Saint Peter’s vs. Tennessee March Madness Preview and Prediction

In the No. 15 vs. No. 2 matchup in the NCAA Tournament Midwest Region, the Saint Peter’s Peacocks face the Tennessee Volunteers in first-round action.

Make VSiN your home for the duration of the NCAA Tournament and beyond. Take advantage of our college basketball betting tools and previews and predictions on every single March Madness game. We have College Basketball Betting Splits from DraftKings Sportsbook, updated Vegas College Basketball Odds, College Basketball Odds from other states, College Basketball Matchup Data, and more.


Check out Greg Peterson’s Daily College Basketball Lines, Steve Makinen’s Power Ratings Lines, and look at College Basketball Picks from our VSiN Experts.

How to Watch St. Peter’s vs. Tennessee

When: 9:20 pm ET on Thursday, March 21st

Where: Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina

Watch: TNT

Odds for St. Peter’s vs. Tennessee

(odds current at time of publish)

Spread: Tennessee -19.5

Total: 128.5

DraftKings Betting Splits | Live College Basketball Odds | St. Peter’s vs. Tennessee Matchup

Midwest Region No. 15 Saint Peter’s Peacocks

We all know what happened when Saint Peter’s made the tournament in 2021-22. The Peacocks made a run all the way to the Elite Eight, beating Kentucky, Murray State and Purdue on the way. Of course, Shaheen Holloway was the head coach of that team, and he’s now leading the Seton Hall Pirates. But Bashir Mason has done a good job in two years with Saint Peter’s, and he has a hard-nosed team this year. The Peacocks are absolutely abysmal offensively, but they’re right near the top 75 in defensive efficiency. So, they’ll look to try and stifle their opponent, while also slowing the game down to a snail’s pace. That’s their best shot of having a chance late, and they’ll then hope forward Corey Washington can get them across the finish line. 

Midwest Region No. 2 Tennessee Volunteers

Tennessee is always an elite defensive team, and this year’s group is top five in adjusted defensive efficiency. Rick Barnes has always been able to count on his guys to be tough as nails on that end of the floor. The difference with this year’s team is that the group is very good offensively. Barnes added Northern Colorado transfer Dalton Knecht in the transfer portal, and the senior is a threat to put up 20 every night. And his ability to shoot the 3-ball has completely opened things up for his teammates. The sky’s the limit now for a Tennessee team that made the Sweet 16 last year and returned a majority of those rotation players. Perhaps Barnes will finally exorcize his March demons.

Saint Peter’s vs. Tennessee Preview & Prediction

I’m sure there weren’t a whole lot of believers in the Saint Peter’s Peacocks two years ago when they made the Elite Eight, but I can confidently say I think this is the worst No. 15 seed in the field. I still wouldn’t put it past Rick Barnes to lose to them given his NCAA Tournament history, but the Peacocks are really fortunate to be here.

The 2022 Peacocks were dramatically better on defense and had more scorers on offense. The 2024 Peacocks are one of the worst 2-point shooting teams in the country and one of the worst offenses in general. They turned the ball over on nearly 20% of their possessions and were one of the worst teams in the country at converting layups, dunks, and tip-ins. Yet, here they are.

The Peacocks do force a lot of turnovers, but Tennessee takes outstanding care of the basketball. The Volunteers can get bogged down offensively with their shooting numbers, but they are a truly elite defensive team. They should avoid disaster here and Barnes gets a favorable draw in the bottom part of the Midwest Region, so I think it’s set up for him to make something of a run.

I’m not going to say that the Committee tried to make this as easy as they could for Barnes, but they didn’t exactly give Tennessee the Iowa State region with the defending National Champion, the Big Ten champ, and the SEC champ.

Estimated Score: Tennessee 77, Saint Peter’s 56

For expert predictions, go to our college basketball best bets page.