Arizona State (22-10) vs St John’s (21-12)
When: Wednesday, March 20th, 2019
Where: Dayton Arena,
Time: 9:10 ET | TV: truTV
Opening Odds: Arizona State -1/151
Open an Account at Bovada Sportsbook to get up to a $250 Deposit Bonus!
Bobby Hurley’s head coaching resume includes a 42-20 record in two seasons with Buffalo and could face his old team Friday if his Arizona State Sun Devils can get past the St. John’s Red Storm in a First Four game Wednesday night in Dayton. The Sun Devils used a solid non-conference schedule to impress the NCAA committee enough to let them in, and it included wins over fellow tourney teams Mississippi State, Utah State, and Kansas. Arizona State earned the No. 2 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament and won six of the last eight games after Friday’s 79-75 overtime loss to Oregon in the conference semifinals. While the Sun Devils come in with some momentum, the Red Storm collapsed down the stretch, losing four of their last five including their worst loss of the season in their last game – an 86-54 loss to Marquette in the Big East quarterfinals. NCAA Tournament selection committee chair Bernard Muir admitted that the Red Storm were the last team to make the Big Dance as an at-large selection. St. John’s is led by a former Final Four participant in alum Chris Mullin, who is coaching his fourth season and making his first trip back to the NCAA Tournament. Arizona State beat St. John’s 82-70 back in December of 2017 at the Basketball Hall of Fame Classic in Los Angeles. The winner meets sixth-seeded Buffalo, the Mid-American Conference champion, Friday in Tulsa, Okla.
Arizona State averages a respectable 77.8 points a game, but their shooting is not the best and their foul shooting is even worse. The Sun Devils could get into trouble late in games when free throws matter and they are 300th in the country at 67.1 percent. Four players average double-figures in scoring led by Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Luguentz Dort, who averaged 16.1 points and reached double figures in 17 of 20 conference games. Sophomore guard Remy Martin is next at 13.4 points, while also leading the team in assists (5.1). Senior forward Zylan Cheatham (11.8 points, team-high 10.4 rebounds) was the only Pac-12 player to average a double-double this season.
Despite a 21-12 record, St. John’s scored just 2.7 points more than they allowed for the entire season, thanks to getting blown out in a lot of their losses. They shot just 32.8 percent in their last game against Marquette, while allowing the Eagles to shoot 50.9 percent. Junior guard Shamorie Ponds leads the team in both points (19.5) and assists (5.2) but was limited to 13 points against Marquette after averaging 22.0 in his previous three contests. Junior guard Mustapha Heron (14.9 points) is second on the team in scoring, but averaged 11.3 points in last four games. 6’6″ guard LJ Figueroa (14.3 points) leads the team in rebounding at 6.2 per game.
I don’t like the way this St. John’s team played down the stretch and you need to come into this tournament with a little bit of momentum. Arizona State has that momentum and a big edge in rebounding, which will be the difference in this game.
Pick: Arizona State -2.5
Red Storm are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Wednesday games.
Red Storm are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games following a ATS loss.
Red Storm are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up loss.
Red Storm are 5-11 ATS in their last 16 neutral site games.
Red Storm are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games.
Red Storm are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Red Storm are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 vs. Pacific-12.
Red Storm are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 NCAA Tournament games.
Sun Devils are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up loss.
Sun Devils are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS loss.
Sun Devils are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Wednesday games.
Sun Devils are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games.
Sun Devils are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Sun Devils are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 vs. Big East.
Sun Devils are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games.
Under is 5-0 in Red Storm last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Over is 4-0 in Red Storm last 4 NCAA Tournament games.
Under is 5-1 in Red Storm last 6 games following a straight up loss of more than 20 points.
Over is 4-1 in Red Storm last 5 overall.
Under is 4-1 in Red Storm last 5 Wednesday games.
Over is 4-1 in Red Storm last 5 games following a straight up loss.
Over is 4-1 in Red Storm last 5 games following a ATS loss.
Over is 10-4 in Red Storm last 14 non-conference games.
Over is 5-2 in Red Storm last 7 neutral site games.
Under is 5-1 in Sun Devils last 6 non-conference games.
Over is 5-1 in Sun Devils last 6 vs. Big East.
Under is 5-2 in Sun Devils last 7 overall.