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Getting Hot at the Right Time: March Madness Teams Riding ATS Winning Streaks Heading into NCAA Tournament

Getting Hot at the Right Time: March Madness Teams Riding ATS Winning Streaks Heading into NCAA Tournament article feature image
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Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Storm Murphy and Justyn Mutts of the Virginia Tech Hokies.

You hear the phrase all of the time in the lead-up to the NCAA Tournament, “Getting hot at the right time.”

So how true is that, really? Do teams that get hot in their conference tournament perform well in the NCAA Tournament?

They certainly do in the first round. Teams that have covered their last three games or more in the lead-up to the Round of 64 are 110-94-5 ATS in the first round since 2005.

Kemba Walker and the Connecticut Huskies most notably won 11 consecutive games en route to a national title as a No. 3 seed.

There are plenty of red-hot teams leading into the tournament. The team most similar to 2011 UConn is Virginia Tech. The Hokies stormed through the ACC Tournament and have covered their last three games.

But they are not the only team on an ATS run. There are 13 teams in total heading into the NCAA Tournament having covered at least their last three games.

Saint Peter’s is riding the biggest ATS hot-streak at seven games. The Peacocks have a difficult first-round matchup with Kentucky and are 17.5-point underdogs.

The only other school that has covered more than three consecutive games is Michigan State. The Spartans went on a tear in the Big Ten Tournament before losing to Purdue.

The full breakdown of teams to keep an eye on is below.

Team ATS Streak Opponent Spread
New Mexico State 3 UConn UConn -6.5
Tennessee 3 Longwood Tennessee -17
Creighton 3 San Diego State San Diego State -25
Richmond 3 Iowa Iowa -10.5
Akron 3 UCLA UCLA -13.5
Saint Peter’s 7 Kentucky Kentucky -17.5
Yale 3 Purdue Purdue -16
Virginia Tech 3 Texas Texas -1.5
Michigan State 4 Davidson Michigan State -1.5
Houston 3 UAB Houston -8.5
Montana State 3 Texas Tech Texas Tech -15.5
Loyola Chicago 3 Ohio State Pick ‘Em
Delaware 3 Villanova Villanova -15.5
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