Drake faces off against Miami in a classic 12 vs 5 seed matchup. Drake is coming off a blowout win against Bradley in the Missouri Valley Championship game, while Miami is coming off a close loss to Duke in the ACC Tournament. My prediction is that Drake covers the 2-point spread and wins outright against Miami. Drake has a lot of experience to like in a tournament setting, while Miami’s best big man is probably missing this game. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for this game!
Drake vs. Miami Prediction
Drake is one of the best mid-major teams in the entire tournament this year and they have everything you like in a team like that from experience to a good combination of offense and defense.
Drake has a lot of experience, but their best player is a sophomore. Tucker DeVries is the standout for the Bulldogs, he’s also the coach’s son. He leads the team in scoring and averages 19 points per game and he leads the team in steals and averages 1 per game. Roman Penn is a steady force at point guard for the Bulldogs too. He’s second in scoring at 13 PPG and leads the team in assists at 5.4 per game. Garrett Sturtz and Darnell Brodie are up next in production and have both been big pieces for Drake this year. Sturtz averages 9.5 PPG and Darnell Brodie averages 9 PPG. Brodie also leads the team in rebounding at 7 per game and in blocks at 1 per game.
Drake is one of the best defensive teams in the country this season. They give up 63.9 PPG, which is good for 32nd in college basketball. They are also efficient on offense and average 75 PPG.
On the other side, Miami has had one of their best seasons ever this year.
The key is that the Hurricanes have one of the best backcourts in the country. Isaiah Wong is the standout and he leads the team in scoring at 16 PPG, assists at 3 per game, and steals at 1 per game. Jordan Miller is right behind him in production and he averages 15 PPG. They make up a great backcourt that can compete with anyone. Norchad Omier is their best big man and he’s potentially going to miss this game. He averages 14 PPG and then leads the team in rebounds at 10 per game and in blocks at 1 per game. It would be huge if he’s out for them. Nigel Pack is up next in the backcourt and he averages 13 PPG.
Miami is very good on offense and is 25th in college basketball in scoring at 79.4 PPG. They need to get better on defense and allow 72 PPG.
Drake is going to win this game. Miami has a lot of talent, but with the uncertainty surrounding Omier, it’s going to be difficult to trust them to get rebounds. Drake can get this game ugly and if they do, they should win because of that.
Drake vs. Miami Prediction: Drake +2
Drake vs. Miami Odds
Miami is a 2-point favorite against Drake and is at -130 on the money line. The over/under is also at 146.5. Miami being favored here makes sense because they’re more talented overall as a team. The over/under also makes sense because each team is very good on offense. This spread could move a bit before tip-off because it’s so low.
Drake vs. Miami Key Matchups
Can Jordan Miller matchup with Tucker DeVries? Can Roman Penn matchup with Isaiah Wong?
Tucker DeVries vs Jordan Miller
Tucker DeVries has been awesome for Drake this season. He averages 19 points, 2 assists, and 6 rebounds per game for the season. He’ll be matched up against Jordan Miller most of the game, who averages 15 points, 3 assists, and 6 rebounds per game for the season. Jordan Miller has been a matchup nightmare for teams as a guard and on the wing. DeVries’ matchup here still favors him and is a big reason why I like my prediction of Drake to cover the spread against Miami and win outright.
Isaiah Wong vs Roman Penn
Isaiah Wong might’ve been the best guard in the ACC this year. He averages 16 points, 3 assists, and 4 rebounds per game for the season. He’ll be matched up against Roman Penn most of the game, who averages 13 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds per game for the season. Roman Penn is a very solid point guard, but Wong wins this matchup. Wong is almost good enough to help Miami win on his own, but still I like Penn enough and he’ll be able to hold his own in this matchup.