Georgia State vs. Louisiana-Lafayette - Sun Belt Championship - 3/14/15 Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns (20-12) at Georgia State Panthers (22-9)
College Basketball: Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 2:00 pm (Lakefront Arena)
The Line: Georgia State Panthers -5.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN 3
The LA-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns and Georgia State Panthers will battle at Lakefront Arena this Saturday afternoon in the semifinals of the Sun Belt Championship.
The LA-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (20-12) had a big second half and was able to solve the tough Texas State defensive to win 53-43 last night in their quarterfinal match-up. LA-Lafayette earned the 4th seed with a 13-7 conference record on the season. LA-Lafayette was able to hold Texas State to just 27.7% shooting from the field and won the rebounding battle by a 44-28 margin in the victory. Leading the way for the Ragin’ Cajuns was Kasey Shepherd who had 16 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists. LA-Lafayette is ranked 150th in the RPI Standings and has played the 190th ranked SOS. On the season, the Ragin’ Cajuns have been led by Shawn Long (17.0 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 1.6 bpg) and Brian Williams (10.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.0 apg). LA-Lafayette is averaging 78.1 ppg (ranked 16th) on 46.0% shooting (ranked 65th). The Ragin’ Cajuns average 6.8 three-pointers per game (ranked 125th) and average 14.5 apg (ranked 55th). Defensively, LA-Lafayette is allowing their opponents to average 69.9 ppg (ranked 266th) on 42.5% shooting (ranked 155th). The Ragin’ Cajuns pull down 40.0 total rpg (ranked 4th) however, have a -0.9 turnover margin (ranked 246th).
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The Georgia State Panthers finished the regular season with a 22-9 record and earned the top seed in the Sun Belt Tournament with a 15-5 conference record. Georgia State won 7 of their last 8 games of the season and has the best backcourt in the Sun Belt with Ryan Harrow and R.J. Hunter. The Panthers are ranked 68th in the RPI Standings and has played the 167th ranked SOS. Georgia State’s biggest wins of the season have come against Green Bay, Georgia Southern, and UL-Monroe.
Georgia State is averaging 72.7 ppg (ranked 50th) on 48.4% shooting (ranked 14th). The Panthers average 13.9 apg (ranked 82nd) and commit 10.6 turnovers per game (ranked 25th). Georgia State averages just 5.1 three-pointers per game (ranked 288th) on 33.8% three-point shooting (ranked 197th). Defensively, Georgia State is holding their opponents to an average of 62.5 ppg (ranked 74th) on 38.2% shooting (ranked 11th). The Panthers average 8.9 spg (ranked 6th) and have a turnover margin of 4.6 (ranked 6th). Georgia State pulls down 32.84 total rpg (ranked 245th) and average 4.3 bpg (ranked 71st). On the season, the Panthers have been led by Ryan Harrow (20.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 4.0 apg) and R.J. Hunter (19.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.8 apg).
The Ragin’ Cajuns are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a S.U. win and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games. The Panthers are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.
UL-Lafayette and Georgia State split their regular season series as UL-Lafayette won 84-80 at home and lost 75-64 at Georgia State. UL-Lafayette and their high scoring offensive has trouble against a strong Texas State defense, however, was able to rely on their usually shaky defensive to help secure their win to advance. Georgia State has one of the best backcourts in the country and although they did struggle early in conference play, they have won 7 of their last 8 games and could be a dangerous team to face in the NCAA tournament if they can take care of business in the conference tournament. I do like the UL-Lafayette team, however, their offensive is nowhere near the level it when they play at home and as Georgia State has an above average defense to go along with their explosive offensive, I think they run away with this one in the second half and cover this spread. Take Georgia State to cover in this one.