Northwestern vs. UConn Prediction, Odds and Key Players for NCAA Tournament Second Round

Mar 16, 2024; New York City, NY, USA;  Connecticut Huskies center Donovan Clingan (32) celebrates as
Mar 16, 2024; New York City, NY, USA; Connecticut Huskies center Donovan Clingan (32) celebrates as / Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

UConn's start to its title defense got going in style, as the Huskies beat up on out-matched Stetson, 91-52.

The No. 1 seed in the East Region continues to the second round to face No. 9 seed Northwestern, who pulled away from Florida Atlantic in overtime on Friday. Can the Wildcats, who have been battling injuries all season, keep up with the defending champs?

Given the large point spread, I'm targeting a different way to bet this game, find out how below.

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Northwestern vs. UConn Odds, Spread and Total

UConn vs. Northwestern Betting Trends

  • UConn is 8-2 against the spread (ATS) in the last 10 games
  • Northwestern is 18-13-1 ATS this season
  • Northwestern is 8-5 ATS as an underdog
  • Northwestern has gone OVER in 19 of 32 games this season 

Northwestern vs. UConn How to Watch

  • Date: Sunday, March 24th
  • Game Time: 7:45 PM EST
  • Venue: Barclays Center
  • How to Watch (TV): truTV
  • Northwestern Record: 21-11
  • UConn Record: 31-3

Northwestern vs. UConn Key Players to Watch


Boo Buie: If Northwestern wants a puncher’s chance against the Huskies, Buie needs to have a monster outing. Buie received a ton of attention from Florida Atlantic, and still closed strong to score 22 points with four assists and five steals. Can Buie, a 44% three-point shooter get going early to keep the Wildcats in striking distance?


Donovan Clingan: Northwestern’s defense has been aggressively generating turnovers, forcing FAU to turn it over 21 times, but the team couldn’t stop FAU around the rim. Enter one of the biggest and best centers in the country in Clingan. The big man is shooting 65% on twos and is a fantastic rim protector on the other end. He should get whatever he wants early and often. 

Northwestern vs. UConn Prediction and Pick

This is an admittedly big number for an NCAA Tournament game, but I’m not stepping in front of this UConn train at the moment, who has been disposing of opponents for the last three months. 

Northwestern is playing essentially a six man rotation and only have three usable offensive weapons. The Wildcats had only three players score more than eight points in the overtime win and only six played more than 20 minutes. This team is running on fumes, and I believe it is incredibly vulnerable on the defensive side of the ball as I expect the team tries to ramp up the ball pressure to generate some extra possessions. 

However, that will backfire as the Huskies adjust, the team is a deadly three-point shooting group and the Wildcats have been vulnerable from deep all season, bottom 100 in three-point percentage allowed. Further, the team is outside the top 300 in opponent free throw rate as well, so the aggressive nature of the team’s defense can backfire as the game goes on, giving the defending champs even more avenues to points. 

I’ll stay off the spread, but instead target the UConn team total over as my favorite way to play this matchup. 

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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.