Illinois vs Drexel Prediction, Game Preview: NCAA Tournament First Round

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois vs Drexel Prediction, Game Preview: NCAA Tournament First Round

Fearless Predictions

Illinois vs Drexel Prediction, Game Preview: NCAA Tournament First Round

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NCAA Tournament First Round: (1) Illinois (23-6) vs (16) Drexel (12-7) prediction and college basketball game preview.


Illinois vs Drexel Broadcast

Date: Friday, March 19
Game Time: 1:15 pm ET
Venue: Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Indianapolis, IN
Network: TBS

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Illinois vs Drexel Game Preview

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Why Drexel Will Win

The Dragons went on a four-game run to close things out – they haven’t played a home game since mid-January, with the back-to-back dates against William & Mary the only home dates since December 17th – as they overcame their sixth-place regular season finish to take your 2021 Colonial Athletic Association Tournament.

They’re terrific from the field, outstanding on the free throw line, and they’re strong enough from three to at least be really, really annoying.

There’s not a lot of size, but it’s an active team that lead the CAA in rebounding margin. It was the outside shooting, though, that got the job done, going lights out from three hitting 50% or more in four of their last six games and over 60% in two of those.

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Why Illinois Will Win

There’s absolutely no answer whatsoever for Kofi Cockburn on the inside.

Illinois moves well and gets points from a variety of spots, but with the silky-smooth Ayon Dosunmu doing what he does on the move, everything will be there for the 7-0 Cockburn to dominate on the inside of the Dragon D.

The Big Ten Conference champs were third in the nation in rebounds, they seemingly live on the free throw line, and they’ll have no problems on the outside against a defense that doesn’t do a thing to generate steals or force big mistakes for easy transition points.

What’s Going To Happen

Drexel did hold its own against Pitt in an 83-74 loss to open up the season in late November, but it’s about to get run over by a freight train.

This is a laser-focused Illini team with the talent and versatility to win it all. It’ll take a few minutes to get going, but one big spurt – and a whole lot of dominance from Cockburn – puts this away fast.

College Basketball Experts Picks For Illinois vs Drexel

Illinois vs Drexel Prediction, Line

Illinois 82, Drexel 55
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Line: Illinois -22.5, o/u: 143.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2

Must See Rating: 2

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