UConn Huskies (16-16) vs. #11 Houston Cougars (29-2)
NCAA BB: Friday March 15, 2019 9:00 AM PT (FedExForum)
Spread: Houston -11.5 — Over/Under: 137.5
Free NCAA BB Pick UConn Huskies vs Houston Cougars
Twelve teams entered, now only eight teams remain in the American Athletic Conference championship. The UConn Huskies will face the Houston Cougars in the quarterfinals. #9 seed UConn beat out #8 South Florida on Thursday, 80-73. Now, the Huskies face off with the #1 seed, Houston Cougars who got the first round off. With a 16-2 conference record, the Cougars took the conference crown from 2018 reigning conference champs Cincinnati. These teams faced off once during the regular season, and Houston won it.
After a 6-game skid, UConn finished the season 2-1 and won their first postseason game against USF. Although the Huskies fell apart defensively in the second half against the Bulls, they remained consistent offensively (39 points in the first, 41 in the second). Junior guard Christian Vital scored a game-high 25 points with 6-9 shooting from behind the arc. He scored 7-11 FGs and 5-6 FTs. Senior guard Jalen Adams put up 19 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists and only 1 turnover. During the regular season, he led the Huskies in scoring.
Additionally, they showed trademark perimeter defense against USF, limiting them to only 7 3Ps with 29.2 3P%. Leading the conference in 3PA and 2nd in 3P, the Huskies held a 70.7 points allowed per game, which ranked 6th in the AAC. Jalen Adams averages 1.2 steals per game, and Vital 1.6. Adams’s defense and his explosive offense helped him get Third Team American Athletic All-Conference honors. Defensive expert Josh Carlton shared AAC most improved player honor.
Houston went into Fifth Third Arena and beat the 20th-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats on their soil, 85-69. Consequently, they clinched the AAC crown. Senior guard Corey Davis Jr. scored a career-high 31 points with 6 assists and no turnovers. Furthermore, he went toe-to-toe against the AAC Player of the Year, Jarron Cumberland and beat him on every level. Like Cumberland, Davis Jr. garnered First Team All Conference honors by leading the team in scoring, minutes and offensive wins shared. Also, the Houston bench exploded against the Bearcats scoring 32 points, 16 of which from freshman guard Nate Hinton.
Kelvin Sampson didn’t win AAC Coach of the Year and lead his team 29-2 for no reason. The Cougars hold a top-10 in the nation defense. They rank 10th in points allowed per game, 12th in total rebounds, 2nd in FG% (9th in 2P% and 4th in 3P%). Moreover, they also play great offense, ranking 2nd in the conference in points per game, and 1st in 3P, 3PA and 3P%. Sampson really understands fundamentals, conditioning and rotating players/playing players to their advantages.
Cover the Spread 365 Betting Trends
Connecticut is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 games
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Connecticut’s last 11 games
Connecticut is 3-7 SU in its last 10 game
Connecticut is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Houston
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Connecticut’s last 6 games when playing Houston
Houston is 2-3-1 ATS in its last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Houston’s last 8 games
Houston is 14-1 SU in its last 15 games
Houston is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing Connecticut
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Houston’s last 6 games when playing Connecticut
Free NCAA BB Pick Houston Cougars
vs UConn Huskies
The UConn Huskies seem like their finally in win-now mode. And with a leader like Jalen Adams at point, the Huskies could make the Cougars sweat. However the Cougars only lost twice this season and already beat the Huskies. They are playing big league ball in a small time conference. This could be the beginning of a long postseason win streak – and win streak they already got started in the regular season. I don’t see UConn (a team that struggles offensively) beating a top-10 defense and a brilliant mind like Sampson. I say Houston wins.