(6) Buffalo vs (3) Texas Tech
Time: 5:10 PM CST (TNT)
Spread: TT -4
Odds c/o 5dimes
The #6 seeded Buffalo Bulls dominated #11 seeded Arizona State in the first round, winning 91-74. It will face #3 Texas Tech in the Round of 32, and Tech is favored by 4-points according to NCAA oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes. The over/under is set at 146.5 points, and the game will air at 5:10 PM CST on TNT.
The Buffalo Bulls closed its season with 13 consecutive wins, and it extended that win streak to 14 with its opening round win. The team went 32-3 on the season while going 16-2 in conference play. Buffalo is a big-time scoring team, averaging 85.1 points per game and 16.8 assisted baskets per contest. Its top scorer is CJ Massinburg. He averages 18.3 points per game, 6.6 rebounds, and three assists while shooting a team-best 40 percent from three on his team-high 225 attempts this season.
The Bulls get 14 points apiece from both Nick Perkins and Jeremy Harris, with Harris having attempted 223 threes this season at just a 27 percent clip. The Bulls took 969 threes this season while shooting 33.5 percent as a team. It limited its turnovers to just 11.7 per game despite the fast pace it plays at. The Bulls also have decent depth, with its top two bench players seeing 26 and 16 minutes per game and combining for 13 points per game. The Bulls are a small team with five of its top six scorers essentially functioning as guards, but we have seen these “types” of teams make runs in the NCAA Tournament before— with hot shooters it can happen, and the “any given day” mentality pervades teams like Buffalo that live and die by the triple.
The Texas Tech Red Raiders defeated Northern Kentucky 72-57 in the opening round. Texas Tech limited the Norse to just 37 percent shooting while forcing it into 17 turnovers. Conversely, the Red Raiders had just 11 turnovers while shooting 52.8 percent from the field in the win. Jarrett Culver had a huge game, shooting 10 of 17 from the field and 3 of 5 from three en route to a game-high 29 points. The Red Raiders did struggle at the free throw line, though it had little meaning in the game— just 10 of 17 as a team, and that is something to keep an eye on as it could matter far more if it gets into a close game in Round 2.
Culver led Texas Tech in scoring on the season with 18.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game. Davide Moretti was No. 2 in scoring at 11.5 points per game, and the Red Raiders get 10.9 points from guard Matt Mooney. Moretti is a real flame thrower with a 46.4 percent three-point mark, and he attempted 138 this season. The Red Raiders took just 631 threes as a team, but it connected on nearly 37 percent of those. Texas Tech averages 12.4 turnovers per game, but it does a great job forcing them as well—The Red Raiders averaged 12.3 blocks/steals per game, with Mooney leading the team in thefts (1.8 steals per game). Ultimately, this second round matchup should be one of the best, with just a 4-point spread and plenty of reasons to believe Buffalo’s offense could result in an upset. The Red Raiders will need to be on guard against one of the best three-point shooting teams in the field.
ATS TRENDS (C/o Covers):