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Stetson vs. Connecticut Pick and Prediction – March 22, 2024

Stetson vs. Connecticut Expert Pick and Prediction – March 22, 2024 

STETSON VS. CONNECTICUT EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – March 22, 2024 — What happens when you put the most efficient offense in the nation up against one of the weakest defenses in the country? We’ll get the answer when Connecticut takes on Stetson, which managed to score its way into the field out of the Atlantic Sun.

The Hatters do have some talent at scoring the ball, but there’s no denying that they’re overmatched in this game. Stetson has never played in the NCAA tournament before and might be a bit underseeded, but it still isn’t good enough to win a game like this one. The Hatters had trouble slowing down teams like Queens and Kennesaw State, which underscores just how much trouble they’ll have with the likes of Connecticut.

The big question is how locked in the Huskies are on this game. Connecticut has barely been scratched all year outside of a trip to Creighton, and it didn’t allow any of its guarantee opponents to keep the game interesting. Out of its 11 Quad 3 and Quad 4 games (seven guarantee games and Georgetown and DePaul), the Huskies won 10 of them by at least 20 points.

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Last year, they dominated every game they played and romped to the title. But Connecticut is historically a program that does best without expectations. When all eyes are on the Huskies, they’ve been susceptible to off-days. That shouldn’t matter against Stetson, but this game could give a clue as to whether Connecticut can stave off the champion’s curse.

The Odds 







(22-12 SU, 16-15 ATS) 






(31-3 SU, 22-12 ATS) 






When: Friday, March 22 at 2:45 p.m. EST 

Where: Barclays Center, New York


Public Bets: Unavailable 

Public Money: Unavailable

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of March 22nd, 2024

Stetson vs. Connecticut In-Season Trends 

The fact that Stetson is here at all is a minor miracle. The Hatters trailed Jacksonville (the weakest team in the A-Sun tournament) by 10 points in the final minutes before managing to come from behind and complete the comeback. However, they couldn’t cover against either the Dolphins or Austin Peay, and they closed by going just 3-5 ATS down the stretch.

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Connecticut has basically been making bettors money. The Huskies went 9-2 ATS over the final 11 games, with the only exceptions being their pratfall at Creighton and a tight game with a desperate St. John’s. Otherwise, the Huskies have kept taking care of business. They handled Marquette three times in that stretch, and they showed they could crush a lesser foe by routing both DePaul and Georgetown away.

The Difference-Makers 

The Huskies really have one of the most complete teams in the nation. Tristen Newton does take a few too many 3-pointers, but he makes smart decisions with the ball, shoots it well in the mid-range and even provides rebounding help. Connecticut can score from all over the floor, but Newton really makes this team succeed.

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Stopping Jalen Blackmon is key to slowing down Stetson. The Hatters depend greatly on Blackmon, who averages 21.5 points per game. His game includes getting to the midrange and either getting a good look or drawing a foul. Connecticut doesn’t commit that many fouls, but the Huskies’ mid-range defense is their biggest defensive weakness. Blackmon has to get rolling to give Stetson any kind of chance.

The Pick 

The 1 vs. 16 matchup is no longer automatic, but it’s still the safest move in the tournament. Connecticut shouldn’t have any problems with a Stetson squad that barely survived against Jacksonville and is clearly just happy to be here.

Whether the Huskies cover, however, is much less certain. At this number against a team that will not fold, there’s a real chance the Hatters get hot in the final minutes and cut the lead to a mere 20.

I think the best move on the docket is the total over. With Blackmon shooting well in the mid-range and likely to draw a few fouls, Stetson should do its part on the scoreboard. If the Hatters do some scoring, Connecticut will carry the load.

Dan’s Picks 

 Over 145.5  

 Stetson TTO 59.5 


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