The American Athletic Conference Tournament matchup between the UCF Knights (16-14, 7-11 AAC) and the South Florida Bulls (14-17, 7-11 AAC) will take place at Dickies Arena. The Over/Under (O/U) for the game has been set at 126.5 points with neither team favored. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 12, 2020, and it can be seen on ESPNU.
South Florida Bulls vs. UCF Knights ATS Preview
In the Bulls’ last game, they edged the SMU Mustangs, 61-60, despite being 1-point underdogs. With 12 points, six assists and five rebounds, South Florida’s Laquincy Rideau put together a solid outing. South Florida’s turnover percentage was their biggest advantage over SMU. The Bulls had a rate of 7.9 (better than their season average of 19.4), while the Mustangs posted a mark of 22.7 (above their season average of 16.9). The two teams combined to score 121 points, which was under the O/U total of 128.5.
The Knights come in on a high note after comfortably covering the 8.5-point spread against the East Carolina Pirates in their last game, 94-62. With 23 points on 9-for-13 shooting, Darin Green Jr. was the game’s high scorer. UCF dominated every stat category in the game. They had a turnover percentage of 11.6 (better than their season average of 17.7) and a free throw rate of 0.213 (matching their season average). For those same stats, East Carolina was 20.7 and 0.143, respectively. Combined, the two teams scored 156 points, which was well over the projected point total of 137.5.
This could end up being a mistake-prone game for the offense of UCF. UCF ranks 259th in the nation in ball protection (turnover percentage of 20.1 percent), while the gambling defense of South Florida forces the 19th-most turnovers in the country (23.5 percent). Also, the Bulls, who rank 50th in offensive rebounding percentage (32.4 percent), will attempt to exploit the Knights, who rank 294th in defensive rebounding percentage (69.5 percent).
Games involving these teams have a tendency to finish under the O/U total. South Florida games have gone under 67.7 percent of the time, while UCF games have finished under 58.6 percent of the time. The Knights hold the sizable advantage straight up (SU) (16-14 vs. 14-17), but the Bulls have been better against the spread (ATS) (18-13 vs. 14-14-1).
South Florida Bulls vs. UCF Knights ATS Prediction
Free College Basketball Pick: SU Winner – UCF, ATS Winner – UCF, O/U – Over
The Knights rank 37th in blocks allowed per game (2.6) while the Bulls rank 109th (3.2).
UCF ranks 113th in assists per game (13.5) while South Florida ranks 274th (10.1).
The Bulls rank 24th in rebounds allowed per game (31.3) while the Knights rank 181st (35.6).
South Florida averages 7.5 steals per game, which ranks 54th in the NCAA. UCF ranks 169th in steals allowed per game (6.8).
UCF is 2-3 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders in its last five games.
Across its past five games, South Florida is 3-2 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders.
The Knights’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 1.4, up from 1.0 for the season.
During their last five games, the Bulls have scored an average of 67.2 points per game (4.5 above their season average) and allowed an average of 68.6 points per game (5.9 above their season average).