Indiana vs Saint Mary’s: NCAA Tournament First Round prediction and college basketball game preview.
Indiana vs Saint Mary’s Game Preview, NCAA Tournament First Round How To Watch
Date: Thursday, March 17
Game Time: 7:20 pm
Venue: Moda Center, Portland, OR
How To Watch: TBS
Records: Indiana (12 seed, 21-13)
Saint Mary’s (5 seed, 25-7)
Why Saint Mary's Will Win
You like made three point shots, right?
They’re fun, they’re aesthetically pleasing, and they have the perfect sports combination of anticipation and payoff – the world slows to a stop when the ball is in flight.
Yeah … Indiana doesn’t do that.
Oh, it tries, but when your star future NBA player – Trayce Jackson-Davis – famously never, ever shoots from the outside, it’s hard to crank up the three.
Indiana was second-to-last in the Big Ten in three pointers made, and it pumped in just two in its 13 tries in the 66-58 win over Wyoming. Combine that with a painful inability to make enough free throws, and Saint Mary’s should catch a break.
It’s not great at defending the three and doesn’t get to the line to do much on the free throw line. What it can do is slow games down to a crawl, so if Indiana wants to make this a defensive fight, fine. That’s exactly what the Gaels want to do.
Why Indiana Will Win
Saint Mary’s fits exactly what Indiana needs to get out of the first round.
The Hoosiers aren’t going to keep up with the high-powered offensive teams that get up and down the floor in a hurry. What they can do, though, is play a tough game on the inside, get aggressive on every shot, and it’ll make Saint Mary’s press their attack.
Wyoming was a rock this year when it came to mistakes. Indiana’s D may the Cowboys turn it over a season-high 18 times to offset a relatively strong game from the field.
This is going to be played in the 60s, and possibly the 50s. Indiana has to hold up inside – Saint Mary’s doesn’t make threes, either – and …
Indiana vs Saint Mary's: What’s Going To Happen
This is going to be about who has the best player on the floor.
Saint Mary’s has a slew of very good players, but coming off his 29-point game against Wyoming, Jackson-Davis will once again be the difference-maker the other side can’t account for.
Indiana isn’t going to score – Saint Mary’s held Gonzaga to under 70 in all three meetings this year – so it has to hit its free throws.
It has to win the offensive glass with close to the 15 it got against Wyoming, it has to win the 50/50 balls, and again, Jackson-Davis has to be Jackson-Davis.
Indiana vs Saint Mary's: NCAA Tournament First Round Prediction, Lines
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