St Mary's vs BYU NCAAB Preview and Prediction, March 6, 2023

St Mary's vs BYU NCAAB Preview and Prediction, March 6, 2023

 

Odds

Time 9:00 p.m. EST
Cougars money line +250
Cougars spread +6.5 (-110)
Gaels money line -300
Gaels spread -6.5 (-110)
Over / under 130.5

 

2022-2023 season stats

  BYU Cougars St Mary's Gaels
Record 19-4 26-4
Neutral site record 5-3 3-2
Streak W3 L1
Points per game 75.00 71.00
Points allowed per game 69.00 59.00
Rebounds per game 37.00 36.00
Rebounds allowed per game 31.00 28.00
Over / under record 15-16 15-15
 

Preview

The upcoming semifinal matchup between the Brigham Young Cougars and Saint Mary's Gaels is set to be a thrilling encounter. The game is scheduled for Monday, with tip-off from Orleans Arena in Las Vegas at 6:00 p.m. PT. The Gaels come into the game as 6.5-point spread favorites, with the game total set at 130.5 points. These two teams have faced each other twice this season, with the Gaels winning on both occasions. The first game was a close encounter, with the Gaels winning 57-56 in Provo on January 28. The second game was also a close affair, with the Gaels winning 71-65 at home on February 18. The Gaels lead the all-time series 19-18, and they will be looking to continue their dominance over the Cougars in this game.

 

BYU Cougars

As the West Coast Conference Tournament progresses, Brigham Young University (BYU) finds themselves with a perfect 2-0 record so far. The Cougars secured their place in the semifinals of the tournament with a ten-point win over the number four seed Loyola Marymount in the quarterfinals. The game saw the Cougars take control early, with a 38-27 lead at halftime, and they held on for a 78-68 victory. BYU was impressive on both ends of the floor, shooting 52.4 percent from the field and holding the Lions to just 25.9 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

Leading the way for the Cougars in scoring this season is Fousseyni Traore, the sophomore forward who averaged 13.2 points and 8.0 rebounds per game in the regular season with a 60.4 FG%. BYU also has other key players to watch, including senior guard Rudi Williams, junior guard Spencer Johnson, and senior forward Gideon George. Williams averaged 12.7 points per game, while Johnson contributed 11.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. George also played a key role, averaging 10.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.

BYU has been solid offensively this season, scoring an average of 75.6 points per game, which ranks 93rd in the country. They shoot 45.3 percent from the field, ranking 151st, and have a 33.8 shooting percentage from beyond the arc, ranking 207th. The Cougars convert 71.7 percent of their free-throw attempts, ranking 181st. Defensively, BYU allows an average of 69.9 points per game, ranking 181st, and their opponents shoot 43.2 percent from the field, ranking 141st. Despite these numbers, the Cougars have been efficient on defense, ranking 38th in adjusted defensive efficiency and 47th in adjusted tempo.

In the semifinals, the Cougars will face Saint Mary's, a team they have struggled against this season, losing both matchups. However, BYU will be buoyed by their recent form in the tournament and will look to avenge their previous defeats. To do so, they will need their offense to fire, and Traore, Williams, Johnson, and George will be key players in this regard.

Defensively, the Cougars will need to tighten up, especially against Saint Mary's, a team that has been solid on both ends of the floor this season. If they can limit the scoring chances for Saint Mary's and get their offense firing, the Cougars have a good chance of winning this game and advancing to the final of the West Coast Conference Tournament.

In conclusion, Brigham Young University has had a solid season, and their recent form in the West Coast Conference Tournament has been impressive. With key players like Traore, Williams, Johnson, and George, the Cougars have a strong offense that can cause problems for any team. Defensively, they will need to tighten up, especially against Saint Mary's, a team they have struggled against this season. If they can get their defense firing and limit the scoring chances for their opponents, the Cougars have a good chance of securing their place in the final of the tournament.

 

St Mary's Gaels

As the West Coast Conference Tournament progresses, the Saint Mary's Gaels will be looking to prove that they are the class of the conference. The Gaels finished the regular season as co-West Coast champions and will be looking to build on that success in the tournament. They split their two meetings with Gonzaga during the regular season, winning 78-70 at home on February 4 and losing 77-68 in the season finale. The question on everyone's mind is whether they can get over the hump and beat the Zags again if they meet in the WCC tournament final.

Leading the way for Saint Mary's in scoring this season is senior guard Logan Johnson, who averaged 14.7 points per game in the regular season with a 46.6 FG%. Other key players to watch for the Gaels include freshman guard Aidan Mahaney, senior guard Alex Ducas, and junior center Mitchell Saxen. Mahaney averaged 14.6 points per game with a 40.9 3PT%, while Ducas contributed 12.3 points and 4.1 rebounds per game with a 41.6 3PT%. Saxen also played a key role, averaging 11.8 points and 8.0 rebounds per game with a 54.8 FG%.

Offensively, Saint Mary's has been solid this season, scoring an average of 71.9 points per game, ranking 175th in the country. They shoot 46.1 percent from the field, ranking 88th, and have a 37.2 shooting percentage from beyond the arc, ranking 38th. The Gaels convert 69.6 percent of their free-throw attempts, ranking 254th. Defensively, Saint Mary's allows an average of just 59.3 points per game, ranking 6th, and their opponents shoot 40.7 percent from the field, ranking 29th. They also hold their opponents to just 32.0 percent shooting from beyond the arc, ranking 73rd. The Gaels have been efficient on defense, ranking 5th in adjusted defensive efficiency and 73rd in assist-per-turnover ratio.

In the semifinals, Saint Mary's will face BYU, a team they have beaten twice this season. However, the Cougars are in good form after their recent win over Loyola Marymount in the quarterfinals of the tournament. To beat BYU, the Gaels will need to rely on their strong defense and hope their offense can continue to produce. With key players like Johnson, Mahaney, Ducas, and Saxen, the Gaels have a strong offense that can cause problems for any team.

Defensively, Saint Mary's will need to tighten up and limit the scoring chances for BYU. If they can do so, they have a good chance of winning this game and advancing to the final of the West Coast Conference Tournament. The Gaels will be looking to prove that they are the class of the conference and that they have what it takes to beat the top teams in the country.

In conclusion, Saint Mary's has had a solid season, finishing as co-West Coast champions. They will be looking to build on that success in the tournament and prove that they are the best team in the conference. With key players like Johnson, Mahaney, Ducas, and Saxen, the Gaels have a strong offense that can cause problems for any team. Defensively, they have been solid all season and will be looking to continue that trend in the semifinals. If they can do so, they have a good chance of securing their place in the final of the tournament.

 

BETTING TRENDS

BYU are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games.

BYU are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games against Saint Mary's-California.

BYU are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against an opponent in the West Coast conference.

BYU are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games played in March.

BYU are 14-6 SU in their last 20 games played on a Monday.

Saint Mary's-California are 3-6 ATS in their last 9 games.

The total has gone OVER in 5 of Saint Mary's-California's last 7 games.

Saint Mary's-California are 16-2 SU in their last 18 games.

The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Saint Mary's-California's last 7 games against BYU.

Saint Mary's-California are 14-2 SU in their last 16 games against an opponent in the West Coast conference.

 

Prediction

The upcoming semifinal matchup between the Brigham Young Cougars and the Saint Mary's Gaels is expected to be a close game where both defenses will prevail, resulting in a low-scoring game that goes under the game total of 130.5. The Gaels are 6.5-point favorites, but the Cougars have been in great form, winning their last three games and covering the spread in their last six games.

Both teams have impressive records this season, with BYU having a record of 19-4 and Saint Mary's at 26-4. However, the Gaels have the upper hand in this matchup as they have beaten the Cougars twice this season. Saint Mary's is known for their solid defense, allowing an average of only 59.3 points per game and holding their opponents to just 40.7 percent shooting from the field. This will be a challenge for the Cougars, who average 75 points per game and have a 45.3 field goal percentage.

On the other hand, the Cougars have been solid defensively as well, ranking 38th in adjusted defensive efficiency and allowing an average of 69.9 points per game. With both teams having strong defenses, the game is likely to be a low-scoring affair. In their previous two matchups, the scores were 57-56 and 71-65, indicating a trend of close games between these teams.

Both teams have key players who will play an essential role in the outcome of the game. For BYU, Fousseyni Traore leads the team in scoring, averaging 13.2 points per game, while Saint Mary's has senior guard Logan Johnson, who averages 14.7 points per game. In addition, both teams have other players to watch out for, such as Rudi Williams and Spencer Johnson for BYU, and Aidan Mahaney and Alex Ducas for Saint Mary's.

Overall, this game is expected to be a close encounter where both defenses will have a significant impact on the outcome. With two strong defensive teams going against each other, it is highly likely that the total points scored will be below the game total of 130.5. Given the recent form of both teams, it is challenging to pick a clear winner. However, with the Gaels having the upper hand due to their two previous victories against the Cougars, they are expected to come out on top in this game, but it will be a close game.

 

PICK: Under 130.5 (-110)

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