NCAAB Best Bets for Thursday: Wooden Legacy Concludes With Two Late-Night Matchups

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Terrell Brown Jr. #23 and PJ Fuller #4 of the Washington Huskies celebrate after Brown hit a 3-pointer against the USC Trojans. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP.

The Wooden Legacy holiday college basketball tournament from Anaheim wraps up tonight with two games.

Here is where to lean for our NCAAB picks at the best sportsbooks.

Fresno State Bulldogs vs. Vanderbilt Commodores

Thursday, November 24, 2022 – 10:00 PM EST at Anaheim Convention Center

This is the “loser’s bracket” game of the Wooden Legacy from Anaheim with ESPNU having the telecast. Fresno State lost its 4th in a row on Wednesday, 62-57 to Washington. Fresno State was led by Isaih Moore, who had his second double-double of the season finishing with 15 points and a season-high 13 rebounds.

Jordan Campbell recorded a career-high 8 assists, surpassing his previous high of 5 set against Youngstown State last season. Anthony Holland had a season-best 9 rebounds. 7 of Fresno State's 21 turnovers were offensive fouls. Fresno State outrebounded Washington 44-33, including a 16-10 advantage on the offensive glass. Usually, teams who win the battle of the boards win the game.

What To Expect

FSU is definitely a good defensive club led by Coach Justin Hutson, as it has held 17 straight opponents in regular-season games to fewer than 70 points. It also has limited its opponents to fewer than 70 points in 35 of its last 41 games, including every game this season.

Fresno State really should be better than its 1-4 record considering it brought back 8 players from last year, including 4 seniors in Jemarl Baker, Jordan Campbell, Holland, and Isaiah Hill along with juniors Destin Whitaker, Donavan Yap and Leo Colimerio, and sophomore Steven Vasquez. The Bulldogs won 23 games last year.

Vanderbilt (2-3) won 19 games last season and reached the quarterfinals of the NIT, but lost one of the best players in school history in Scotty Pippen Jr., who averaged 20.4 ppg in 2021-22.

The Commodores lost 75-65 to Saint Mary’s in the tournament opener. Vandy trailed Saint Mary’s 35-27 at the half. A 9-0 run to open the half gave the Commodores a 36-35 lead with 17:23 to play in the second half, but then the Dores faded. Jordan Wright led Vanderbilt with 22 points. Tyrin Lawrence and Liam Robbins scored 13 points apiece. Wright leads the team in averaging 13.4 ppg.

The Pick

Fresno is 0-4 ATS in its past 4 games. Vandy is 7-2 ATS in its past 9 after a loss, but following the NCAAB odds, I’m going with the total. The Under is 4-0 in Fresno’s past four.

NCAAB Pick: Under 127 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Under 127 (-110)
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Washington Huskies vs. Saint Mary’s Gaels

Friday, November 25, 2022 - 12:30 AM EST at Anaheim Convention Center

Yep, technically the championship game of the Wooden Legacy is early Friday morning Eastern time with a late start.

Washington advanced with a 62-57 win over Fresno State. UW got its last field goal on Franck Kepnang's dunk with 2:35 left in the game to make it 59-52. Fresno State did not score from the four-minute mark until Leo Colimerio turned a three-point play with 37 seconds left to get the Bulldogs within four, 59-55.

However, P.J. Fuller II hit 2 free throws for the Huskies and Jamal Bey added the first of 2 from the line to push the lead to 62-55 with 15 seconds left and that was that. The Huskies had season highs of 10 steals and 6 blocks.

"We knew coming into this game that it was going to be a rock fight," Coach Mike Hopkins said after the game. "I've never been a part of a zone team that took that many [charges] and that was just them being locked in and disciplined."

Meeting Again After Three Years

Hopkins was a long-time assistant to Jim Boeheim at Syracuse and many think he will return there whenever Boeheim retires to take over. Hopkins added four transfers in the offseason in Keion Brooks Jr. (Kentucky), Franck Kepnang (Oregon), Braxton Meah (Fresno State), and Noah Williams (Washington State). Brooks leads the team at 15.7 ppg. The team's 4-1 start is the best since 2014-15.

Saint Mary’s knocked off Vanderbilt 75-65 to improve to 5-0. Aidan Mahaney scored 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting, and Logan Johnson added 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists. The Gaels shot 56.9% from the floor, their best shooting percentage in a game since Dec. 18, 2019, in a 96-56 road win over Arizona State (59.6%).

SMC nearly doubled up on points in the paint, with 46 compared to just 28 for Vanderbilt. The win was the 5th in SMC history in the Wooden Legacy. The Huskies and Gaels meet for the first time since the 2018 NIT and the 8th time in history, with the Dawgs holding a 6-1 edge.

The Pick

Saint Mary’s is the better team, but this spread is crazy.

Washington is 6-1 ATS in its past 7 neutral-site games. For residents of the Evergreen State looking to bet on this game, you can check out our top Washington betting sites.

NCAAB Pick: Washington +10.5 (-110) at BetOnline

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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.