One of the most anticipated matchups in the 2023 men’s NCAA tournament opening round was the No. 8 Memphis Tigers vs. No. 9 Florida Atlantic Owls contest.
FAU entered the game with a 31-3 record and the best mid-major record in the country, while Memphis had just finished an incredible run to a American Athletic Championship game championship and had a few of very good players.
The game was an intense back-and-forth battle that was marked by numerous thrilling moments. With two seconds remaining, Florida Atlantic’s Nicholas Boyd scored to give his team a 66-65 victory over Memphis. Yet it was a turn of events just before the game-winning goal that proved decisive.
The Owls Will Try For Their Eighth Straight Victory
The Owls set a school record by winning and over 30 games in a single season. They finished the year on a seven-game unbeaten run and will be looking to extend that streak to eight with a victory over the Tigers.
The Owls of Florida Atlantic are scoring 78.2 points per contest. They shot 47.5% from the field and 35% from deep in their most recent game, good for 78 points.
The Owls were led by Alijah Martin, who scored 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and 3 steals. With 18 points, 7 boards, and 4 steals, Johnell Davis led the team, and Giancarlo Rosado chipped in 7 points and 7 boards.
Overall, Florida Atlantic’s defence has been solid, allowing just 65.3 points per contest. If they wish to beat this team, they’ll need to put up a performance comparable to their last one, in which they allowed 56 points.
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The Tigers Will Want To Win Their Fourth Game In A Row
Last week, the Tigers won the AAC Championship by going on a perfect 3-0 streak. With a victory versus the Owls, they would extend their winning streak to four and improve to 7-1 over their previous eight games.
The Memphis Grizzlies are scoring 79.8 points per contest. They shot 50% from the field and 50% from beyond the arc in their most recent game, scoring 75 points.
T he Tigers were led by Kendric Davis, who scored 31 points and added 5 boards and 3 helpers. Alex Lomax scored 10 points, had three boards, four assist, and three steals, and DeAndre Williams scored 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.
Memphis’s defence has been bad, allowing 71.9 points per match. If they wish to win, they’ll need to maintain a defensive effort similar to the one that allowed only 65 points against the previous week.
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Full-Game Prop Bet
With their AAC Championship game victory over then-ranked Houston, the Tigers had won six of their previous seven contests. Their offence is clicking as of late, as they have averaged over 83 points per contest across their last three contests while shooting over 48% from the field.
They’ve made the most of their chances from the free throw line, sinking more than 80 % of the total of their attempts there.
They have good vision and are active on the offensive end, which should lead to more scoring opportunities. Also, they are excellent at maintaining possession, meaning they won’t allow the Owls many open shots on goal.
While the Owls’ defence has been solid as of late, they’ve had trouble on the road, allowing 70 or more points is four of their most recent five games. This bodes poorly for their ability to stave off the Tigers’ offence on Saturday.
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The Owls are on a seven-game winning streak. They have a potent offence, but they haven’t been as effective in their last 3 matches, averaging just over 73 points per contest. While their ball control is poor, they have been able to get a lot of offensive rebounds, which has kept them competitive.
The Tigers, who averaged more than eight thefts per game, will have an easier time scoring because of their carelessness with the basketball in the previous three games.
The Tigers’ defence has been superb as of late, allowing just 65 points per game over their previous three games. They should have no issue containing Florida Atlantic’s potent attack. Choose Memphis as the underdog against the spread.
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Davis attempted to take the ball to a basket on a drive, but the Florida Atlantic defence was able to snag the ball. Memphis picked up the unattended ball that was lying around, but Florida Atlantic had already matched the score and taken possession. When FAU finally regained the ball, Boyd scored a driving basket to seal the victory.