Indiana vs. Saint Mary's betting odds, preview, and pick
The 12th-seeded Indiana Hoosiers survived the First Four to advance to Thursday's first-round game against No. 5 Saint Mary's in an East Region matchup set for tipoff at 7:20 p.m. ET in Portland, Oregon.
Thu, March 17 2022, 11:20 PM
Indiana and Saint Mary's headed for defensive slugfest
Indiana kept the momentum rolling in its First Four battle with Wyoming. While the Hoosiers were outshot by the Cowboys and hit just 15.4% from deep and 60% from the free-throw line, IU's defense made the difference.
Mike Woodson's team forced 19 turnovers and grabbed 39 boards in a 66-58 win. Star forward Trayce Jackson-Davis pulled down nine of those rebounds and led all scorers with 29 points on 10-of-16 shooting.
To defeat Saint Mary's, the Hoosiers will need a similar defensive performance in order to create points off turnovers. The Gaels have held opponents to 61.2 points per contest, the 12th-best mark in the country, so scoring will come at a premium for an Indiana team that struggles to make shots.
The lack of rest may also impede Indiana's ability to grind Saint Mary's to a halt. The Gaels arrived in Portland on Tuesday to prepare for their first-round matchup and have not played since their 82-69 defeat to Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference Tournament final on March 8. Indiana was in Dayton, Ohio for its First Four meeting with Wyoming and flew to Portland on Wednesday morning after experiencing a three-hour flight delay that could have the Hoosiers feeling extra spent on Thursday.
Indiana and Saint Mary's betting trends
- Indiana is 5-0 ATS in its last five games overall
- Indiana is 4-0 ATS in its last four games as an underdog
- Saint Mary's is 8-3-2 ATS in its last 13 games versus teams with a winning straight-up record
- Saint Mary's is 13-5 ATS in its last 18 games as a favorite
- The Under is 22-10-2 in Indiana's last 34 games as an underdog
- The Over is 10-3-1 in Saint Mary's last 14 games as a favorite
Gaels will get by Indiana, but it won't be a breeze
Since IU's last appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2016, the program went through a down period under the guidance of Archie Miller, but has undergone a major turnaround in Woodson's first year at the helm.
The 2021-22 season has been filled with ups and downs, but Indiana seemingly hit its stride in the beginning of March, with two narrow losses to Rutgers and Purdue, two wins against Michigan and Illinois, and a brutal last-second defeat to Iowa in the Big Ten Conference Tournament semifinal.
While the Hoosiers have proven their toughness down the stretch, Thursday's contest will mark the fifth game in seven days for the team, and will likely spell the end of their run.
Saint Mary's will come into the first round fresh and eager to prove its worthiness as a fifth seed — the highest seeding in head coach Randy Bennett's eight appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
Look for the Gaels to hit enough shots, and Indiana to miss enough free throws, for Saint Mary's to pull out a win and head to a second-round matchup against either No. 4 UCLA or No. 13 Akron.
Score prediction: Saint Mary's 65, Indiana 63
Indiana vs. Saint Mary's Pick powered by The Quant Edge
Our predictive engine is calling for Saint Mary's to win outright.