2022 Phil Knight Legacy | Bracket, Odds & Predictions for First-Round Games and More
Photo by Lance King/Getty Images. Pictured: Dereck Lively II (Duke)
Down the street from the Phil Knight Invitational Tournament is the Phil Knight Legacy Tournament, which also recognizes Knight’s contributions to the basketball community.
However, the Legacy field is arguably better than the Invitational field.
The MTE is highlighted by Duke and Gonzaga, but don’t overlook hyped first-year head coaches Todd Golden (Florida) or Sean Miller (Xavier). Plus, Matt Painter (Purdue) and Bob Huggins (West Virginia) are participating in the event.
I’m here to break it all down.
Read on for my favorite potential betting angles for the Phil Knight Legacy Tournament.
2022 Phil Knight Legacy Bracket
Phil Knight Legacy ⋅ Thursday Matchups
Duke -20.5 vs. Oregon State (140)
Duke is the epitome of young and inexperienced. The Blue Devils are led by several highly-touted freshmen and a first-year head coach.
So, that’s where the Blue Devils are exploitable.
Jalen Wilson managed to lead Kansas over Duke in the final minutes, partially because of experience and partially because of his 25 points.
Sadly, Duke plays an Oregon State team with five true freshmen and two transfers. Those seven Beavers are attempting to rectify the most dysfunctional season in Oregon State basketball history.
This is just an ugly game. Bet Duke or bet nothing, but keep in mind, Oregon State is due for some slight positive shooting regression (25.5% from 3).
Lean: Duke -20.5
Florida vs. Xavier -1.5 (150.5)
We have two similar teams in this matchup. Both teams feature first-year head coaches, potential All-American big men and talented imported guards.
Golden ran a 3-point-heavy offense at San Francisco, but his Gators haven’t shot many in four games. Maybe Golden is trying to orbit his offense around Colin Castleton or he’s scared of Kyle Lofton’s career 30% 3-point rate.
Either way, it led to a loss to Florida Atlantic, and this roster is too loaded to lose to Florida Atlantic.
Xavier played super tough at home against Indiana, a quality loss. However, I’m relatively low on Indiana, so I’m not sure how to factor that game into my projections.
These two teams will play fast, as both rank inside the top 75 in Tempo, which points me towards the over. Xavier is also 4-0 to the over this season.
However, both teams have shot the lights out early in the season. Regression could be coming, and I seldom play overs on neutral courts.
Lean: Over 150.5
Purdue -2 vs. West Virginia (137)
This looks like a pretty good spot for West Virginia.
Bob Huggins will deny the post, and that’s where Purdue creates most of its offense with Zach Edey.
Painter is going to struggle against this:
Image Credit: CBB Analytics
Plus, the guard tandem of Joe Toussaint and Erik Stevenson looks great. These are two experienced college basketball guards, and both have recorded an ORtg over 115 this season.
Toussaint and Stevenson will face a Purdue backcourt facing complete turnover, as freshmen Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer attempt to run the offense.
The Purdue defense is due for negative regression after allowing just 23.1% shooting from 3 through three games. The Boilers’ defensive stats are slightly inflated.
West Virginia is a buy from me at +1 or better.
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Portland State vs. Gonzaga -27.5 (160.5)
I have very little to say about this game.
Portland State runs a pretty effective pressure scheme on defense and the Gonzaga backcourt has struggled with turnovers this season.
Head coach Jase Coburn always runs an up-tempo, guard-heavy rotation, and that’s not such a bad matchup for the Mark Few backcourt.
Sadly, Portland State will get dominated on the interior. Portland State is also last in FTA/FGA allowed, which could jeopardize a late-game, 28-point cover.
I’ll pass altogether.
Potential Friday Picks
Duke is going to beat Oregon State.
I would take either Florida or Xavier ATS over the Blue Devils in a second-round matchup.
Both are more experienced teams, with enough length to compete in the frontcourt and the guards to keep up in the backcourt. Additionally, both the Gators and Musketeers are up-tempo teams and happy to run with the Blue Devils all night.
Potential Futures Picks
Sadly, no futures odds have been released for the Phil Knight Legacy Tournament.
Xavier would probably be my favorite bet of the bunch given its offensive potential, but I can’t make an accurate assessment of the field without the numbers.