Vermont Catamounts vs. UMBC Retrievers - 3/4/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
UMBC Retrievers (4-25) at Vermont Catamounts (17-12)
College Basketball: Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 7:00 pm (Roy Patrick Gym)
The Line: Vermont Catamounts -17.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The UMBC Retrievers will travel to Patrick Gymnasium to take on the Vermont Catamounts in the quarterfinals of the America East Conference Tournament.
The UMBC Retrievers finished the season with a dismal 4-25 record and earned the 7th seed with a 2-14 record in the America East. The UMBC struggled last year, however, had confidence that improve play their underclassmen would led them to the middle of the pack of America East. Unfortunately, the Retrievers lost their leading returning in Rodney Elliott early in the season, then lost their leading scorer this year in Wayne Sparrow in early February. Due to these injuries, UMBC really struggled on the offensive end this season. UMBC is ranked 344th in the RPI Standings and has played the 290th ranked SOS. UMBC didn’t really have any key wins on the season and was only able to beat the 8th seeded Maine Black Bears for their two conference wins this season.
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On the season, UMBC averaged 56.7 ppg (ranked 341st) on 41.3% shooting (ranked 277th). The Retrievers average 5.2 three-pointers per game (ranked 277th) on 33.0% three-point shooting (ranked 224th). UMBC shot only 64.4% from the free-throw line (ranked 314th) and committed 15.4 turnovers per game (ranked 336th). Defensively, UMBC allowed their opponents to average 67.1 ppg (ranked 194th) on 44.8% shooting (ranked 272nd). The Retrievers averaged 6.5 spg (ranked 144th) and had a rebound margin of -4.4 (ranked 317th). Leading the way for UMBC is Cody Joyce (13.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.1 apg) and Jourdan Grant (8.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 4.0 apg).
The Vermont Catamounts finished the season with a 17-12 record and earned the 2nd seed with a 12-4 record in the America East. Vermont is an experienced team that plays great defensive and has an All -America East player in Ethan O’Day leading the way. Vermont is ranked 199th in the RPI Standings and has played the 302 ranked SOS. Vermont was solid all season and played some tough competition (Harvard, Yale, USC) close throughout the season. Vermont wasn’t able was take down # 1 seed Albany this year, but lost two close game against them (47-44 on Jan. 28th & 79-73 on Feb 28th).
On the season, Vermont averaged 65.8 ppg (ranked 211th) on 46.7% shooting (ranked 44th). The Catamounts shoot 35.5% from beyond the arc (ranked 116th) and 70.2% from the free-throw line (ranked 124th). Vermont has an assist/turnover ratio of 0.97 (ranked 200th) and committed 13.1 turnovers per game (ranked 221st). Defensively, Vermont held opponents to an average of 57.6 ppg (ranked 13th) on 38.2% shooting (ranked 11th). The Catamounts held opponents to 31.6% shooting from beyond the arc (ranked 54th) and averaged 5.1 bpg (ranked 27th). Vermont committed 19.2 personal fouls per game (ranked 252nd). Leading the way for Vermont was Ethan O’Day (11.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.0 apg, 2.2 bpg) and Dre Wells (9.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.4 apg, 2.0 spg).
The Retrievers are 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 vs. the America East and 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall. The Catamounts are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a losing S.U. record however, just 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Vermont was able to handle UMBC easily in both games this year, both 23 point victories. Vermont has the best defensive in the America East and although this is a lot of points, UMBC has little to offer on the offensive end, and I can’t see any reason why Vermont won’t be able to beat UMBC by 20+ points for the third time this season. Take Vermont to cover in this one.