The final game of the first round in the NCAA tournament features the 8th seeded Hawks of St. Joseph against the 9th seeded Bearcats of Cincinnati. The winner of this game will likely take on the top seed Oregon Ducks in the second round of the March Madness Hoops Odds tournament. The Hawks of St. Joseph are 27-7 on the season. After finishing fourth in the Atlantic Ten during the regular season, the Hawks won the conference tournament over VCU. For Cincinnati, they lost in the AAC tournament in four overtimes to the UConn Huskies. During the regular season, the Bearcats finished fourth in the league. Cincinnati is 22-10 on the season.
How To Bet on Saint Joseph’s vs. Cincinnati March Madness Odds, TV & Game Info
What: Cincinnati Bearcats (22-10) at Saint Joseph’s Hawks (27-7)
When: Friday, March 18, 2016
Start Time: 9:57 PM ET
Where: Spokane, Washington State
Stadium: Spokane Arena
Spread: Cincinnati -2
Moneyline: Cincinnati -125
Game Total: 135
Radio: Cincinnati at Saint Joseph’s
— Cincinnati MBB (@GoBearcatsMBB) March 17, 2016
Why Bet on Cincinnati
Despite the 10 losses for Cincinnati, they have a winning resume. The Bearcats four overtime loss against Connecticut did not hurt them much as they picked up the #9 seed. Cincinnati is one of the top defensive teams in all of college basketball, allowing 62.9 points per game. Mick Cronin’s squad offensively has work to do, as they are 176th in the nation, scoring just 73.2 points per game. Troy Caupain is the top scorer for Cincinnati; playing more than 33 minutes, and scoring 13.2 points per game. The Bearcats have also done well on the glass; averaging 39.4 rebounds per game.
Why Bet on St. Joseph
The St. Joseph Hawks are a very confident team right now heading into the NCAA tournament. The Hawks have played real well in their wins over George Washington, VCU and Dayton. In those three wins, St. Joseph scored just shy of 85 points per game. On average, the Hawks scored 77.3 points per game. They are led in scoring by Isaiah Miles, with 18.4 points per game. The forward is playing 34.7 minutes per game, and making nearly 53% of his shots. St. Joseph is led by legendary head coach Phil Martelli.
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
This game is one of the hardest of the entire NCAA first round schedule to predict. Both of these teams are similar and both could put together a great case that they are going to win. The Bearcats want to bounce back from their unbelievable way of losing to Connecticut. For St. Joseph, they would love to use their momentum that had them flying high in the Atlantic Ten Conference tournament. In the end, St. Joseph has a couple guys that can score a little better than Cincinnati. The bet for this game is the St. Joseph Hawks +2 over the Cincinnati Bearcats.
Final score prediction: St. Joseph 67 and Cincinnati 64.