MEAC Quarterfinal-South Carolina State Bulldogs vs. Norfolk State Spartans - 3/11/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Norfolk State Spartans (18-9) at South Carolina State Bulldogs (11-21)
College Basketball: Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 8:30 pm (Norfolk Scope Arena)
The Line: Norfolk State Spartans -14 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The South Carolina State Bulldogs take the hardwood with the Norfolk State Spartans in a MEAC quarterfinal bout.
USA TODAY Sports
The South Carolina State Bulldogs squandered a 16 point first half lead to North Carolina A&T before ending the game with an 8-0 run to upend the Aggies 63-54 to advance to the quarterfinals. Both teams sank shots at 41.8% with a 14-5 advantage at the charity stripe giving the Bulldogs a hard fought victory as a one point underdog.
The South Carolina State offense was a two man show with Edward Stephens and Jalen White netting 16 points apiece with Stephens going 4-4 from beyond the arc. Gabe McCray and Darryl Palmer tossed in seven points each with ten and six rebounds respectively. Greg Mortimer rounded out the top contributors with eight points as ten players reaching the scoring column altogether.
The Norfolk State Spartans gained their notoriety a few years back with their tournament performance and have since maintained a strong program and that was the case this season with a 19-12 record and a 12-4 mark in the MEAC. The Spartans are dependable at both ends of the floor as they have outscored teams 70-66 although a 3-3 end to the regular season saw the defense allow more then 70 points four times.
Obviously the defensive end of the floor has to regroup from their end of season struggles and if they do the scoring is in place to make this team one of the favorites to win the playoffs. Jeff Short is one of the top offensive players anywhere with 19 points on 50% shooting. RaShid Gaston is a fantastic second option at nearly 16 points and ten rebounds on 61.7% marksmanship. D’Shon Taylor averages 13 points and five boards so the top of the rotation is completely loaded but the rest of the team can be thin as far as production is concerned.
Norfolk State is clearly the better squad and had the extra day off while South Carolina State is playing on back to back days after a rugged contest against North Carolina A&T so I wonder how much this will effect the line...
The Spartans will win easily but we're asking them to cover a big number when their defense hasn't been playing well.