Saint Peter’s vs Fairfield Pick & Prediction for MAC Final

Saint Peter’s vs Fairfield Pick & Prediction for MAC Final article feature image

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Saint Peter's Peacocks vs Fairfield Stags Pick & Prediction

Saturday, March 16
7:30 p.m. ET
St. Peter's Odds
-110o / -110u
Fairfield Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAB odds here.

It’s Beauty and the Beast tonight in the MAAC title game.

Saint Peter’s, which has a reputation for playing a gritty, grimy style of basketball and boasts the league’s top defense, will square off against Fairfield, an uptempo squad featuring the MAAC’s best offensive attack.

The winner likely earns a 15- or 16-seed to the Dance.

Fairfield won the only matchup this season by nine and controlled the game the entire way. SPU could not stop the Stags in transition, allowing 1.471 PPP in the open floor.

Fairfield has thrived in transition all season, ranking in the 97th percentile nationally in transition attempt rate and the 85th percentile in points per possession.

Normally, the Peacocks have been able to shut this action down – they rank in the 97th percentile in transition attempt rate allowed and the 96th percentile in points per possession allowed.

Fairfield cracked the code in Game 1, can they use the same combination with success in this one?

Fairfield plays through its excellent guards, namely Caleb Fields, Jalen Leach, Brycen Goodine, and Jasper Floyd when not in transition.

The Stags are deep in the backcourt and have multiple playmakers and shooters. SPU is nailing defending the pick-and-roll, which Fairfield often uses in the halfcourt. The Peacocks could at least limit half-court scoring to a reasonable degree in Game 1.

SPU’s offense isn’t anything to write home about. The Peacocks must dominate the offensive glass to score points and physically outwork their opponents. They have done just that in each MAAC Tourney game thus far, even vanquishing Quinnipiac, a team they had lost to by 15 and 11 earlier this season.

Since their first game against the Peacocks, the Stags have added a new player: former Seton Hall forward Alexis Yetna, a virtual cheat code in the MAAC.

Yetna has been eased into the lineup, but he started both MAAC Tournament games and averaged over 30 minutes. He is a load on the block, can stretch the defense, is a ferocious rebounder, and can defend. SPU is the best 2-point defense in the conference, but Yetna could give them issues.

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Offense versus defense, finesse versus bully ball. Either can win out on a given night.

My preference is to default to the higher-powered offense. Fairfield has terrific guard play, which has repeatedly proven to be a key driver to winning in March.

I expect the Stags will cover the spread in a tightly contested game.

Pick: Fairfield -2.5 (to -3)

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Nick Sterling
May 21, 2024 UTC