Home | News | Top NCAAB Betting Picks of the Week – March 11th, 2024

Top NCAAB Betting Picks of the Week – March 11th, 2024

By Hank Blaine

The 2023-24 college basketball regular season is in the books as this week is all conference tournaments ahead of Selection Sunday on St. Patrick’s Day – what a party that should be. Here’s a look at two intriguing early-week matchups around the country.

Top NCAAB Betting Picks of the Week (March 11th, 2024)

Santa Clara Broncos vs. Saint Mary’s Gaels

  • When: Monday, March 4th, 2024, 8:00 PM ET
  • Where: Saint Mary’sX
  • TV: ESPN
  • Radio: KDOW 1220 AM (Santa Clara) // Saint Mary’s Gaels Sports Network (Saint Mary’s)
  • Live Stream: ESPN+
  • NCAAB Betting Odds: Santa Clara (+9) / Saint Mary’s (-9)

West Coast Conference semifinals from Las Vegas. No. 23 Saint Mary’s was the WCC regular-season champion and the top seed in the tournament and got a bye to the semis. The Gaels will be an NCAA Tournament team no matter what and had been the only school in the country with a conference loss but dropped their finale 70-57 at home to Gonzaga on March 2, but SMC still finished a game up on the Zags. The outright regular-season title was the first for Saint Mary’s since 2012.

Augustas Marciulionis was named the WCC Player of the Year after his breakout junior season. The point guard out of Vilnius, Lithuania was the Gaels’ second-leading scorer, averaging 12.4 points per game, while dishing out 159 assists, the most by an SMC player since Emmett Naar’s 284 in 2017-18. Marciulionis played more minutes than any other Gael this season, and finished ranked second in the conference in assists, assists per game and assist/turnover ratio. He also ranked third in the conference in steals. In WCC contests, Augustas averaged 14.1 points per game at 6.5 assists per game, while holding a stellar assist to turnover ratio of 3.4. He was a huge reason as to why the Gaels are currently ranked 18th in the country in assist/turnover ratio as a team.

Mitchell Saxen was named WCC Defensive Player of the Year. Never allowing an easy shot to go up on the interior, he was a big reason as to why the Gaels held opponents to just 39.1% shooting from the field and 58.5 points per game, both ranking in the top-10 in the country. The Gaels also are leading the nation in rebounding margin, with Saxen as their leading rebounder. Saxen led the conference with 42 blocked shots, and currently ranks sixth in program history, with 111 total rejections, was also a major offensive contributor for Saint Mary’s, averaging 11.5 points and 7.3 rebounds, including 3.7 offensive rebounds, per contest. Coach Randy Bennett was named WCC Coach of the Year for the third straight season.

This is the ninth consecutive season that the Gaels have made it as far as the WCC semifinals, winning their semifinal matchup six of those nine instances. Since the start of the WCC Tournament in 1987, the Gaels and Broncos have met 13 times in WCC Postseason Play, with the Gaels leading the all-time series 7-6.

Santa Clara got here with a 104-79 win over San Diego on Saturday and the only way the Broncos will reach the NCAA Tournament despite a very solid 20-11 overall record is to win this event. Six players logged 11 points or more in the victory over USD with Adama-Alpha Bal and Johnny O’Neil leading the charge with a combined 44 points. All-time, the Broncos have won just two WCC titles, the inaugural tournament in 1987 and their second in 1993.

The win was Santa Clara’s 20th of the season, making it three-straight 20-win campaigns for the Broncos, and four of the last five seasons. It is just the third time in program history that the Broncos have won 20-plus games in three consecutive seasons (1967-68 through 1969-70 and 1982-83 through 1984-85). It was also win No. 140 for Herb Sendek at Santa Clara, who claimed sole possession of the fourth spot on the school’s all-time wins list.

Saint Mary’s was 2-0 vs. Santa Clara this season, not trailing in either game. They last played on Jan. 31 at SMC and the Gaels rolled 73-49.

NCAAB Betting Pick: Saint Mary’s Gaels

Miami Hurricanes vs. Boston College Eagles

  • When: Tuesday, March 12th, 2024, 7:00 PM ET
  • Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
  • TV: ACC Network
  • Radio: WVUM 90.5 FM (Miami) // WEEI 850 AM (Boston College)
  • Live Stream: ESPN+
  • NCAAB Betting Odds: TBA

ACC Tournament from Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. At 15-16 overall, Miami has been one of the nation’s most disappointing clubs considering the Hurricanes brought pretty much everyone back from last year’s club that reached the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament. UM was ranked No. 13 entering this season but enters on a nine-game skid after an 83-75 loss at Florida State in the regular-season finale on Saturday.

The win marked the Seminoles’ third straight and 12th in its last 13 games against Miami and moved FSU’s Leonard Hamilton into a tie for fourth in ACC history with Maryland’s Gary Williams with his 192nd career ACC regular season victory. Darin Green’s eight 3-point field goals made marked the sixth time in FSU history that a player had made at least eight triples in a single game.

Four Hurricanes scored in double-figures, paced by junior Bensley Joseph, who poured in 17 points for his sixth consecutive double-digit outing. Fourth-year junior Norchad Omier recorded his 16th double-double of the season, hauling in 17 rebounds to go along with his 16 points in the contest. Omier’s 17 rebounds ties his season high, which was set earlier this year against Stonehill.

“From the defensive standpoint, we did okay on the first shot, but their offensive rebounds just absolutely killed us,” head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “They ended up with 15 offensive rebounds, which led to 16 points. When you play good defense but keep giving them second shots, it becomes very difficult.”

Miami is seeded 14th heading into the tournament after finishing the regular season with a 6-14 conference record. Boston College is the No. 11 seed with an 8-12 league mark. The Eagles closed the regular-season with back-to-back wins. They were 67–61 winners at Louisville on Saturday.

Claudell Harris led all scorers with an efficient 18 points on only nine field goal attempts. Harris knocked down 4-of-5 from the perimeter to go along with eight boards and two assists. It was Harris’ eight game this season with at least four 3-pointers. He was one of three Eagles in double digits. Devin McGlockton had 11 points, eight rebounds, a blocked shot, and a steal, while Quinten Post added 10 points, six boards and two steals. Boston College surpassed its overall win total from a season ago and tallied its sixth true road win of the season – the most since the 2005-06 season.

BC was 2-0 vs. Miami this season. They played in South Florida last Wednesday and the Eagles prevailed 67-57 to snap a 10-game road skid in the series. The Hurricanes built their largest lead at 28-18 before Boston College used a 10-4 run in the last six minutes to close within 32-28 at intermission. Post buried a 3-pointer at the halftime horn and the Eagles continued to use the momentum, outscoring Miami 13-8 within the first 3 1/2 minutes of the second half. Post made a 3 to tie it at 38-all, and following a dunk by Miami’s Omier, Post made a 3 for a 41-40 lead and Boston College never trailed again.

Miami is 2-1 all-time vs. Boston College in the ACC Tournament. They last met in 2022 and UM won 71-69 in OT.

NCAAB Betting Pick: Boston College Eagles

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