The Connecticut Huskies (10-6, 7-6 Big East) are solid candidate for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, even with a limited schedule. But to stay on the right path, they’ll have to handle Georgetown (7-10, 5-7 Big East), who has a chance to win three games in a row on Tuesday for the first time all season. The Hoyas are definitely overmatched, but they have three straight-up upset wins in their past six games.
Free Picks: Connecticut Huskies vs Georgetown Hoyas
James Bouknight gives Huskies a boost for a tournament run
It’s amazing to think of how well Connecticut has played this year with its best player spending most of the season on the sidelines. The sophomore guard, who is averaging 20.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game for the Huskies in limited action this season, has missed half the Huskies’ games with an elbow injury.
Fortunately for UConn, Bouknight returned to the court this past week and immediately made an impact, scoring 18 in a decisive win over Providence and adding a double-double in a hard fought game against No. 10 Villanova. Of course, that is unfortunate new for UConn’s next opponent, Georgetown, who will play the role of underdog when the NCAA basketball odds are revealed closer to their Tuesday night tip off. Our BetPicks prediction will not include the exact line, but we expect the Huskies to be favored over the Hoyas by something in the range of 8-11 points.
Surely it would be a tighter point spread without the presence of Bouknight, who is in the top 35 in NCAA Division I in shot share on his team (32.1 percent) and overall usage rate (31.7 percent). In a lot of ways, he is UConn’s offense. Where he and the Huskies can hurt Georgetown the most is from beyond the arc, where the Hoyas are allowing opponents to score at a 34.1 percent clip (200th in D-I).
Both teams are adept at making an impact on the offensive glass, though that edge goes to UConn, which ranks ninth in the nation in offensive rebound rate (36.2 percent). Any second chances given to Bouknight and Co. could be lethal for the Hoyas.
One positive trend for Georgetown is that they’ve covered the spread in four of their past five home games. Then again, UConn is 4-1-1 in its past six on the road. Bouknight has been back for only a week, and with each game we expect the Huskies to become stronger and stronger. Georgetown doesn’t seem fit to stand in UConn’s way right now.
- Connecticut is 6-3-1 ATS in its past 10 games
- The OVER has cashed in six of the Huskies’ past 10 games
- Georgetown is 7-3 ATS in its past 10 games
- The OVER has cashed in five of the Hoyas’ past six games
More College Basketball Free Pickssee more
Syracuse is on another deep run into March as a double digit seed, they will need to get through Houston to punch their ticket to the Elite Eight.
USC and Oregon meet on Sunday, March 28 at 9:45 p.m. ET in the third round of the NCAA tournament. It’ll be their second matchup this season, albeit the previous one is well in the rearview mirror.
Loyola Chicago is back in the Sweet 16 for the second time in three tournaments, while Oregon State returns to this stage for the first time since 1982 when they meet on Saturday, March 27 at 5:15 p.m. ET.
Arkansas is supposed to be here. Oral Roberts isn’t. But on Saturday, March 27 at 7:25 p.m. ET, these teams will meet in the third round of the NCAA tournament.
Jordan Horrobin is a freelance sports journalist based in Toronto, Ontario, who enjoys sports-related research and telling engaging stories. His work can also be found at Sportsnet, Forbes and elsewhere. Though he abandoned most of his team-specific fandoms in the interest of unbiased analysis, Jordan roots hard for his fantasy football/hockey teams (and he's a complete homer for all things Ohio University).