Arkansas-Little Rock vs. Louisiana Monroe - 3/13/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Louisiana Monroe Warhawks (20-12) at Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans (28-4)
College Basketball: Sunday, March 13, 2016 at 1:00 pm (Lakefront Arena)
The Line: Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans -4.5 -- Over/Under: 129 See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN 2
The Louisiana Monroe Warhawks and Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans will face at Lakefront Arena this Sunday afternoon for the Sun Belt Conference Men’s Championship.
The 2-seed Louisiana Monroe Warhawks used a strong defense effort to defeat the 3-seed UT-Arlington Mavericks, 82-71, for the right to play for an entry into the NCAA Tournament. Louisiana-Monroe fell behind by a 12-0 margin to start the game, but used a 27-6 run from there to help take a 39-30 halftime lead and led by double-digits for the majority of the 2nd half in the victory. Louisiana Monroe shot 50.0% from the field and 48.1% (13-27) from beyond the arc. The Warhawks held the high scoring Mavericks offense to 40.8% shooting from the field and 25.0% (7-28) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for Louisiana Monroe was DeMondre Harvey who had 21 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 blocks. On the season, the Warhawks have been led by Majok Deng (18.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2.0 apg), Justin Roberson (14.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.5 spg), and Nick Coppola (11.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 5.4 apg). Offensively, Louisiana Monroe is averaging 73.6 ppg on 45.9% shooting from the field and 35.4% shooting from beyond the arc. The Warhawks average 6.5 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.15. Defensively, Louisiana Monroe is allowing their opponents to average 69.7 ppg on 41.0% shooting. The Warhawks have a rebound margin of 2.9 and a turnover margin of -0.7.
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The top-seeded Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans used a big first half to help defeat the Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, 72-65, on Saturday afternoon. Arkansas-Little Rock held the offensive minded Ragin Cajuns to just 23 first-half points and was able to hold off Louisiana Lafayette after the Ragin Cajuns got within three-points with just over two minutes left to play. Arkansas-Little Rock shot 53.8% from the field and 50.0% (8-16) from beyond the arc. The Trojans held the Ragin Cajuns to 44.2% shooting from the field won the turnover battle by an 18-9 margin. Leading the way for Arkansas-Little Rock was Josh Hagins who 15 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals. On the season, the Trojans have been led by Josh Hagins (13.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.7 apg, 1.4 spg), Marcus Johnson Jr. (12.6 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.7 apg), and Roger Woods (9.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.5 apg). Offensively, Arkansas-Little Rock is averaging 70.9 ppg on 45.4% shooting from the field and 38.7% shooting from beyond the arc. The Trojans average 7.6 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.23. Defensively, Arkansas-Little Rock is holding their opponents to an average of 59.8 ppg on 38.5% shooting. The Trojans have a rebound margin of 0.1 and a turnover margin of 3.4.
The Warhawks are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600 and 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win. The Trojans are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning streak up record and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games.
Louisiana Monroe and Arkansas-Little Rock split their regular season series as the Warhawks won a high scoring 86-82 matchup at home in early February while the Trojans won a low-scoring, 58-57, battle at home in early January. Louisiana Monroe is a well-balanced team that ranks in the top 75 in the country in both offensive and defensive FG%. Arkansas-Little Rock has one of the best defenses in the country as they rank 3rd in scoring defense and 7th in defensive FG%. Louisiana Monroe was able to put up the most points against the Trojans this season and will try to once again keep this game at a fast pace, however, Arkansas-Little Rock defense is outstanding and as I think they’ll have some success creating turnovers in this one, I’m taking the defensive minded Trojans to win this game and cover this spread.