Louisiana Lafayette vs. South Alabama - 3/11/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
South Alabama Jaguars (14-18) at Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajuns (16-13)
College Basketball: Friday, March 11, 2016 at 6:00 pm (Lakefront Arena)
The Line: Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajuns -10 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN 3
The South Alabama Jaguars and Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajuns will face off in the quarterfinals of the Sun Belt Conference Men’s Championship this Friday night at Lakefront Arena.
The 8-seed South Alabama Jaguars was able to upset the 5-seed Georgia Southern Eagles, 67-61, on Wednesday night to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive. South Alabama was able to get out to a 36-21 halftime lead and got a big three-point play by Barrington Stevens late in the game to hold off the Eagles in the victory. South Alabama shot 36.9% from the field and outrebounded Georgia Southern by a 44-40 margin. The Jaguars were outstanding defensively as they held the Eagles to 33.3% shooting from the field and 17.4% shooting from beyond the arc. Leading the way for South Alabama was Nick Stover who had 14 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists. Offensively, South Alabama is averaging 69.3 ppg on 40.9% shooting from the field and 32.6% shooting from beyond the arc. The Jaguars average 6.5 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 0.73. Defensively, South Alabama is allowing their opponents to average 73.4 ppg on 42.4% shooting. The Jaguars have a rebound margin of -0.7 and a turnover margin of -1.5.
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The Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajuns came into the season with high expectations and although they started off conference play well, the Ragin Cajuns lost 5 of their last 7 games and finished the season with a 16-13 record while earning the 4-seed for the conference tournament. Louisiana Lafayette is an outstanding offensive team that does a good job on the boards, however, but can struggle on the defensive end as they rank just 214th in the country in scoring defense. On the season, Louisiana Lafayette has been led by double-double machine, Shawn Long who is averaging 18.8 ppg, 12.9 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.8 bpg. Also contributing for the Ragin Cajuns has been Kasey Shepherd (10.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.3 spg), Jay Wright (9.0 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.1 spg), and Bryce Washington (8.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.4 apg). Offensively, Louisiana Lafayette is averaging 79.6 ppg on 44.4% shooting from the field and 30.2% shooting from beyond the arc. The Ragin Cajuns average 6.3 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 0.97. Defensively, Louisiana Lafayette is allowing their opponents to average 73.3 ppg on 43.2% shooting. The Ragin Cajuns have a rebound margin of 8.2 and a turnover margin of -0.8.
The Jaguars are 5-2 ATS in thier last 7 games following a straight up win and 9-4 ATS in thier last 13 games overall. The Ragin Cajuns are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games and 1-4 ATS in thier last 5 games overall.
South Alabama and Louisiana Lafayette split their regular season matchups as both teams were able to win their home games by double-digits. South Alabama was able to used their defense to get the win against Georgia Southern however, if they are going to continue to win, they’ll need to find some offense as they rank just 259th in the country in scoring offense and 305th in FG%. Louisiana Lafayette has the best player in the Sun Belt in Shawn Long however, haven’t been able to get enough contributions from the role players to win games as of late. South Alabama was able to get a nice win against Louisiana Lafayette a couple weeks ago, but as the Jaguars struggle on offense, I just don’t see South Alabama being able to stop Shawn Long or score enough to keep up with the Ragin Cajuns in this one. I’m not sure exactly where this line is going to be but I’m comfortable at this point if the Ragin Cajuns are favored by 7-8 points. Please check back for updates when the line is posted.
Update: The line is a little higher than I orginally expected however, I'm going to stick with the Ragin Cajuns as I just don't see how Shawn Long doesn't dominate this game. Take Louisiana Lafayette to cover.