Florida A&M Rattlers (8-24) at Howard Bison (10-22)
College Basketball: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at 4:00 pm (Norfolk Scope Arena)
The Line: Howard Bison -3.5 -- Over/Under: 148.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Florida A&M Rattlers and Howard Bison will square off at Norfolk Score Arena this Thursday afternoon in 1st round of the MEAC Men’s Tournament.
The Florida A&M Rattlers finished their regular season with an overall record of 8-24 and earned the 9-seed in the MEAC Men’s Tournament after finishing conference play with a 7-9 record. It was a long season for the Rattlers after Florida A&M ranked just 296th in scoring offense and 323rd in scoring defense however, Florida A&M played well down the stretch winning 4 of their last 6 regular season games. On the season, Florida A&M is averaging 68.3 ppg on 41.8% shooting from the field. The Rattlers are averaging 6.3 three-pointers per game on 34.6% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Florida A&M has been led by Desmond Williams (17.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.1 spg), Marcus Barham (17.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.9 apg), Elijah Mayes (10.7 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.8 apg), and Isaiah Martin (8.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.2 bpg). Defensively, Florida A&M is allowing their opponents to average 79.1 ppg on 47.8% shooting from the field. The Rattlers have a rebound margin of -6.8 and a turnover margin of -0.6.
The Howard Bison finished their year with an overall record of 10-22 and come into the MEAC Men’s Tournament as the 8-seed after finishing conference play with a 7-9 record. Howard was decent on the offensive end as they ranked 171st in scoring offense and 126th in three-pointers made per game, however, the Bison had trouble picking up wins this season due to their defense that ranked just 329th in scoring defense and 300th in defensive FG% On the season, Howard is averaging 74.1 ppg on 42.3% shooting from the field. The Bison are averaging 8.2 three-pointers per game on 34.9% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Howard has been led by RJ Cole (23.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 6.0 apg, 1.7 spg), Charles Williams (20.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg), Kyle Foster (6.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg), Zion Cousins (5.7 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.2 bpg). Defensively, Howard is allowing their opponents to average 80.2 ppg on 46.7% shooting from the field. The Bison have a rebound margin of -5.3 and a turnover margin of 0.8.
The Rattlers are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games following a straight up loss and just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Bison are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400 however, are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
Florida A&M and Howard split their regular season series as Florida A&M won by an 84-76 margin at home in early January while Howard won by an 83-80 (OT) margin at home in early February.
Howard has a great scoring duo in RJ Cole and Charles Williams, however, Florida A&M has been playing some of their best basketball of the season coming into the MEAC Men’s Tournament and between the fact that the Rattlers have won 3 of their last 4 games in this matchup and that Florida A&M played the Bison tough in both matchups this season, I’m taking Florida A&M and the points in this one.