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Updated Kentucky vs. Saint Peter’s Odds, Spread, Pick & Predictions for 2022 NCAA Tournament

by March 14, 2022
Oscar Tshiebwe

Kentucky Wildcats vs. Saint Peter’s Peacocks 2022 NCAA Tournament Game Preview

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Kentucky Wildcats vs. Saint Peter’s Peacocks Match Up Overview

Kentucky Saint Peter’s
Conference SEC MAAC
W-L 26-7 19-11
AdjEM 3rd 118th
AdjO 4th 259th
AdjD 27th 34th
Tempo 157th 242nd
eFG% 44th 274th
TO% 59th 319th
OR% 4th 68th
FTR 270th 29th
DeFG% 37th 6th
DTO% 233rd 44th
DR% 57th 177th
DFTR 53rd 347th
Luck 251st 213th

 
Stats via KenPom.

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Kentucky Wildcats Preview

Let me lead with this: If Kentucky is 100% healthy, the Wildcats are my favorite to win the NCAA Tournament. No team has improved more over the season than this one, with Oscar Tshiebwe and his impeccable rebounding leading the charge. Not only does this squad have the fourth most efficient offense in the nation, but their top-ranked offensive rebounding percentage gives Kentucky plenty of second-chance opportunities, which they convert at a high rate.

While starters Savir Wheeler and TyTy Washington have been playing through injuries, I want to make sure they are 100% healthy before filling out my bracket. Keep track of their status, because their health might be the only thing holding back this Kentucky team.

Kentucky can match up with any squad in the nation. Their efficient offense and top-25 defense create a clear blueprint for a championship. John Calipari is an incredible coach who has led more than his fair share of tournament runs. Everything is lining up to go Kentucky’s way.

Saint Peter’s Peacocks Preview

Finishing the season on a seven-game winning streak, Saint Peters is riding hot entering the Big Dance. They may have been wildly inconsistent throughout the season, but they rank seventh in the momentum metric.

The Peacocks (who have the best mascot in the field) boast a top-35 defense, playing physically while forcing opponents off any good looks. Saint Peters will allow teams to get to the charity stripe at a high clip, and they depend a lot on bench minutes to get by.

K.C. Ndefo was one of the best players in the MAAC and is an elite defender. His 6-7 frame gives him the ability to host block parties and pick some pockets as well. While Saint Peter’s is effective at getting to the charity stripe on offense and rebound at a high clip, this team has one of the worst offenses in the tournament.

Against any defensive-minded team, these Peacocks will struggle. Their own defense and a realtively slow pace can keep them in games, but late in matchups, they don’t exactly have a go-to guy to pull off a win.

Rapid Prediction for Kentucky Wildcats vs. Saint Peter’s Peacocks

It is many people’s opinion that the Kentucky Wildcats were rewarded with the best draw of all No. 2 seeds despite losing in the semifinals of their conference tournament. Before they start dreaming of a Final Four run, however, they are in for a rock fight against MAAC champion Saint Peter’s. The Peacocks enter the tournament on a seven-game winning streak. They were the MAAC’s best defensive team by a wide margin, allowing just 61.8 ppg. However, they have an undersized frontcourt with no player taller than 6-8 and will have to contend with the nation’s leading rebounder, Oscar Tshiebwe. The Peacocks will look to do everything they can to get Kentucky out of its rhythm, relying on a stout defense that ranks in the top 15 nationally in effective field goal percentage, three-point percentage allowed (29.4%) and two-point percentage allowed (44%).

Kentucky Wildcats vs. Saint Peter’s Peacocks Round 1 Game Pick

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College Basketball, East Region, Game Preview, March Madness