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Iona vs. BYU Round 1 Play In Game CBB Gambling Free Picks & Preview

NCAA Basketball Betting – Gaels vs. Cougars

This year’s NCAA Tournament gets underway on Tuesday night in the West bracket with a interesting matchup between the Iona Gaels, who will be drawing upon what Virginia Commonwealth did last year in the NCAA Tournament after appearing in a First Four game, and the Cougars of BYU who are one of this year’s favorites to reappear in the Sweet 16.

#14 Iona (25-7, Metro Atlantic) vs. #14 BYU (25-8, West Coast)
Date/Time: Tuesday, March 113, 7:00 PM EST
Venue: New Orleans Arena, New Orleans, LA.
Broadcast: TruTV
Spread: BYU -2
Over/Under: OFF

Iona coach Tim Cluess and his Gaels will be playing up the Cinderella angle as much as they can after perhaps being the biggest surprise on Selection Sunday, garnering an at-large bid even after losing to Fairfield in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament.

However, let’s not forget that the Gaels lead the country in scoring — with 83 points a game, and behind guard Lamont “MoMo” Jones are probably one of the most deserving teams we’ve seen in a few years that actually justify an at-large bid.

Iona is a high-speed team that pushes their opponents to the brink of exhaustion to keep up. And even the BYU may be equally as up tempo, if not careful, could end up losing this footrace.

Besides Jones, the Gaels also have some depth, with senior guard Scott Machado leading the nation with 9.9 assists a night on a team that accumulated the nation’s top mark of 19 assists on average per game.

Nut, even thought Iona are efficient offensively, shooting 50 percent from the field, 39 percent from deep, they do struggle on the boards and defending the three. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

That shouldn’t be too much of an issue against a BYU squad that doesn’t necessarily light it up from downtown.

Nonetheless, even though the Cougars are without the combination of now NBA guard Jimmer Fredette and in a new conference, it was not enough to keep them out of the “Big Dance” for the sixth-straight year.

Despite being a much different team than last year’s that made it to a Sweet 16 appearance, the Cougars are reinvented, and their strength is now in their frontline of Noah Hartsock and Brandon Davies.

The two are versatile athletes that lead a Cougars team that has really developed into a squad that can hurt you in multiple ways. They’re nowhere near as reliant on one player like they were last year, which has been their advantage.

One place they can hit you hard is rebounding, and they do a good job of ball distribution, accumulating 17 assists a game.

Prediction- Iona – The transition defense will be a huge factor in this game, and I think the Gaels will hold the edge that will eventually were down the Cougars in a close battle to the end.

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