Chattanooga-UConn: 2009 NCAA Tournament Picks ATS, Mar. 19

Ryan BrennanSenior Analyst IMarch 17, 2009

No. 16 Chattanooga Mocs at No. 1 Connecticut Huskies

NCAA Tournament, First Round—West Region
Thursday, Mar. 19—3:00 PM EST on CBS


March is by far the best sports time of the year. College basketball is in full swing, and there is nothing like March Madness in any other sport. You've got your dominant teams, Cinderella stories, bubble teams, and all of the Dance-junkie writers who haven't written a single college basketball article all season but claim to know all.

Now, I'm not claiming that I know everything or that I'm going to get all of my picks right during the Big Dance, but I will point out that I have written almost 200 college basketball articles this season, and have gotten more than half of them right against the spread.

But that's neither here nor there at this point—let's take each pick one at a time, starting with Chattanooga at UConn.

The Mocs finished the regular season equivalent to fifth in the Southern Conference, five games behind Davidson. They were first in the SoCon North, but four of the six teams in the South had better division records (three of them had better overall records). They made an unlikely run through the conference tournament (they were fortunate enough to face Charleston and not Davidson in the finals) to get the automatic bid to the Big Dance.

The Huskies, on the other hand, have been dominant all season. They have been in the top national spot on more than one occasion and have been put through every sort of stress-test the Big East can offer.

UConn was knocked out of the Big East tournament in their only game after receiving a double-bye for finishing in the top four. One game seems like somewhat of an understatement, though, considering they lost in the sixth overtime against Syracuse.

The Huskies squad features co-Big East Player of the Year Hasheem Thabeet, who is averaging a double-double on top of 4.6 blocks per game. The other Husky in the frontcourt, Jeff Adrien, is also averaging a double-double.

With two dominant scorers and rebounders under the basket, the Mocs are going to have their work cut out for them. Will they be able to pull off the first 1-16 upset that the tournament has ever seen, or will their unlikely run have finished with the Southern Conference Tournament?


By the Numbers





Stats Leaders

PPGS. McDowell - 18.6A. Price - 14.0
 N. Doaks - 13.9H. Thabeet - 13.7
 K. Goffney - 13.3J. Adrien - 13.6
RPGN. Doaks - 8.7H. Thabeet - 10.9
APGK. Sheard - 3.8A. Price - 4.7
SPGK. sheard - 1.6K. Walker - 1.1
BPGN. Doaks - 1.0H. Thabeet - 4.6




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