Iona vs Oregon - NCAA Basketball Picks - Widwest Region

Jay Pryce

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 3:09 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 15, 2017 3:09 PM UTC

No. 3 Oregon and  No. 14 Iowa square off in the first round of the Midwest Region bracket on Friday (2 p.m. ET) at Sacramento. Get your betting preview and free pick for the game here.

  Iona vs Oregon

MidWest Region, 1st Round 
Friday, March 17 - 2 pm E.T


Since 2001, 3-seeds are 56-8 SU and 33-39-2 ATS in the first round, though there has been an outright upset in each of the last four years. Will Oregon take care of business against Iona? You bet.

Despite losing senior forward Chris Boucher with a torn ACL less than two weeks ago, and falling to Arizona 83-80 in the Pac-12 tournament final, voters believe the Ducks are still top-ten material with a No. 9 national ranking. They were conference co-champions, going 29-5 SU and 19-13-1 ATS for the year. The Ducks reached the Elite Eight last season and are hoping for more this year. Boucher, Oregon’s sixth man, is the team’s rim-protector, leading the Pac-12 in blocks. His absence will likely hurt the Ducks' chances for a deep run in the NCAA tourney, particularly with head coach Dana Altman’s shallow bench. Still, this group was a 1-seed contender before the injury.

Iona (22-12 SU, 14-17-1 ATS) secured their second straight automatic bid to the tourney after topping Siena 87-86 in overtime for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title. It’s the fourth March Madness appearance in seven years for head coach Tim Cluess. Jordan Washington, Deyshonee Much and Rickey McGill each played in last year’s first-round 94-81 loss against Iowa State, so the Gaels bring some experience into the matchup. Nonetheless, the team is 0-16 SU and 4-12 ATS when tipping off an underdog of more than 6 points in Cluess’ tenure.

Altman, on the other hand, is 59-1 SU and 35-24-1 ATS against non-ranked, non-conference opponents as a double-digit favorite since taking over the Ducks in 2010. With these numbers, it’s tough to pencil in a bracket buster here; nor is picking a side tempting. The consensus among those looking for an upset in this matchup is that with the Ducks short-handed, the quick-paced Gaels may tire out Oregon late. But the Pac-12 representative tends to play at its best versus fast teams, going 14-4 ATS against foes averaging 57 field goal attempts or more entering a game. Iona puts up 61.5 per contest, 34th most nationally.

The UNDER offers the most value in our assessment of the game. The Gaels do their most damage from behind the 3-point line, shooting 39.7 percent from downtown, 16th highest in the country. Oregon, though, defends the perimeter phenomenally, allowing 31.1 percent from deep. Boucher’s absence will hardly be felt in the frontcourt with Iona tossing up a barrage of 3-pointers while likely chasing the game. The Gaels will not hit 70 points, and Oregon will pull their foot off the gas knowing rest will be at a premium later in the tourney. UNDER 152 is the NCAAB play.

Free NCAAB Pick: Under 152Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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