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Ryley’s Daily Basketball Pick - March 17th

The Saint Peter’s Peacocks (15) will face off against the Kentucky Wildcats (2) at 7:10 PM ET in the round of 64.

The Peacocks rely on their defense, ranking 34th in defensive efficiency, but their offense is where the problem arises, ranking outside the top 300 in almost every offensive category. St. Peter’s will not get anything easy as Kentucky limits their opponents to just 19.5 free throws per game. Kentucky ranks inside the top 75 in both 2 and 3 point defense. Kentucky’s player to watch this tournament is Oscar Tshiebwe, the SEC player of the year, averaging 17 points and 15 rebounds per game. The Peacocks will have their hands full trying to slow down Tshiebwe, while lacking a single player with over 200 pounds on their team.

The Wildcats are one of the best rebounding teams in the nation, especially on the offensive glass, resulting in converting 9.2% of second chance opportunities, ranking 2nd in the nation. The Peacocks have flexed their defensive muscles on numerous occasions this year but they haven’t faced a a true juggernaut the likes of Kentucky. Kentucky is going to wear Saint Peter’s down with second chance opportunities and limiting easy scores on the defensive end. Saint Peter’s does not have the size or athleticism to keep this game inside the number. My pick for today? The Kentucky Wildcats (-18).

Ryley is a new edition to the Pickin’ Winners team. You can follow him on Twitter @ryleybutler. Bet responsibly.

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