2022 NCAA Tournament First Round: No. 4 Illinois Fighting Illini vs. No. 13 Chattanooga Mocs
How to Watch:
- Date: Friday, March 18
- Time: 6:50 p.m. ET
- Location: PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA
- TV: TNT
- Live Stream: NCAA.com
Tale of the Tape:
|No. 4 ILL||STAT||No. 13 UTC|
|75.8 (63rd)||Points Per Game||74.8 (204th)|
|67.6||Points Allowed Per Game||64.7|
|0.5968 (29th)||RPI||0.592 (37th)|
|16th||Strength of Schedule||142nd|
|At-Large Bid||Bid||Automatic Bid|
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- Kofi Cockburn, C, JR: 21.1 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 59.8% FG
- Trent Frazier, G, SR: 12.1 points, 2.8 RPG, 4.1 APG, 1.3 SPG
- Malachi Smith, G, SO: 20.1 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 3.1 APG, 1.7 SPG, 41.5% 3PT
- Silvio De Sousa, F, SR: 11.1 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.1 BPG, 57.4% FG
Odds, Lines, and Past Performance:
- ILL Moneyline: -350
- UTC Moneyline: +270
- Spread: ILL -8
- Over/Under: 135.5
- ATS Record: ILL 13-18, UTC 17-15
- Over/Under Record: ILL 17-13, UTC 17-15
Odds courtesy of Draftkings. For the latest odds, click here.
- The Mocs were another one of the teams we covered in our upset best bets of the first round; although, we wound up slightly avoiding them based on the deep dive. They play slow and attempt 23.1 threes per game, which comes out to just under 40% of their total possessions. They are also led by experienced guard play, in particular from Wright State transfer Malachi Smith, which is always a component of teams that make good runs in the NCAA tournament.
- However, a big factor that separates the Mocs from other mid-major teams is the presence of Silvio de Sousa, a 6’9″ transfer from Kansas. He had 17 points and 14 rebounds in the conference title game, showing that big games are not something he’s going to shy away from.
- However, he will have a stiff test in Kofi Cockburn. The big man averages 21.1 points and 10.6 rebounds a game and is a handful for anybody. The Illini as a whole are also top-30 in college basketball in both defensive and offensive efficiency, which would seem to make this a tough upset choice.
- The Illini can shoot themselves in the foot, averaging 12.2 turnovers a game, so if Chattanooga can slow the game down and force the favorites into making mistakes, this could be an uncomfortable game until the final buzzer. If that’s the case, it certainly favors the underdogs who are 61st in free-throw percentage (75.2%) rather than the Illini, who are 205th (70.8%).