Predictions for the first round of the NCAA tournament 03/17/23

A fascinating battle in the Northeast meets the West region when the NCAA tournament takes place on Friday afternoon. Iona, the MAAC champions and 13 seed, will be looking to knock off the four seeded UConn Huskies. The winner of this game receives the winner of #5 Saint Mary’s vs. #12 VCU. Below is our pick for the Iona vs UConn first round match from Albany, NY.

Iona vs UConn betting tip

This match will be played at MVP Arena on Friday, March 17, 2023 at 4:30pm ET.

Why rely on UConn:

✅ UConn is back on form and is 8-2 in the last 10 games played.

✅ The Huskies score 121.6 points per 100 possessions, which ranks eighth in the nation.

✅ Iona is 0-3 in matches against opponents in the first two quads.

Iona Gaels – Pitino’s farewell game?

The Iona Gaels are an NCAA tournament staple and they’re back after beating Marist in the MAAC championship game 76-55. Iona is a powerhouse in this conference, but they have yet to translate that into NCAA tournament success.

Since February 1stStthe Gaels are 40th best team in the country and is perfect at 13:0 at this time. Iona’s Adjusted Offense averages 113.6 points per 100 possessions while they allow 97.0.

Iona is back in the NCAA tournament for the third time in the last four seasons, but the Gaels are still waiting to win their first-ever NCAA tournament game. Technically, the Gaels won a game in 1980, but that win was later reversed, leaving Iona as 0-15 in their school’s history.

UConn Huskies – spirit of optimism

UConn reached the Big East semifinals for the third straight year and was beaten for the third straight year. Marquette edged out the Huskies by just two points in the semifinals to win the title.

The Huskies, since February 1stStUConn is the second-best team in the nation, going 8-2 in that span.

UConn is in its third straight season in the tournament and is aiming for its first NCAA tournament win since 2016. Predictions for the first round of the NCAA tournament 03/17/23

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