NCAA Basketball Betting— Sub-.500 Temple looks to clinch Big Dance berth vs. UAB.

  • In Charles Jay
  • Sun, Mar 17th, 2024 11:38:51 am
  • By Charles Jay - Exclusive to OSGA

The Temple Owls hope to complete their unlikely journey to an NCAA tournament bid as they take on the UAB Blazers in the AAC championship game at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth.

If the Temple Owls are able to win the American Athletic Conference title and go to the NCAA tournament, this will certainly be one of the few occasions in recent years in which a team had a 10-game losing streak during the regular season and then went on to compete for a national championship.

Certainly BetOnline customers were not giving them much of a chance in midseason, but Temple got hot at the right time, and they have won their last five games, including a thriller against Florida Atlantic in which they scored 49 points in the second half.

They will have the opportunity to advance against the UAB Blazers, who have been kind of steady throughout the season and defeated Wichita State and South Florida to get to this point.

The game, which will be televised by ESPN, takes place at 3:15 PM Eastern time at the Dickies Arena in Fort Worth.

Temple’s 74–73 victory over FAU marked some significant payback for an 80–68 defeat they had suffered previously. 6‘1” guard Hysler Miller scored 21 points in the game, and despite the fact that he has shot only 29.7% from beyond the arc, hit five triples.

UAB scored a 93–83 victory over South Florida, which attempted 38 threes in the game. But UAB was much better on the inside, hitting 61% of its two point attempts.

And has often been the case, 6–9 center Yaxel Lendeborg was the big contributor, with 13 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, three blocked shots and two steals.

In the NCAA basketball betting odds posted on this game by the folks at BetOnline, UAB is favored:

UAB Blazers -7 (-113)
Temple Owls +7 (-107)

Over 140 points -110
Under 140 points -110

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One thing you can count on from Temple is that they’ll take care of the ball, as they are among the top 20 teams in the nation in turnover percentage. The other side of the coin is that they are one of the worst shooting teams in the nation, whether you are talking about three pointers or two pointers. and that is a potential problem here, because they rank only 142nd in the country in defensive efficiency. They were fortunate in the respect that they were able to hold FAU to just three out of 17 from beyond the arc. Anything less and they wouldn’t be here.

UAB will be prepared, in that they faced an opponent which shot so much from downtown in their last game. Temple emphasizes triples, taking 42.3% of their shots from long-distance. By contrast, Andy Kennedy‘s UAB squad does not shoot a lot of threes, so you have to have some pause as to their ability to extend a lead.

Temple, which ranks 238th in adjusted tempo, is more likely to try to slow the game down and reduce possessions. That did not work too well in the previous meeting between these two, which took place on March 7. UAB emerged with a 100–72 victory, even though Temple shot 48% from the field. The Blazers were 60.7% accurate, including 10 out of 18 triples. And the Owls were held to just ONE offensive rebound. That is something they absolutely cannot repeat.

Adam Fisher has had a so-so first season as coach for Temple, and they are only 16–19 coming into this game. Is this where the magic carpet ride ends? We think it is, as UAB, with its 23rd win, punches its ticket to the Big Dance.

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