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North Carolina Central vs. Delaware State - MEAC Tournament - 3/13/15 Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Delaware State Hornets (17-16) at North Carolina Central Eagles (25-6)

College Basketball: Friday, March 13, 2015 at 6:00 pm (Norfolk Scope Arena)

The Line: North Carolina Central Eagles -9.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN 3

The Delaware State Hornets and North Carolina Central Eagles will face off at Norfolk Scope Arena this Friday evening in the semifinals of the MEAC Tournament.

The Delaware State Hornets (17-16) was able to win a close battle against the Howard Bison last night to keep their NCAA tournament hopes alive. The Hornets earned the 5-seed in the conference tournament with a 9-7 conference record. Delaware State shot 40.9% (9-22) from beyond the arc and forced the Bison into committing 16 turnovers in the victory. Leading the way for the Hornets was Tyshawn Bell who had 18 points, 5 rebounds and 1 assist. Delaware State is ranked 219th in the RPI Standings and has played the 294th ranked SOS. On the season, the Hornets have been led by Amere May (21.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.6 apg) and Kendall Gray (12.3 ppg, 12.4 rpg, 2.8 bpg). Delaware State is averaging 71.5 ppg (ranked 78th) on 42.2% shooting (ranked 235th). The Hornets average 7.9 three-pointers per game (ranked 38th) and shoot 71.4% from the free-throw line (ranked 94th). Defensively, Delaware State is allowing their opponents to average 72.8 ppg (ranked 313th) on 42.1% shooting (ranked 128th). The Hornets pull down 38.94 total rpg (ranked 14th) however, have a turnover margin of -2.3 (ranked 315th).

North Carolina Central  vs. Delaware State - MEAC Tournament - 3/13/15 Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The North Carolina Central Eagles (25-6; 16-0 MEAC) was able to easily handle the Coppin State Eagles 91-43 in their quarterfinal matchup on Wednesday. The Eagles earned the 1-seed as they went undefeated in the conference play this year. North Carolina Central shot 56.9% from the field and forced Coppin State in to making 21 turnovers in the victory. Leading the way for the Eagles was Jordan Parks who had 29 points, 10 rebounds and 2 steals. North Carolina Central is ranked 112th in the RPI Standings and has played the 349th ranked SOS. On the season, the Eagles have been led by Jordan Parks (15.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 1.1 spg) and Anthony McDonald (13.1 ppg, 2.0 rpg). North Carolina Central is averaging 69.4 ppg (ranked 125th) on 48.8% shooting (ranked 10th). The Eagles average 6.5 three-pointers per game (ranked 147th) and 14.2 apg (ranked 69th). Defensively, North Carolina Central is holding their opponents to average of 54.3 ppg (ranked 4th) on 35.5% shooting (ranked 2nd). The Eagles are holding teams to 27.4% shooting from beyond the arc (ranked 2nd) and have a rebound margin of 4.3 (ranked 51st).

The Hornets are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 vs. the MEAC and 3-12 ATS in their last 15 neutral site games. The Eagles are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win and 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games.

Although Delaware State lost in their only matchup against North Carolina Central this season, they gave the Eagles their closet game in conference play when they lost 55-54 at home in late January. North Carolina Central has one of the better ranked defensives and although I’m sure they are going to give Delaware State trouble, the Hornets do have some good offensive weapons that I think will be able to do enough damage to keep this one within the number. I’m taking Delaware State and the points in this one.   

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Delaware State Hornets +9.5

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