Bucknell Bison vs UConn Huskies | Free March Madness Round One Pick
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#14 Bucknell Bison vs #3 Connecticut Huskies
Thursday March 17 – 7:00PM
Venue: Verizon Center – Washington, DC
Bison vs Huskies Betting Lines from Betus
Money Line: Off
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When you are a #14 seed you know you are going to get a tough draw but the Bucknell Bison really got the short end of the stick with Connecticut, the hottest team in the country right now. Still the Bison are not here by accident as they dominated the Patriot League once again this season.
They also are no stranger to Big East competition having opened the season road games at Villanova and Marquette (both losses). Whatever hope they might have comes from the fact that before their recent run the Huskies were maddeningly inconsistent; as well as the potential upset combo of great outside shooting (40% on threes) and strong defensive principles (40FG% D).
Plus they also have a very experienced coach, Dave Paulsen, who won a D3 Championship at Williams College in 2003.
Connecticut may be red hot right now but the committee didn’t do them any favours by giving them a Thursday slot after playing 5 games in 5 days to win the Big East. If they can’t break Bucknell’s will in the first half it will be interesting to see if they can maintain the focus and energy they need in this first game and especially in the next round assuming they make it that far.
By now everyone knows how good guard Kemba Walker is but the key for UConn may be in the post where they will have to defend Bison centre and leading scorer Mike Muscala.
The Huskies have lots of size to throw at him and if they play smart instead of trying to block everything he throws up then they should be able to frustrate the Bisons leading scorer. At 6’11 he doesn’t see many big bodies in the Patriot League.
UConn has probably 6 guys they can throw at him if they want.
Under is 6-2 in BUCK last 8 neutral site games.
Under is 8-3 in BUCK last 11 overall.
Over is 8-1 in UCONN last 9 NCAA Tournament games.
Over is 23-8 in UCONN last 31 neutral site games.
UCONN are 5-13 ATS in their last 18 Thu. games.
Predictions: UConn will do just enough to win the game and immediately dash anyone’s hopes of an NCAA Championship run from the Huskies. I really think this team will let up so watch for a backdoor cover.
Score Prediction: Connecticut 69 – Bucknell 62