Photo by Mike Schumann, The Daily Hoosier

IU basketball NCAA Tournament gameday essentials: No. 12 Indiana vs. No. 5 St. Mary’s

NCAA Tournament Round of 64 — Game Day Essentials

No. 12 Indiana (21-13) vs. No. 5 St. Mary’s (25-7)

  • Tip Time: Thursday, 7:20 p.m. Eastern
  • Location: Moda Center, Portland, Ore.
  • Television: TBS (Andrew Catalano, Steve Lappas, Andy Katz)
  • IU Radio Network: IU Radio Network
  • Stream:  Watch TBS | TBS app
  • Point Spread: St. Mary’s is a 2.5-point favorite
  • KenPom Projected Score: No. 16 St. Mary’s 63  No. 35 Indiana 60
  • Series: Indiana 1-0
  • Last Meeting:  Indiana 79-66 in 1957
  • TICKETS (StubHub affiliate link)

The winner will face the winner of UCLA and Akron on Saturday in the round of 32.  See the full official NCAA Tournament bracket HERE.

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St. Mary’s Notes

Saint Mary’s returns to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2019. The Gaels are a No. 5 seed, the highest they have ever been in program history (No. 7 seed twice, most recently in 2017). Saint Mary’s is 2-7 all-time in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament.

Once before, the Gaels have gotten past the first weekend of the tournament: 2010, when Saint Mary’s made their only Sweet 16 appearance. As a single-digit seed in the tournament, the Gaels are 1-3, with that lone win coming against No. 10 VCU in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament.

At 47.3 percent, guard Tommy Kuhse No. 11 in the country from behind the 3-point arc.

At 3.7 percent, guard Logan Johnson has a top-70 steal rate.

Center Matthias Tass is deadly from 2-point range (58 percent) and the free throw line (79.6 percent).  He is not a threat from 3-point range.

6-foot-8 forward Kyle Bowen makes just about everything he shoots with an impressive 68.6 / 38.8 / 70.6 set of shoot splits from two, three and the free throw line.  He ranks No. 51 nationally in effective field goal percentage.

6-foot-7 Alex Ducas give St. Mary’s another mismatch threat, shooting 38.8 percent from 3-point range.

You can watch the St. Mary’s players and head coach preview Indiana here:

St. Mary’s Coach Randy Bennett

A four-time West Coast Conference Coach of the Year (2022, 2016, 2011, 2008) and 2010 Sporting News WCC Coach of the Year, Randy Bennett, took over as the head men’s basketball coach prior to the 2001-02 season.

He is the school’s all-time wins leader, guided SMC to 15 post-season appearances (8 NCAA and 7 NIT), led the Gaels to their first post-season victory and had a player drafted (Patrick Mills, 2009) by the NBA for the first time since 1984.

St. Mary’s has averaged 27 wins over the last four Non-COVID affected seasons.  They have the highest winning percentage of any Division I program in the state of California over the last decade.

St. Mary’s KenPom Highlights

Tempo — Offense No. 327 / Defense No. 138

As the numbers suggest, St. Mary’s likes to run a slow-paced methodical offense, but will look to capitalize on good transition opportunities.  On defense, St. Mary’s is pure man-to-man and they are relatively aggressive pressuring the ball and passing lanes.

Offensive Highlights — No. 60

  • The Gaels are effective from both two and three point range, making 52.5 and 35.1 percent, respectively.  Collectively that places them No. 65 in effective field goal percentage nationally.
  • SMC doesn’t hit the offensive glass, preferring instead to get back on defense.  They snare just 27.2 percent of their misses, No. 203 nationally.
  • St. Mary’s is one of the worst teams in the country at getting to the foul line.  Free throw attempts comprise just 23.2 percent of field goal attempts, No. 341 in the country.  But when they get there they make 76.1 percent, which comes in at No. 27.
  • The Gaels don’t shoot a ton of 3-pointers with just 36.1 percent of their field goal attempts coming from behind the arc.

Defensive Highlights — No. 9

  • The St. Mary’s strategy is to run teams off the 3-point line.  Opposing 3-point attempts make up just 28.8 percent of overall field goal attempts.  That comes in at No. 4.  And they force individual playmaking.  They are No. 1 in the country allowing assists on just 35.9 percent of field goals.
  • Allowing an offensive rebounding rate of just 21.9 percent, SMC doesn’t give up second chances.  That rate comes in at No. 4 nationally.
  • Teams don’t get to the free throw line against St. Mary’s.  Opposing free throw attempts are just 24.4 percent of field goal attempts, good for No. 41 in the country.
  • The Gaels don’t block shots, with a block rate of just 6.6 percent that comes in at No. 288 nationally.

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