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Princeton Tigers (22-8) vs. Missouri Tigers (25-9)
The 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Second Round tips off Saturday, March 18, so we are taking a closer look at the South Region showdown from Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California, to get you the best Princeton vs. Missouri betting pick and odds.
The tip-off is set for 6:10 PM ET. These two schools meet for the first time since 2000 when Missouri outlasted Princeton 51-48. Missouri opens as a 6.5-point fave, and the totals sit at 150.0 points.
Princeton stunned Arizona in the first roundThe No. 15 Princeton Tigers (22-8; 16-12 ATS) pulled off a massive upset in the first round of the 2023 March Madness. Last Thursday, they defeated the No. 2 Arizona Wildcats 59-55 as 16-point underdogs. The Tigers erased a ten-point second-half deficit, holding the Wildcats scoreless through the final 4:45.
Princeton made 40.6% of its field goals in the first round, going just 4-for-25 from beyond the 3-point line. But they played tough defense down the stretch and took good care of the ball, finishing with 11 turnovers on the night. Senior forward Tosan Evbuomwan led Princeton with 15 points, seven rebounds, and four assists, while senior guard Ryan Langborg had eight points and a couple of rebounds and blocks.
NEW: After he helped lead @PrincetonMBB past 2-seed Arizona, Tosan Evbuomwan joined me for a @CBBONFOX conversation to talk about the Tigers' upset! On holding the Wildcats scoreless over the final 4 minutes and how Princeton pulled off the upset.https://t.co/8Ofw185KLu pic.twitter.com/fH5Na6IEbf— John Fanta (@John_Fanta) March 17, 2023
Keep your eyes on Tosan Evbuomwan, who’s tallying 15.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game in 2022-23. Princeton is No. 111 in the NCAA NET Rankings and No. 98 in the KenPom rankings. The Tigers score 108.6 points per 100 possessions (108th in the nation) while surrendering 101.9 points in return (106th).
Princeton beat Yale 74-65 in the Ivy League Tournament Final to enter the Big Dance. The Tigers have gone 5-0 SU and ATS over their last five outings. Per Bart Torvik, Princeton ranks eighth in the country in defensive rebound percentage (77.3%), 56th in opposing 2-point percentage (47.3%), and 95th in opposing 3-point percentage (32.7%).
Missouri held off Utah State to make it to the second roundThe No. 7 Missouri Tigers (25-9; 18-16 ATS) beat the No. 10 Utah State Aggies 76-65 as 1.5-point underdogs in the first round of the 2023 NCAA championship tournament. The Tigers controlled the game for most of 40 minutes and fully deserved the victory, allowing just four 3-pointers to one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the nation.
Missouri made 50.9% of its triples against Utah State. The Tigers went 10-for-25 from beyond the arc while tallying an underwhelming 12/15 assist-to-turnover ratio. Senior guard D’Moi Hodge accounted for 23 points, four rebounds, and four steals, and senior forward Kobe Brown added 19 points and eight rebounds.
Kobe Brown's message to #Mizzou fans after the program's 1st #MarchMadness win in 13 years...— Ben Arnet (@BenArnetKOMU) March 16, 2023
"This is for them"
The Tigers are No. 42 in the NCAA NET Rankings and No. 47 in the KenPom rankings. They score 119.1 points per 100 possessions (9th in the nation) while yielding 104.6 points in return (163rd). The Tigers rank 362nd in the nation in defensive rebound percentage (63.0%), 284th in opposing 2-point percentage (52.3%), and 236th in opposing 3-point percentage (34.9%).
Missouri is 6-1 SU and 4-3 ATS over its previous seven games overall. Kobe Brown has been the Tigers’ best player so far this season, racking up 15.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per contest, while D’Moi Hodge is adding 15.1 points and 3.8 boards a night.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
I’m not sure Princeton is capable of pulling off another upset, but Mitch Henderson’s boys should be able to keep it close against Missouri if they continue to work hard on the glass and play aggressive defense. Missouri is one of the best offensive teams in the country but lacks defensive awareness and mightily struggles to pull down boards.
Princeton did manage to slow the pace down against Arizona and needs to do the same versus Missouri. I’m looking for Princeton to have a solid shooting performance against Missouri’s D and make this game interesting to watch down the stretch.
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Full-Game Total Pick
I got burned on Arizona last Thursday, expecting the Wildcats to easily beat Princeton, but I nailed the under on the totals. Once more, I’m taking the under, as Princeton has to slow Missouri down in order to stand any chance of reaching the next round.
The line has been set pretty high at 150.0 points. Missouri plays at a steady pace, tallying 69.0 possessions per 40 minutes (94th in the nation), while Princeton records 67.2 possessions per 40 minutes (180th). Princeton has allowed 70 or fewer points in five straight outings at any location.