Portland vs Southern Utah NCAA Basketball Odds, Picks & Predictions

Portland vs Southern Utah | NCAA Basketball Odds, Picks & Predictions

While the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight will of course dominate Saturday’s college basketball action, there is another game from the sport: Portland vs. Southern Utah from The Basketball Classic quarterfinals. The winner faces Fresno State in the semifinals. Southern Utah is favored at home on the NCAAB odds.

How to Bet Portland at Southern Utah NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

  • When: Saturday, 6 PM ET
  • Where:  America First Events Center, Cedar City, Utah
  • TV: None national
  • Stream: ESPN+
  • Radio: Tunein.com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: Southern Utah -4 (total 156)

Tournament Info

The Basketball Classic is a first-year postseason tournament that’s comprised of schools that didn’t get into the NCAA Tournament or NIT. The tournament is being administered a panel of basketball coaches and administrators with deep roots in the sport that previously conducted the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) from 2009-19. The original plan was for The Basketball Classic to be a 32-team field. There were 21 accepted invitations, though ultimately 18 programs have competed in the event. The winner of this game will play at Fresno State in one semifinal on Monday and Coastal Carolina is at South Alabama in the other. The title game is Thursday.

Why Bet on Portland?

Portland (19-14) is a West Coast Conference team. The Pilots haven’t played since a 94-73 win over New Orleans in the first round last Saturday. It was the first postseason win in program history for the Pilots, who improve to 19-14 overall in first-year head coach Shantay Legans’ first year on The Bluff. This is Portland’s seventh postseason appearance since transitioning to Division I prior to the 1958-59 season.

Kristian Sjolund scored a game-high 21 points to lead four Pilots in double figures. Moses Wood added 19 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four blocked shots in a dominating performance. Chris Austin also added 19 points, while Tyler Robertson finished with 14 points, six rebounds and seven assists.

Sjolund got hot early hitting a trio of three-pointers to help Portland surge out to a double-digit lead. Robertson then buried a corner three, stole the inbounds pass, and converted a three-point play to make it 28-10. The game was essentially over. The Pilots made 16-of-34 three-pointers and shot 50 percent overall from the field.

Portland’s rotation is essentially all freshmen and sophomores, highlighted by All-WCC Second Team sophomore guard Robertson who averages 14.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists. All-WCC honorable mention sophomore Wood averages 14.4 points and 6.1 rebounds with a team-best 45.5 percent from three-point range. Sophomore guards Austin and Mike Meadows contribute 14.0 and 10.2 points, respectively. The team’s 19 wins are the most since the 2010-11 Pilots won 20 games.

Why Bet on Southern Utah?

Southern Utah plays in the Big Sky and it has played twice in this tournament, opening with an 83-79 win over Kent State and then an 82-69 upset at UTEP on Tuesday.

Nick Fleming set a new career-high in points before halftime, finishing with 18 for the game; and, Dre Marin followed up his MVP first-round performance with a 17-point outing against the Miners. With the win, Southern Utah moved to 22-11 on the season, while picking up their third postseason win in program history.

Southern Utah continued its dominance on offense, shooting 58.2 percent from the floor (32-55) and 43.5 percent from three (10-23). Their 82 points scored were nearly 16 more than the Miners have allowed on average this season. Southern Utah outrebounded UTEP 38-27, won points in the paint 36-22 and had 17 assists on 32 made field goals.

Southern Utah led the Big Sky in scoring for the majority of the season, putting up an average of 78.5 points per contest. The T-Birds also lead the conference in rebounding, collecting 37.7 boards per game. The T-Birds lead the Big Sky Conference in rebounding margin at +4.5 and hold a record of 21-5 when out-rebounding their opponents; whereas, they are just 1-6 when they are out-rebounded.

The Thunderbirds have picked up their defense in the latter portion of the season, allowing just 70.5 points per game over their last 14 contests. The T-Birds are currently holding opponents to 44.1 percent shooting from the field and 33.7 percent shooting from three, both of which rank in the top four of the Big Sky Conference.

Saturday’s contest will be the fourth all-time matchup between Southern Utah and Portland and the first time the two teams have met on the hardwood since 2013.

Expert Prediction

  • Southern Utah 78, Portland 72
 
 

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