Alabama vs. Texas A&M-CC: 2023 NCAA Tournament Best Bets & Picks

Mar 15, 2023 - 4:37 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 game: Alabama vs. Texas A&M-CC

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2023 March Madness Odds, Preview & Predictions: Alabama vs. Texas A&M-CC

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Alabama 2023 NCAA Tournament Betting Preview

If there is a “most exciting team to watch award,” Alabama would be a front-runner. With a top-20 ranked offense and defense combined with a top-10 pace of play, the Crimson Tide should dazzle in March. To highlight their style, their second game of the year resulted in a 95-59 victory over Liberty, a top 50 KenPom and tournament team. They have shown their ability to pay on the road with victories over Houston, Arkansas, and Auburn away from home. The athleticism is extreme, with their speed and dynamic abilities keeping opponents on skates.

As much as Alabama is known for its offense, its defense is truly what shines. Nate Oats has led his program to suffocate opponents with the top-five-ranked 2pt% and 3pt% defense. The Crimson Tide eliminate second-chance opportunities at a top-10 clip and allow very little close to the basket, with opponents shooting below 50 percent near the rim. This team’s ceiling is arguably the highest in the nation, with the chance to simply bulldoze their way through the tournament. But they aren’t without their weaknesses.

If anything, Alabama has the chance to beat itself. Obviously, there is the off-the-court storyline that will loom like a thundercloud over this program and has the potential to impact its play. Alabama is going to be the villain in any game, and I imagine we will see some pretty hostile environments, even with the tournament being played on neutral floors. To go with that, Alabama’s Haslametrics away-from-home metric ranks in the bottom 350. We have seen games where they simply don’t show up, such as a neutral-court double-digit loss to UConn in November and a 93-69 loss at Oklahoma. Oats’ team is not consistent in the slightest, ranking in the bottom 350 in that metric.

This team is much better than last year’s Alabama squad and wasn’t as crazy. Last season’s team had some insane wins and troubling losses. The 2021-2022 Crimson Tide lost its first SEC tournament game and lost its first NCAA Tournament game as a 6-seed. Alabama is a completely different squad away from the Coleman Coliseum, and that’s scary. This team has a wide range of outcomes, so I wouldn’t be surprised by anything that happens to Alabama this March.

Texas A&M-CC 2023 NCAA Tournament Betting Preview

Steve Lutz has led Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to a second straight tournament appearance after a 23-10 season. The Islanders’ offense offers a balanced approach, with their rim-and-three rate ranking 117th in the nation. The Islanders can get to the basket, and they rebound their misses at a high clip. Corpus Christi forces turnovers with its physical play, which also sometimes causes foul trouble. TAMCC’s perimeter shooting ranks in the top 50 in Division I, and the Islanders have faced some good teams.

If Steve Lutz and Co. find themselves in close games late, their 80 percent free throw shooting will help. However, I would be surprised to find the Islanders competing late against a top team.

Alabama vs. Texas A&M-CC 2023 NCAA Tournament Predictions

One of the knocks against Alabama is its struggles away from home, but the first round of the tournament is in Birmingham, so that isn’t much of an issue. They have also had occasions where they look disinterested/checked out, which has led to some lopsided blowout losses. The Tide play at such a fast pace that chances are good they will run the Islanders (80th in tempo) right out of the building. Part of that tempo will be Alabama’s three-point shooting ability running up against Texas A&M-CC’s perimeter defense, which allowed opponents to shoot threes at the highest rate in their conference. The key metric in the matchup, though, is Bama’s stingy defense, which ranks No. 1 in the country in defensive eFG%. Predicting how many points the Crimson Tide will score is tricky, but it’s a much more appealing wager to guess how much the Islanders won’t.

Alabama vs. Texas A&M-CC 2023 NCAA Tournament Picks

Pick: Texas A&M-CC TT u65.5 (-115)

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