Temple vs. Bucknell - NIT Tournament - 3/18/15 Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Bucknell Bison (19-14) at Temple Owls (23-10)
College Basketball: Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 7:00 pm (Liacouras Center)
The Line: Temple Owls -12 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN 3
The (8) Bucknell Bison and (1) Temple Owls will face off at the Liacouras Center this Wednesday night in the first round of the NIT.
The Bucknell Bison finished the regular season with a 19-14 record (13-5 Patriot) and ended up in the NIT by being upset by the Lafayette Leopards 65-63 in the semifinals of the Patriot League Conference Tournament. The Bison are a decent offensive team that can shoot the ball well from the outside however, they are below-average on defense and have trouble generating turnovers. Bucknell is ranked 139th in the RPI Standings and 207th in the BPI Standings. On the season, the Bison have been led by Chris Hass (16.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.1 apg) and Nana Foulland (10.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.1 bpg). Bucknell is averaging 68.8 ppg (ranked 137th) on 44.2% shooting (ranked 121st). The Bison average 6.8 three-pointers per game (ranked 118th) on 38.8% three-point shooting (ranked 29th). Defensively, Bucknell is allowing their opponents to average 68.9 ppg (ranked 245th). The Bison average just 4.2 spg (ranked 337th) and have a turnover margin of -1.5 (ranked 277th).
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The Temple Owls finished the regular season with a 23-10 (13-5 American) record and just missed out making the NCAA Tournament as an at-large big after falling to the 20th-ranked SMU Mustangs, 69-56, in the semifinals of the American Conference Tournament. The Owls were one of the stronger defensive teams in the country, however, at time could be real inconsistent on the offensive end. Temple is ranked 34th in the RPI Standings and 66th in the BPI Standings. The Owls have been led by Will Cummings (14.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 4.3 apg, 2.0 spg) and Quenton DeCosey (12.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.1 apg). Temple is averaging 64.8 ppg (ranked 234th) on 38.4% shooting (ranked 335th). The Owls average just 9.9 turnovers per game however, shoot just 30.4% from beyond the arc (ranked 312th). Defensively, Temple is holding their opponents to an average of 60.6 ppg (ranked 42nd) on 39.5% shooting (ranked 37th). The Owls are holding teams with 30.9% shooting from beyond the arc (ranked 32nd) and pull down 37.91 total rpg (ranked 28th).
The Bison are 5-12 ATS in their last 17 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss. The Owls are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 home games and 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games overall.
Temple has won 11 of their last 14 games and was one of the first four teams out of the NCAA Tournament. Bucknell won their regular season Patriot League championship, but couldn’t take care of business in the conference tournament as their defensive struggled by allowing Lafayette to shoot over 50.0 from the field and 40.0% beyond the arc. It will be interesting to see how Temple comes out to play in this one as they have to still be dissappointed that they didn't get their name called on selection Sunday. I think Temple is going to win this game, however, this is just too many points that I can trust Temple to cover as they can go for long streches with out scoring. I'm taking the Bucknell Bision in this one.