Oregon vs. UC-Irvine Betting Guide: Live Duck Hunting in the Late NCAA Tournament Game

Oregon vs. UC-Irvine Betting Guide: Live Duck Hunting in the Late NCAA Tournament Game article feature image
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USA Today Sports. Pictured: Louis King and Max Hazzard

#12 Oregon vs. #13 UC-Irvine, NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

  • Spread: Oregon -5
  • Over/Under: 124
  • Location: San Jose, CA
  • Date: Sunday, March 24
  • Time: 9:40 p.m. ET
  • TV: TBS

>> All odds as of Sunday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.


Oregon was one overtime loss away from having its season end when it pulled one out vs. Arizona State in the Pac-12 tournament. Now, the Ducks are favored to make the second weekend of the NCAA tournament.

And after UC-Irvine came up short in the Big West final last year, the Anteaters got the job done this year and knocked off No. 4 seed Kansas State in the first round to set up this 12-13 matchup to close out the first weekend.

Let’s take a closer look at this matchup to see which double digit seed will move on to the Sweet 16.

Morphing Ducks

Dana Altman-coached teams are always tough in a tournament setting because of how often he switches up his defenses. Oregon is one of the eight tourney teams that runs zone on more than 30% of its possessions.

The Ducks are also one of only three tourney teams that have pressed over 25% of of the time, per Synergy. (Florida State and VCU are the other two.) What makes Altman’s defense even more difficult to face is his strategy to press and then drop into a zone before morphing into man — all on the same possession.

Regardless of the scheme, Oregon’s defense has succeeded this season. Just look at these Points Per Possession national ranks heading into the tourney:

  • Man: 91st percentile
  • Zone: 92nd percentile
  • Press: 85th percentile

While Irvine does see some zones on the West coast and has had success against the press, this is a different animal with one day in between games to prepare for all of the looks Altman will throw at it even within the same possession.

The quick turnaround favors the Ducks but this is a veteran Irvine team that has won 31 games this season. Experience is where the ‘Eaters will have the edge. I don’t see much value in the side but do think the brilliance of Altman will show as the game goes on, so I’ll be Duck hunting for a nice live line.

Oregon has been blitzing teams in the second half recently. It was tied with Wisconsin at the half before outscoring the Badgers by 18 in the second half. It also outscored Washington by 18 in the second half of the Pac-12 title game. Oh, and Utah by 18 in the second half earlier in that tournament.

In regards to the total, the under is certainly worth a look in another matchup of slow-tempo teams in the South region. These are two spectacular defenses that should make life difficult for each respective offense.

Stuckey’s Pick: Oregon Live Underdog

Our Projected Odds: Oregon vs. UC Irvine

Get point spreads for this game and every possible tournament matchup with our bracket simulator built by Sean Koerner, our Director of Predictive Analytics, a former oddsmaker and FantasyPros’ most accurate in-season fantasy football ranker from 2015-2017.

  • Spread: Oregon -5.5
  • Total: 124.5
  • Proj Score: Oregon 65 | UC Irvine 59.5
  • Win Probability: Oregon 70% | UC Irvine 30%

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game is from the individual writer and are based on his research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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