March Madness First Round Picks
North Texas is ranked 100th on offense and 38th on defense, per KenPom. Villanova is ranked 9th on offense and 69th on defense. North Texas comes into this game winning its last game in upset fashion against 4 seed Purdue in overtime. Villanova survived an upset scare against 12 seed Winthrop in their first round game. Villanova is not the same team without Senior leader PG Collin Gillespie. They have struggled to score since his absence. This is bad news for the Wildcats because North Texas is a very strong defensive unit. The Mean Green rank 57th defending the 3, 13th defending the 2, and 14th in Defense Effective FG %. Defending the 2 is huge against Villanova as they rank 55th in 2 point shooting %. North Texas plays super slow but they are efficient on offense. The Mean Green rank 24th in 3 point shooting %, 62nd in 2 point shooting %, and 37th in Offense Effective FG %. Villanova ranks 242nd defending the 3 and 204th defending the 2.
Villanova survived their first round game by relying heavily on Forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl to score. The 6’9 Robinson-Earl does most of his work in the paint. The size of North Texas inside is going to cause him problems. The Mean Green have 2 legit 6’10 big men that are great defenders. They held Purdue’s big men 6’10 Williams and 7’4 Edey to 14 and 0 points. I just don’t know where Villanova is going to generate offense against this stout defensive unit of North Texas. Look for North Texas Senior Guard Javion Hamlet to lead the North Texas offense to cover +5.5. I would even sprinkle a little on the Mean Green Moneyline. Best of luck!
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NCAA Tournament Expert Picks
North Texas +5.5 @ -110 (Click To Bet)