UAB vs. North Texas 2023 NIT Championship Game Betting Preview

NIT Sign Kohl Center Madison Wisconsin
A picture of the NIT sign at Kohl Center on March 19, 2023, in Madison, Wisconsin. John Fisher/Getty Images/AFP.

NCAAB Pick: North Texas ML (+108) at Caesars Sportsbook

The North Texas Mean Green will face off against the UAB Blazers in the NIT Championship game. Both teams have played terrific basketball throughout the tournament, but defense usually wins championships.

Here are the best NCAAB picks for the NIT Final.

UAB Blazers vs. North Texas Mean Green

Thursday, March 30, 2023 – 09:40 PM EDT at Orleans Arena

The UAB Blazers will take on the North Texas Mean Green in the NIT Final.

UAB is coming off a stressful win against Utah Valley in overtime. On the other hand, North Texas just defeated Wisconsin after holding the Badgers to no points in the final nine minutes of the game.

North Texas is one of the best defenses in the nation, but UAB isn’t that far behind. Its offense is also outstanding too.

Here are our picks and predictions for Thursday’s NIT matchup between the North Texas Mean Green vs. UAB Blazers.

Will UAB Score at Average Pace?

The UAB Blazers have been very good on the offensive end. This team has shot 35.7% from three, 49% from inside, and nearly 74% from the foul line. Inside the arc, the Blazers aren’t all that great, but the offense dominates on the glass, earning nearly 36% of offensive rebounds.

The team should also find its way to the foul line at a high rate, knowing that North Texas is aggressive on the defensive end and will foul. But other than that, North Texas has held opponents to 30.1% from three and 44.4% from inside the arc. Sure, the Mean Green will get beat on the glass sometimes, but teams need more shots against North Texas overall.

North Texas forces teams to use the shot clock. Opponents have used 18.5 seconds per possession against North Texas. However, UAB only uses 16.2 seconds per possession. If UAB can score in transition against North Texas, that would give the Blazers their best chance at winning this game.

North Texas Is Similar to UAB

The North Texas Mean Green average about the same rates as UAB on the offensive end. The Mean Green has shot nearly 36% from three and 49.3% from inside the arc. They’ve done better at the foul line, shooting 76.4% from the charity stripe, but they won’t get to it at a high rate.

North Texas has earned 33.1% of offensive rebounds. The Mean Green will have success in that area too. It’s just that North Texas turns the ball over nearly 20% of the time.

North Texas also uses 21.3 seconds per possession on offense. They’re the slowest team in the nation, so while they shoot at the same rate as UAB, UAB averages plenty more points because of the Blazers’ quicker pace.

Prediction and Pick

This is going to be a close game. It’s a championship game, so it should be. This is a clash between two teams that have completely different styles. UAB looks to move the pace quickly, while North Texas likes to move very slowly.

It worked against Wisconsin on Tuesday night. Once Wisconsin was out of rhythm on the offensive end, the North Texas defense was smothering. The Badgers couldn’t find easy buckets and turned the ball over a third of possessions over the game’s final nine minutes.

North Texas will take more threes in this game. The Mean Green scored 35.7% of their points from deep, while UAB has only earned 26.6% of points from three. But that’s not a great thing for the Blazers.

North Texas has held teams to 44.4% from inside the arc. That’s one of the best rates in college basketball. There won’t be any easy looks unless UAB can get out in transition and score. But North Texas is methodical. They’ll waste a lot of time, put up a shot, crash the glass with some, and have guards back in case of a fastbreak opportunity.

North Texas will want to limit turnovers. UAB will likely earn some, but the Blazers will be more aggressive than usual and commit more fouls. North Texas is shooting 76.4% from the foul line this year. They say defense wins championships. North Texas has a much superior defense heading into this game. So, I’ll take the Mean Green to win the NIT this year.

NCAAB Pick: North Texas ML (+108) at Caesars Sportsbook