UConn vs. Iona: 2023 NCAA Tournament Odds, Preview & Predictions

Mar 12, 2023 - 11:53 PM

March Madness is officially here! The 2023 NCAA Tournament Bracket has been announced, and the teams are lining up for the Big Dance. Let’s take a look at the early odds, preview and predictions for the 2023 NCAA Tournament Round 1 game: UCONN vs. Iona.

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2023 NCAA Tournament Guide (March Madness)

2023 March Madness Odds, Preview & Predictions: UConn vs. Iona

UConn vs. Iona Odds, Spread & Match Up Overview

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UConn 2023 NCAA Tournament Betting Preview

At one point, Connecticut looked like the best team in the nation and a clear title favorite. A 13-0 start with wins over Alabama, Iowa State and Oklahoma State showed that the Huskies were the real deal. After hitting a speed bump at the start of Big East play, the Huskies finished regular-season play 8-1 and now look capable of making a deep tournament run.

Ranking in the top 25 in both offensive and defensive efficiency is a recipe for success, and UConn ranks in the top 15 in both. Adama Sanogo is an absolute unit down low, ranking among the D1 leaders in rebound rate and effective field goal percentage. Jordan Hawkins can shoot the lights out when he’s hot, and this team shares the rock, ranking in the top 10 in assist rate. The Huskies won’t dazzle you with their scoring abilities, but their effort in transition and on the glass gives them an efficient offense. Defensively, they can stop anything. Their physicality sometimes gets them in trouble, however, as they allow a high free throw rate. If Sanogo is on the bench, this is a different team, as Evan Miya ranks Sanogo as the 26th-best player in all of Division 1. Luckily for the Huskies, they also have Andre Jackson, Donovan Clingan and Tristen Newton, giving UConn one of the best all-around rosters in the nation. Their ability to rebound at the highest offensive clip in the nation gives me confidence in their ability to keep up with any team, even if they are having an off-night shooting.

If you were on UConn last year and had your brackets busted by their first-round exit, you might be hesitant to pencil them in for a deep run this year. But this team is significantly improved from last year’s 5-seed. Besides occasionally failing to take care of the ball and getting into foul trouble, they do everything right. This team has a high floor. While UConn might not necessarily be discussed as a title contender, it absolutely can cut down the nets in Houston.

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Iona 2023 NCAA Tournament Betting Preview

Led by Rick Pitino, is it really a surprise that Iona finds themselves back in the NCAA Tournament? The Gaels have had one of the best teams under Pitino since he took charge, ranking 75th in the nation on KenPom. Their defense is elite on the perimeter, with opponents scoring fewer than 27 percent of their points from beyond the arc, shooting at under a 30 percent clip. The Gaels force turnovers at a high clip, but their rebounding is sub-par, opening the door for second-chance looks to opponents.

Offensively, the Gaels dominate on the interior, rebounding at a high clip while taking care of the ball. Iona doesn’t have to be perfect against their opponents to stick with them. Iona loves to get out in transition and scores effectively off steals. They play lockdown defense that forces opponents deep into the shot clock and not the best looks. If things go their way, Iona is a perfectly capable team of pulling off a first-round upset.

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