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    NCAA Tournament Midwest Region: No. 9 TCU vs. No. 8 Utah State March Madness Preview and Prediction

    A preview and prediction for TCU vs. Utah State in the first round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

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    TCU vs. Utah State March Madness Preview and Prediction

    In the No. 9 vs. No. 8 matchup in the NCAA Tournament Midwest Region, the TCU Horned Frogs face the Utah State Aggies in first-round action.

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    How to Watch TCU vs. Utah State

    When: 9:55 pm ET on Friday, March 22nd

    Where: Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana

    Watch: TBS

    Odds for TCU vs. Utah State

    (odds current at time of publish)

    Spread: TCU -3.5

    Total: 147.5

    DraftKings Betting Splits | Live College Basketball Odds | TCU vs. Utah State Matchup

    Midwest Region No. 9 TCU Horned Frogs

    TCU is a top-40 team in both offensive and defensive efficiency. And they have a guy that is always capable of holding his own against the best player on the floor, with Emanuel Miller being a fantastic player for Jamie Dixon’s squad. TCU also happens to have a relatively deep rotation, which allows the team to play at a faster tempo. However, the Horned Frogs do feel like they’re missing a little something on offense, and they don’t shoot as many 3s as you’d like. With that in mind, TCU is a threat to stall out against good defensive teams. We have seen it quite a few times this season. 

    Midwest Region No. 8 Utah State Aggies

    Utah State was the regular season champion in a very good Mountain West conference. And a lot of that had to do with the play of Montana State transfer Great Osobor. The big man was a walking double-double threat for the Aggies, and he’s just a load to deal with in the paint. It’s no surprise that Utah State was a borderline top-10 team when it came to 2PT% this season. Utah State also happens to be a superb defensive team, and the Aggies are especially good at guarding the 3-point line. They are a top-five team when it comes to 3PT% defense, and that’s valuable considering how many teams prioritize the 3-ball. The question for Utah State will be whether somebody can get hot offensively. The Aggies might guard the 3 well, but they also don’t shoot it well. 

    TCU vs. Utah State Preview & Prediction

    What a fascinating matchup this is. TCU is a big, fast, physical team that plays a lot of in-your-face defense. They ranked in the top 25 in TO% and they are going to harass Darius Brown II, the transfer who came over from Montana State with head coach Danny Sprinkle. Great Osobor is going to have his work cut out for him down low, but he’s a terrific player.

    Both of these teams have found success getting inside at a high rate. TCU has a shot share on Close Twos of 42.3% and Utah State is at 43.7%. I like teams that can get to the rim, especially in these neutral-site settings. Both teams also allowed high shot shares, with TCU at 41.6% and Utah State at 39.8%.

    TCU was a top-100 team by 3P%, but few in the nation were as good as Utah State at defending the triple. The Mountain West was full of great teams, but I do worry that Utah State’s defensive rebounding numbers are skewed by the play in the conference. Collectively, the conference ranked 24th in ORB%, while the Big 12 ranked third.

    My concern here would be TCU’s physicality down low in a game where real estate will be available based on the shot shares of both teams. If Osobor gets into foul trouble, the depth behind him is a huge step down. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that San Diego State handled Utah State twice and their only loss came when they shot 3-of-19 from 3.

    TCU seems to match up pretty well here and I’d be intrigued about them against Purdue as well.

    Estimated Score: TCU 76, Utah State 74

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

    Adam Burke
    Adam Burke
    Adam Burke is the Managing Editor of VSiN.com and has spent well over a decade in the sports betting content creation space. He has been with VSiN since 2021 and covers a wide range of sports, along with hosting the VSiN Daily Baseball Bets podcast.

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