Southern Utah Thunderbirds vs. UTEP Miners – TBC Tournament March 22, 2022

The NCAA Tournament pauses on Tuesday, but there are NIT, CBI, and TBC games. While people complain about the number of pointless college football bowl games, there are several meaningless college basketball tournaments.

The CBI and TBC are primarily for smaller programs, so there has to be a competitive spirit for some of these teams. They knew that going to the NCAA Tournament was going to be impossible.

The Basketball Classic replaced the CIT, with the championship game scheduled for March 31. UTEP showed no signs of having no motivation for the TBC in their first-round matchup against the Western Illinois Leathernecks.

UTEP made it look easy with an 80-54 win. Keonte Kennedy and Souley Bourn were too tough to contain, as they combined for 42 points and 27 rebounds. That matchup was a total mismatch. We’ll see if Southern Utah offers more resistance this evening at UTEP.

Southern Utah edged out the Kent State Golden Flashes in a determined win in their tournament opener at home. Dre Marin led the Thunderbirds with 27 points and 5 assists.

It was a nice response for Southern Utah after getting upset in the Big Sky Tournament as a No. 2 seed vs No. 7 Portland State, 77-65. The conference tourney did not go according to plan for the 21-11 Thunderbirds.

They can make up for it with success in the TBC, though. They will have to go on the road for this matchup at UTEP against the Miners. Head below for our free Southern Utah vs. UTEP prediction on March 22, 2022.

Southern Utah Thunderbirds vs. UTEP Miners Betting Odds and Team Statistics:

The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Southern Utah Thunderbirds +4 (-110) +160 Over 143 (-115)
UTEP Miners -4 (-110) -180 Under 143 (-110)
Team Data Southern Utah Thunderbirds UTEP Miners
Overall Record 21-11 20-13
ATS Record 12-18-0 16-15-0
Away/Home Record 7-7 12-5
ATS Away/Home 5-9-0 7-8-0
Points Per Game 78.8 69.0
Points Against Per Game 72.7 66.3
Field Goal % 46.1 43.0
Three Point % 34.8 35.5

Southern Utah vs. UTEP Prediction:

Southern Utah will have a tougher defensive assignment in this one on the road. UTEP holds a considerable advantage with its defense over a paper-thin Thunderbirds unit.

If the shots aren’t falling for Southern Utah, they get themselves in a lot of trouble. It’s hard to depend on the outside shot every game. That’s what Southern Utah has been doing this season.

When the defense is required to make a stop, it’s tough for the Thunderbirds. They are 26th with 78.8 points per game and a 46.1% field goal percentage in the NCAA this season.

If there’s any negative, Southern Utah doesn’t show up at the free-throw line, as they have a 71.3% success rate versus 76.3% for UTEP.

Southern Utah is 187th with UTEP 31st in that regard. The offense hasn’t been nearly as dangerous on the road, with an average of 74 points per game and a 43.3% field goal percentage.

They scored 72 points per game and a 44.1% field goal percentage through their previous five games. The offense did get back on track versus Kent State, though the UTEP defense should be tough.


Southern Utah Thunderbirds vs. UTEP Miners Betting Trends:

Southern Utah
  • 1-7 ATS in their previous eight games as an underdog on the road
  • 1-4 ATS in their previous five games versus a team with a winning home record
  • 4-12 ATS in their previous 16 games after a win
  • 3-6 ATS in their previous nine games as an underdog
  • 5-2 overall in their previous seven games
UTEP
  • 10-4 ATS in their previous 14 games
  • 8-4 ATS in their previous 12 games in March
  • 4-1 ATS in their previous five games at home
  • 5-1 ATS in their previous six games after a win by more than 20 points
  • 5-0 ATS in their previous five games versus a team with a winning record on the road

Expect UTEP to force Southern Utah to attempt to win this game from the perimeter. The Miners should be able to force the Thunderbirds into bad decision-making.

UTEP is allowing 66.6 points per game this season, and better at home with 63.8 points against per game and a 44% field goal percentage. Conversely, Southern Utah has allowed 74.4 points per game on the road this season.

Don’t expect a blowout, but the Miners should prevail by more than 5 points. A win in favor of UTEP by a score of 77-70 or 73-66 looks reasonable in the TBC Tournament.

MORE FREE SPORTS BETTING PICKS!

Southern Utah vs. UTEP Pick
UTEP MINERS -4
Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of TheSportsGeek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at TheSportsGeek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, NHL, and horse racing. Prior to writing for TheSportsGeek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily only at TheSportsGeek.

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