Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers vs. St. Francis NY Terriers - 3/5/14 Northeast Men's Tournament Quarterfinal
St. Francis NY Terriers (18-13) at Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers (13-16)
College Basketball: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Knott Arena)
The Line: Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers -3 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The St. Francis NY Terriers and Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers will duke it out in what should be the best matchup in the first round of the NEC Tournament. These teams played back on January 11, and the Mountaineers won 88-82.
The Terriers ended their season losing four of their final seven games, forcing them to settle for the fifth seed in the tournament. They’re a team that butters their bread on the defensive side of the ball. They average only 68.4 points on 42.8 percent shooting, but they hold teams to 67.1 points on 41.7 percent shooting. They are 15-3 SU this season when holding their opponent under 70 points. Offensively points are hard to come by as they shoot 68.3 percent from the free throw line and have only two players averaging more than nine points. They are 1-1 ATS.
The Mountaineers are the complete opposite, as they want to get up and down the court and score truckloads of points. They averaged 76 points on 43.7 percent shooting and allowed 78.7 points on 49.8 percent shooting. There’s only been six games where they’ve held a team under 70 points. However, they have two players averaging 17 points apiece, and they shoot 74.1 percent from the free throw line as a team. When the shots fall, they’re tough to beat. The Mountaineers were also 1-1 ATS.
It’s understandable why the Mountaineers are the slight favorites considering they’re playing on their home court. But defense tends to rule in tournament games, and I have to go with the scrappy Terriers. Not only do they play great defense, but they also average 37.2 rebounds per game, while the Mountaineers average just 32 rebounds.
Give me the tougher team in a grind out game. The points are just a bonus.