March Madness Saint Joseph’s vs Cincinnati Predictions
On Friday night, the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Hawks of St. Joseph’s square off in the first round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. The Bearcats (22-10) hold the #9 seed in the West region, while the Hawks (27-7) hold the #8 seed. Find out the latest college hoops odds here.
March Madness Saint Joseph’s Hawks vs Cincinnati Bearcats Predictions
When: Friday, March 18, 2016, 9:55 PM ET
Where: Spokane Arena, Spokane, WA
Radio: ESPN 1530 AM Cincinnati
Live Stream: March Madness Live
NCAAB Odds: Cincinnati (-1.5)
Why should you bet on the Bearcats?
Cincinnati is one of the real enigmas to come out of the AAC. They’re the only team in the conference who played SMU close twice, almost winning in Dallas before a back-breaking Mustang comeback, and then they controlled the rematch up in Cincinnati in the regular season finale. They did not play particularly well in the AAC tournament, but Troy Caupain (13.2 points per game, 4.8 assists per game) is an important distributor and knocks down key shots when the team is in trouble.
Why should you put your money on St. Joseph’s?
It’s a little mystifying that the Hawks won the Atlantic 10 tournament and had to take an 8-seed in this tournament. After all, Colorado didn’t sniff anything close to the Pac-12 Conference championship and got an 8-seed. That’s just how the NCAA selection committee tends to go, though, favoring the Power 5 conferences. This team works through the paint, with their biggest scorers Isaiah Miles, Sr. and DeAndre’ Bembry, Jr. both playing the forward position. Miles scores 18.4 points per game and pulls down 8.1 boards; Bembry scores 17.3 and grabs 7.7 boards. This is a team that grinds you down through halfcourt play and found a way to ride that formula to a conference title.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
I’m not all that sure that Cincinnati shouldn’t be more like a 12-seed after the season they had, but the bracket is what it is. I like St. Joseph’s to win this one, 69-64.