(9) Washington vs (8) Utah State
Time: FRI, 5:50 PM CT (TNT)
Spread: UTA -3
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Washington Huskies finished its season 26-8 while dominating the Pac 12 with a 15-3 conference record. It will collide against #8 Utah State in the first round. Utah State is 3-point favorites in the game, which has an over/under of 135 points according to NCAA basketball oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes. The game will tip off at 5:50 PM (CT) Friday on TNT.
The Washington Huskies won four of its final seven games, but it fell 48-68 to a tough defensive Oregon team in the Pac 12 championship game. Washington struggled badly in the second half, getting outscored 40-22 over the final 20 minutes of action and the Huskies finished the game with an abysmal 33.3 percent shooting performance while turning the ball over excessively, as well, finishing the game with 14 turnovers.
Washington is typically a tough defensive team in its own right, limiting opponents to just 64.4 per game (No. 30) while scoring 69.8 itself—good for a positive-5.4 point differential on the season. The Huskies finished with a 0-3 mark against top-25 opponents, and it was defeated by Oregon twice in its final four games, failing to score 50 points in either game. The Huskies are led by the trio of Jaylen Nowell, David Crisp, and Noah Dickerson. Powell led the team in scoring (16.2 per game) and was No. 2 in rebounding (5.3) and he is also the best three-point marksman at 43.8 percent. Washington attempted 734 threes this season with Crisp leading the team in attempts (187) and makes (70). The Huskies are a strong team, and it shoots nearly 70 percent from the line as a team, though Crisp has his struggles and Dickerson is subpar as well (64 and 68 precent, respectively).
The No. 25 ranked Utah State Aggies finished its season 28-6 while fairing 15-3 in Mountain West play. It ended the season with an impressive 11-game win streak and it defeated San Diego State University 64-57 in the Mountain West championship. Utah State is a solid defensive team (No. 56, allowing 66.8 per game) and a high scoring club that averages 79 points per game. It possesses a +12.4 point differential, while also showing itself to a be a tough team on the glass where it averages 40.2 rebounds per game.
The Aggies are led by the play of guard Sam Merrill. He averaged a team-high 21.2 points per game, while also averaging four rebounds and four assists per game. Center Neemias Queta is also a huge and important part of the Aggies success: He averaged 12 points, nine rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. When Queta has three or more blocks, the Aggies have gone 12-3, and he had three games this season with five blocks or more.
Queta is just a freshman and at 6’11” he has the length to anchor this tough defense and protect the rim. Queta hails from Portugal, and is one of the best defensive bigs in the tournament.
ATS TRENDS (C/o COVERS):