NCAA March Madness: Missouri vs. Princeton betting preview, odds and predictions


NCAA March Madness: Missouri Tigers vs. Princeton Tigers betting preview, odds and predictions

In a 7 vs. 15 matchup in the South region of the NCAA Tournament, the Missouri Tigers take on the Princeton Tigers with a spot in the Sweet 16 on the line. All tournament long, VSiN will be providing you with March Madness betting odds, in-depth team analysis and expert college basketball picks. Make us your one-stop shop for all of your betting needs. 

MORE: Check out the public betting splits for every college basketball game on the VSiN betting splits page

How to watch Missouri vs. Princeton

When: Saturday, 6:10 p.m. ET

Where: Sacramento, California

Watch: TNT

Odds for Missouri vs. Princeton

Spread: Missouri -6.5

Total: 150.5

(Odds accurate as of Thursday, March 16th at 11:00 p.m. ET)

Real-time betting splits at DraftKings Sportsbook

South Region No. 7 Seed Missouri Tigers

The Tigers are as good as anybody in the country when it comes to offense. This team is completely loaded with guys that are comfortable scoring the basketball, and Missouri is capable of going on serious heaters from deep. Keep an eye on Kobe Brown in this tournament, as he’s a 6-foot-8 guard that’s a legitimate jack of all trades. Brown had 19 points and eight boards in the first-round win over the Utah State Aggies, and he could become a tournament darling by the time this is all over. The issue for Dennis Gates’ Tigers is that the team is absolutely miserable defensively. So, when the team goes cold on offense, it really doesn’t have much of a shot at winning games. With that said, Missouri will need to shoot the lights out in order to do more damage.

South Region No. 15 Seed Princeton Tigers

Princeton is one of the best rebounding teams in the nation, and the Tigers are going to battle as hard as possible against whoever they face. That’s what made this team such a hard team to beat throughout the course of the Ivy League season, and they also happened to out-rebound a massive Arizona Wildcats team in a 59-55 upset victory in the first round. That will be one of the best results of the tournament, but the question is whether the Tigers can keep winning without a true go-to scoring option. The closest thing it has to that is Tosan Evbuomwan, who had 15 against the Wildcats. Can he keep it up moving forward? Teams will be keying in on him moving forward and his teammates will eventually need to bury shots. 

Missouri vs. Princeton matchup analysis

Princeton shocked the world by earning a first-round win over the Arizona Wildcats, who many people thought could win this tournament. The Ivy League champs earned that victory by working hard on the glass and not letting Arizona control the paint. Even though Tommy Lloyd’s team had two big men that can score the basketball, Princeton’s 56th-ranked 2PT% defense held up against bigger competition. That gave the Tigers a chance to steal it late, and they’re now going to be confident that they can win at least one more game. 

While Missouri came away with an impressive 76-65 win over the Utah State Aggies in their opening-round game, the Tigers were just 160th in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency this season. That means that this Missouri team is very beatable defensively, so Princeton will have a chance if it’s shooting well here. 

One thing to watch in this matchup is that Missouri was just 284th in the country when it came to 2PT% defense heading into the tournament. This is not a team that defends at a high level inside the three-point line, which is where Princeton happens to be at its best. The Ivy League champions shot 53.6% on 2s before the tournament, which was a top-50 mark in college basketball. 

Missouri is far more talented than Princeton, which just comes with the territory in a matchup between an SEC program and an Ivy League program. But Princeton was able to overcome that against Arizona, and the team is now brimming with confidence. With this matchup suiting Princeton a bit better, nobody should be surprised if we see a little more magic out of this 15 seed. 

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