Boise State vs Northwestern March Madness Predictions 3/16

Boise State vs Northwestern March Madness Predictions 3/16

Photo Credit © Alex Martin/Journal and Courier / USA TODAY NETWORK

As March Madness approaches, the excitement and anticipation for the biggest college basketball tournament of the year is palpable. Fans across the country are eagerly filling out their brackets, analyzing the teams, and making predictions about who will come out on top. And as the tournament kicks off on March 16th, one game that's sure to draw attention is the matchup between the Boise State Broncos and the Northwestern Wildcats.

Both teams have had solid seasons, with Boise State posting a 24-9 overall record and going 13-5 in conference play, while Northwestern finished with a 21-11 overall record and a 12-8 record in the Big Ten. The Wildcats come into this game as slight favorites, with a point spread of -1.5, but the Broncos will be looking to pull off the upset and advance to the next round.

Let's take a closer look at both teams and see how they match up.

Boise State Broncos

Offense:

Boise State's offense is led by senior guard Marcus Shaver Jr., who averages 16.4 points per game and shoots 42.9% from the field. He's also a solid distributor, averaging 3.5 assists per game. Senior forward Abu Kigab also contributes on the offensive end, averaging 10.1 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Overall, the Broncos average 72.2 points per game and shoot 46.1% from the field.

Shooting:

Boise State is a solid shooting team, with a team field goal percentage of 46.1%, which ranks 46th in the nation. They also shoot 36.8% from beyond the arc, which ranks 57th in the country.

Defense:

The Broncos' defense is anchored by their rebounding, as they average 35.4 rebounds per game, which ranks 172nd in the nation. They also average 4.8 blocks per game, which ranks 39th. However, their defense does give up an average of 68.4 points per game, which ranks 125th in the country.

Rebounding:

As mentioned, rebounding is a strength for the Broncos, as they average 35.4 rebounds per game. Marcus Shaver Jr. leads the team with 5.5 rebounds per game.

Northwestern Wildcats

Offense:

Northwestern's offense is led by sophomore guard Boo Buie, who averages 17.1 points per game and shoots 43.6% from the field. He's also a solid distributor, averaging 4.5 assists per game. Freshman forward Brooks Barnhizer is also a key contributor, averaging 11.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Overall, the Wildcats average 67.9 points per game and shoot 42.2% from the field.

Shooting:

Northwestern is a solid shooting team, with a team field goal percentage of 42.2%, which ranks 245th in the nation. They also shoot 35.9% from beyond the arc, which ranks 96th in the country.

Defense:

The Wildcats' defense is anchored by their rebounding, as they average 34.1 rebounds per game, which ranks 266th in the nation. They also average 3.3 blocks per game, which ranks 168th. However, their defense does give up an average of 64.2 points per game, which ranks 31st in the country.

Rebounding:

As mentioned, rebounding is a strength for the Wildcats, as they average 34.1 rebounds per game. Sophomore forward Ryan Young leads the team with 6.4 rebounds per game.

Injuries:

Both teams appear to be relatively healthy heading into the first round of the NCAA Tournament. However, it's worth noting that injuries can occur at any time, and a player going down with an injury during the game could have a significant impact on the outcome.

Betting Trends:

According to Odds Shark, the Wildcats are currently favored to win by 1.5 points, with the over/under set at 128 points. The majority of the public bets seem to be backing Northwestern to cover the spread, with 62% of bets going that way.

Public Betting Data:

Public betting data can be a useful tool when trying to gauge the overall sentiment towards a particular game. However, it's important to remember that public betting trends don't always align with the actual outcome of the game. With that being said, the data suggests that the majority of the public is siding with Northwestern to cover the spread.

Prediction:

When it comes to March Madness predictions, anything can happen. However, based on the available information, it appears that this game could be a closely contested battle between two evenly matched teams.

Boise State has been solid on both ends of the floor this season, with a strong defense and an efficient offense. However, they will need to find a way to slow down Northwestern's Boo Buie, who has been a scoring machine for the Wildcats this season.

On the other side of the ball, Northwestern will need to contain Boise State's Max Rice, who has been a consistent threat from beyond the arc all season long.

Ultimately, the outcome of this game could come down to which team is able to execute their game plan more effectively. Both teams have the potential to win, but in the end, we believe that Northwestern's experience playing in the tough Big Ten conference will give them the edge they need to come out on top.

Pick: Northwestern -1.5

In conclusion, this first-round matchup between Boise State and Northwestern is shaping up to be an exciting and closely contested battle. March Madness is all about unpredictability, and it wouldn't be surprising to see either team come out on top. However, based on the analysis and available information, we believe that Northwestern has the edge in this matchup and will cover the 1.5-point spread.

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