Virginia vs. Belmont - NCAA Tournament - 3/20/15 Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Belmont Bruins (22-10) at Virginia Cavaliers (29-3)
College Basketball: Friday, March 20, 2015 at 3:00 pm (Time Warner Cable Arena)
The Line: Virginia Cavaliers -16.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Belmont Bruins and Virginia Cavaliers will battle at Time Warner Cable Arena in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament this Friday afternoon.
The Belmont Bruins finished the regular season 22-10 (11-5 OVC) and earned their bid to the NCAA Tournament by defeating the 25th ranked Murray State Racers 88-87. Belmont is a high scoring team that has the make-up of causing upsets as they can be deadly from beyond the arc. On the season, the Bruins have been led by Craig Bradshaw (18.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.2 apg) and Evan Bradds (14.3 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1.3 apg). Belmont is ranked 105th in the RPI Standings and 151st in the BPI Standings. Belmont is averaging 74.5 ppg (ranked 32nd) on 47.6% shooting (ranked 25th). The Bruins average 13.7 turnovers per game and have a 1.12 assist/turnover ratio. Defensively, Belmont is allowing their opponents to average 70.3 ppg (ranked 274th) on 45.2% shooting (ranked 289th).
USA TODAY Sports
The 3rd-ranked Virginia Cavaliers finished the regular season with a 29-3 (16-2 ACC) record. The Cavaliers finished 3rd in the ACC after they were defeated by the 19th ranked UNC Tar Heels 71-67 in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament. On the season, Virginia has been led by Malcolm Brogdon (13.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.5 apg) and Justin Anderson (12.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.8 apg). The Cavaliers are ranked 7th in the RPI Standings and 4th in the BPI Standings. Virginia is averaging 65.3 ppg (ranked 225th) on 46.3% shooting (ranked 51st). The Cavaliers average just 9.5 turnovers per game and have a 1.36 assist/turnover ratio. Defensively, Virginia is holding their opponents to an average of 50.8 ppg (ranked 1st) on 36.1% shooting (ranked 3rd).
The Bruins are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games following a S.U. win however, just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 NCAA Tournament games. The Cavaliers are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games following a S.U. loss and 9-3 ATS in their last 12 non-conference games.
Belmont has been a staple in the NCAA Tournament over the past few years and if they want to pull off this major upset, they’ll need to ensure that they find a way to knock down their shots beyond the arc. Virginia probably has every right to be upset that they didn’t receive a number 1-seed in the tournament, however, have looked vulnerable as of late as they can have real issues generating offense. Virginia has one of, if not the best defenses in the country however, as Justin Anderson still seems to be recovering from his injury, I think this is too many points to give a team that might be able to do a little damage against the Cavaliers defense. I’m taking Belmont and the points in this one.