There will be at least one Cinderella team in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament as Saint Peter’s and Murray State get ready to plan in the second round on Saturday.
With their upset of No. 2 Kentucky on Thursday, the Peacocks (20-11) are the 10th No. 15 seed to advance to the second round, while the Racers (31-2) needed overtime to get past San Francisco.
Saturday’s tip-off is set for 7:45 p.m. ET on CBS, and the game will be played at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The programs haven’t met before, and neither has ever been to a Sweet 16. Murray State is 0-4 in the Round of 32, while St. Peter’s picked up their first-ever tournament win on Thursday night. Check out March Madness Odds, analysis, and a free prediction for Saint Peter’s Peacocks versus Murray State Racers.
Men’s College Basketball March Madness Betting: #15 Saint Peter’s vs #7 Murray State Match Preview
Saint Peter’s Outlook
The Peacocks are 21-9-1 ATS this season, and the under is 18-13 in their 31 games. The offense ranks 259th overall, while the defense ranks 34th. They allowed just 62.4 ppg on the season and held opponents to 39.1% shooting from the field 30% from 3-point range.
In Thursday’s upset of Kentucky, the Peacocks shot 50.9% from the field and hit 52.9% of their 3-pointers. Both were way above their regular-season numbers as they shot 42.9% from the field and 35% from deep through the first 20 games.
Daryl Banks III was impressive against UK with 27 points on 5-of-8 3-point shooting. Doug Edert came off the bench and scored 20 points, including an 8-for-8 performance from the line. Edert also had 20 points in the MAAC Championship game win over Monmouth.
On the season, Banks leads the team with 11.5 ppg while KC Ndefo ranks second at 10.5 ppg. Ndefo leads the team in rebounding at 6.1 rpg, and Edert scores 9.5 ppg. Banks and Edert are the top 3-point shooters, and Ndefo averages 2.7 blocks per game.
Murray State Outlook
Murray State is a well-rounded team, ranking 34th in the nation in offense and 40th in defense. They average 79.3 ppg and shoot 48.1% from the field while allowing 61.7 ppg. The defense holds opponents to 40.7% shooting from the field and 30% from 3-point range.
The Racers let a late lead slip away on Thursday but rallied to win in overtime, 92-87 over San Francisco. They were just 6-of-21 (28%) from the 3-point range but made 25-of-43 (58%) inside the arc. K.J. Williams and Trae Hannibal led the way with 18 points each, while Tevin Brown had 17.
Williams leads the Racers in scoring and rebounding on the season with 18.2 ppg and 8.5 rpg. Brown is right behind him with 16.9 ppg, and he’s knocked down 103 3-pointers at a 38.7% shooting clip. Justice Hill is also in double figures scoring-wise at 13.2 ppg.
The Racers swept through the Ohio Valley Conference at 18-0, and they haven’t lost since a December 22 setback at Auburn. The Racers have scored at least 70 points in five straight games and have only allowed 70 twice since January 27.
Murray State vs Saint Peter’s Betting Analysis
- Murray State Racers -8 (-110). Money Line -400
- Saint Peter’s Peacocks +8 (-110). Money Line +310
- Total Points 129.5 Over -110. Under -110.
This game will come down to pace as Murray State looks to speed things up and launch 3-pointers while the Peacocks want to slow down and win in a half-court game. Both teams are playing fantastic basketball at the right time and have a great opportunity in front of them.
Murray State’s offense found another gear on Thursday, and points should be plentiful on Saturday.
Betting Pick: Over 129.5 (-110)