***EARLY*** Thursday Afternoon POWER-HOUR
Connecticut vs. South Florida,
03/14/2019 13:00 EDT,
Score: 80 - 73
Point Spread: +1½/-110 South Florida
8* South Florida (1:00 ET): The American's conference tournament gets going Thursday w/ four 1st round matchups. The winner here moves on to face top seed Houston, so the odds are long for either UConn or USF going very far in this event. Neither is exactly displaying "peak form" lately either. UConn no longer resembles the program once known for coming up huge in March. The Huskies have just two wins in their last nine games. One of them was against USF, who is just 1-6 its last seven games. Something will have to give here and surprisingly, I side w/ the Bulls in this one.
There were two regular season matchups between UConn and USF and they split the pair, each winning at home. UConn was clearly overvalued as a 3.5-pt road favorite back in January, losing 76-68. They did gain a measure of revenge just 11 days ago in Storrs, but won by only two points (70-68) and thus missed out on covering (were -3!). That second meeting was an ugly shooting day for both teams. Ironically, on the day they retired Ray Allen's number, UConn didn't make a single three-pointer (0 for 15). They shot just 38.5% for the game. Fortunately for the Huskies, USF was even worse overall (32.8%) even though they made three 3-pointers (3 of 18).
Here in Memphis, the teams should shoot better. But how much good shooting did UConn "use up" in their regular season finale against East Carolina. They shot 62.5% from the field in the 82-73 win as 6.5-pt road favorites. The Huskies definitely won't be shooting that well again today. South Florida is the superior defensive side in this one, giving up just 67.0 PPG, which is a respectable number. Certainly a lot better than UConn, who gives up 77.9 PPG away from Storrs. UConn also won just two games away from home all season. That is shockingly bad. 8* South Florida