Montana vs. Northern Arizona - Big Sky Championship - 3/13/15 Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Northern Arizona Lumberjacks (19-13) at Montana Grizzlies (19-11)
College Basketball: Friday, March 13, 2015 at 10:00 pm (Dahlberg Arena)
The Line: Montana Grizzlies -6 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Northern Arizona Lumberjacks and Montana Grizzlies will face off Friday night in the semifinals of the Big Sky Championship at Dahlberg Arena.
The Northern Arizona Lumberjacks (19-13) was able to defeat the Northern Colorado Bears 63-57 to advance in the Big Sky Tournament. The Lumberjacks earned the 4-seed in the Big Sky Tournament by finishing the season with a 13-5 conference record. Northern Arizona held Northern Colorado to 32.8% shooting from the field and 22.7% (5-22) from beyond the arc in the victory. The Lumberjacks were led by Len Springs who had 8 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 blocks. Northern Arizona is ranked 166th in the RPI Standings and has played the 260th ranked SOS. On the season, the Lumberjacks have been led by Quinton Upshur (14.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.1 bpg) and Kris Yanku (13.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 5.0 apg). Northern Arizona is averaging 68.5 ppg (ranked 146th) on 40.7% shooting (ranked 293rd). The Lumberjacks average 7.0 three-pointers per game (ranked 98th) and shoot 74.0% from the free-throw line (ranked 27th). Defensively, Northern Arizona is allowing their opponents to average 67.4 ppg (ranked 199th) on 43.9% shooting (ranked 224th). The Lumberjacks are holding teams to 33.1% three-point shooting (ranked 122nd).
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The Montana Grizzlies (19-11; 14-4 Big Sky) received a scare from Weber State Wildcats, but was able to advance with a 76-73 overtime victory on Thursday night. Montana, who is the 1-seed in the Big Sky Tournament, was able to shoot 43.1% from the field and outrebounded the Wildcats by a 39-32 margin in the victory. Leading the way for the Grizzlies was Martin Breuning who had 24 points and 12 rebounds. Montana is ranked 148th in the RPI Standings and has played the 234th ranked SOS. On the season, the Grizzlies have been led by Jordan Gregory (16.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 3.3 apg) and Martin Breunig (16.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.9 apg). Montana is averaging 71.8 ppg (ranked 70th) on 46.9% shooting (ranked 39th). The Grizzlies average 8.5 three-pointers per game (ranked 21st) on 37.9% three-point shooting (ranked 53rd). Defensively, Montana is holding their opponents to 66.8 ppg (ranked 177th) on 43.5% shooting (ranked 199th). The Grizzlies average 6.9 spg (ranked 91st) and have a turnover margin of 1.7 (ranked 62nd).
The Lumberjacks are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 8-2-2 ATS in their last 12 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. The Grizzlies are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss and 5-2-2 ATS in their last 9 games overall.
Montana was able to defeat Northern Arizona in their only match-up the season, 64-57 at home in early January. In that victory, Montana was able to hold Northern Arizona to just 30.0% three-point shooting while Jordan Gregory scored 31 points on 7-10 three-point shooting. Montana has had a great season, but has looked a bit more vulnerable on the defensive end as of late. Northern Arizona has won 11 of their last 13 games and I think they have enough firepower to keep up with Montana. I'm taking Northern Arizona and the points in this one.