We are down to 32 teams as we have made it through a chaotic first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. In the first round, No. 4 Providence took down the No. 13 South Dakota State Jackrabbits, 66-57. And No. 12 Richmond got a 67-63 win to upset the No. 5 Iowa Hawkeyes. The Friars and the Spiders match up with a spot in the Sweet Sixteen on the line.
This game will tip at 6:10 p.m. ET from the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York. The game will air on TNT. Providence is a 3-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.
No. 4 Providence: 25-5 (14-3 Big East): At-Large
First round result: Won 66-57 over No. 13 South Dakota State
KenPom rating: 32 Overall, 80 Offense, 50 Defense
NET ranking: 31, (5-3 vs. Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Nate Watson, 13.8 ppg
Key stat: PC was the luckiest team in college basketball this year according to KenPom.
The Friars took the victory over South Dakota State largely due to their advantage in cleaning up the glass. They out-rebounded the Jackrabbits 41-32 overall and 11-5 on the offensive glass. Forwards Noah Horchler and Ed Croswell had nine boards apiece.
Horchler also added 13 points to tie for the team lead. He is a double-double threat every game he plays, and the 6’8 senior will be looking to have the same impact against Richmond.
Watch for the Friars' defense to shine through and play a factor. They hold opponents to a 46.7 effective field goal percentage, and excel at disrupting shots and using their pressure to force errors.
No. 12 Richmond: 23-12 (10-8 Atlantic 10): Auto Bid
First round result: Won 67-63 over No. 5 Iowa
KenPom rating: 83 Overall, 69 Offense, 104 Defense
NET ranking: 81, (1-2 Record vs. Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Tyler Burton 16.3 PPG
Key stat: Three players averaging double-digit points
The Spiders were out-rebounded and had more turnovers than the Hawkeyes did. They won due to their ability to knock down big shots. Richmond shot 42.1% from the field and 29.4% from three. They also knocked down 14 free throws compared to Iowa’s nine.
Both Jacob Gilyard and Tyler Burton played the entire game for the Spiders. Gilyard dropped 24 points and added six rebounds and six assists. Burton had a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds while also adding three steals.
Look for Richmond to show that it wasn’t a fluke how efficient they were at shooting. They are hitting on 52.0% of their two-point attempts which is 86th-best out of 358 Division 1 teams.
Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
Point spread: Providence -3
Point total: 134
Moneyline: Richmond +125, Providence -145
Against The Spread Pick: Providence -3
Point total pick: Under 134
Pick to Win: Providence
Richmond played upset in the first round, but the Friars' defense is a different caliber. They will force the Spiders to play at their tempo, with consistent shooters and playing lockdown defense. We know Providence has the size to control the rebounding narrative so Richmond might lose that edge in this matchup. Even if they still are effective shooters, the pace of play will be slower not only hitting the under but also keeping Richmond out of the win column.
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