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West Virginia vs. Stephen F. Austin - 3/18/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (27-5) at West Virginia Mountaineers (26-8)

College Basketball: Friday, March 18, 2016 at 7:10 pm (Barclays Center)

The Line: West Virginia Mountaineers -7 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: CBS

The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks and West Virginia Mountaineers will face off in the 1st round of the East Region of the NCAA Tournament at the Barclays Center.

The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks finished the season with a 27-5 record and earned a 14-seed in the NCAA Tournament after easily defeating the Texas A&M-CC Islanders, 82-60, in the Southland Men’s Tournament Finals. Stephen F. Austin has experience in the NCAA Tournament and come into this matchup ranked 21st in the country in scoring offense and 14th in scoring defense. On the season, the Lumberjacks have been led by Thomas Walkup (17.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 4.5 apg, 2.1 spg), Demetrious Floyd (13.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.1 spg), and Clide Geffrard Jr. (13.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.4 apg). Offensively, Stephen F. Austin is averaging 80.7 ppg on 48.4% shooting from the field and 36.8% shooting from beyond the arc. The Lumberjacks average 7.9 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.52. Defensively, Stephen F. Austin is holding their opponents to an average of 63.2 ppg on 43.8% shooting. The Lumberjacks average 9.1 steals per game and have a turnover margin of 6.2.

West Virginia vs. Stephen F. Austin - 3/18/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The West Virginia Mountaineers fell short of winning the Big-12 Championship after falling to Kansas by an 81-71 margin, but still was able to earn a 3-seed in the NCAA Tournament after finishing the season with a 26-8 record. West Virginia displayed how they can be one of the most dangerous teams throughout the year with their pressure defense that led the country in steals per game. On the season, the Mountaineers have been led by Jaysean Paige (13.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.5 spg), Devin Williams (13.3 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 1.4 apg), and Javon Carter (9.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.7 spg). Offensively, West Virginia is averaging 79.2 ppg on 45.2% shooting from the field and 32.9% shooting from beyond the arc. The Mountaineers average 6.1 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.05. Defensively, West Virginia is holding their opponents to average 66.6 ppg on 42.8% shooting. The Mountaineers have a rebound margin of 8.4 and have a turnover margin of 4.1.

West Virginia could cause many teams some trouble in the East Region however, they need to be careful not to overlook the Lumberjacks who play a very similar style of basketball as the Mountaineers. I feel Stephen F. Austin is going to be one of the more popular upset picks however, I’m surprised they are only getting this many points and as the Lumberjacks have really struggled in some of the better opponents they played this year (Baylor, Northern Iowa, UAB), I think West Virginia will be able to cover this spread. Take West Virginia to cover.    

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West Virginia Mountaineers -7

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