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NCAAB: #3 Illinois vs #1 UConn Odds, and Picks (Mar 30)

By ยท Updated 3 weeks ago
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  • Spread X.X
  • To Win XXX
  • Total X.XX
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  • Spread X.X
  • To Win XXX
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  • Illinois held off Iowa State in a thrilling bout, winning 72-69 to advance to the Elite 8.
  • UConn completely dominated San Diego State in the Sweet 16, defeating them 82-52.
  • These two teams last met on November 28, 2023, in a game that Clemson won 85-77.

The NCAA Tournament has reached the Elite 8! Let’s take a look at this matchup between the Illinois Fighting Illini and the UConn Huskies. This game features the top two offenses in all of college basketball, and should be a close and competitive contest.


How to Watch

  • TBS

Preview

Illinois defeated 2-seed Iowa State in a competitive contest, advancing to the Elite 8 for the first time in 20 years. They face the near-insurmountable task of knocking off the defending champions and #1 overall seed, UConn. That being said, Illinois is set up well to compete with the Huskies in this game. They boast the nation’s top offense, being one of a few teams capable of scoring as much as UConn. The bulk of the offensive work will fall on Terrence Shannon Jr, who has been among the best scorers so far.

UConn continues to look virtually unbeatable, coasting past San Diego State in their 30-point victory in the Sweet 16. They were hardly deterred by the tough defense of the Aztecs, racking up over 80 points while flexing a shutdown defense of their own. The Huskies have charted a similar path in this year’s tournament so far as last, dominating each team they see. That being said, being a 1-seed this year has also made their path easier. Illinois will be the first Power-6 opponent seeded 8 or higher they face.


Prediction

It will be interesting to see how competitive Illinois is in this game. Realistically speaking, they should pose a significantly tougher test to the Huskies than their first three opponents. That being said, UConn has hardly been fazed and could very easily run away with another blowout win. The reliance on Terrance Shannon Jr. to provide the bulk of their offensive work could be detrimental if UConn doubles him up. Illinois would need to find a different way to keep up offensively. I don’t see it happening.

NCAAB Picks:

  • UConn 88, Illinois 81 (CONN -6.5)
Keith McCarthy
Contributor Keith McCarthy is an experienced sports analyst with a passion for predicting the outcomes of games spanning across sports such as football, basketball, baseball, and hockey, with a special expertise in college sports.

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