just 0.97 points per possession when this defense was at full strength.

During the Pac-12 Tournament, the Ducks broke the Pac-12 record for blocks in a single season. Oregon, which ranks second nationally at 6.6 blocks per game, currently shows 226 blocks in 2016-17. Washington held the previous league record of 224.

Dillon Brooks was named Pac-12 player of the year in a vote of conference coaches. No Oregon player has scored more points through their junior season than Brooks. He surpassed Ron Lee for that distinction during the Pac-12 Championship game. Brooks now has 1,536 career points.

In addition, Jordan Bell was named Pac-12 defensive player of the year. Brooks was Oregon’s lone member of the 10-player all-conference first team. The Ducks are one of just five teams in this year’s field to have won a game in each of the last four NCAA Tournaments. The other teams are Gonzaga, Kansas, North Carolina and Wichita State.

Finishing at the top of a top-heavy conference certainly puts the Ducks on the short list of teams with the potential to win it all. Though Brooks has emerged as the face of the team, there are plenty of scoring options around him. The rapid development of Payton Pritchard as a facilitator contributed to the team’s success. The Ducks will look to dictate a moderate tempo with defense and good half-court sets. A talented team that likes to run would be a tough test for them.

Oregon is 4-1 all-time against current members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Iona played Oregon State in Corvallis last season. The Ducks are 3-1 all-time against Creighton and 1-1 against Rhode Island. Oregon faces a potential second-round game against Coach Dana Altman’s former Creighton program. The Bluejays are the No. 6 seed in the Midwest, and play Rhode Island in the first round.

Iona vs Oregon Betting Pick: Oregon Ducks

Oregon will win but not by more than 10 – Boucher’s loss will be felt.