UT Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros (15-16) at Seattle Redhawks (19-12)
College Basketball: Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 11:30 pm (Orleans Arena)
The Line: Seattle Redhawks -4 -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The UT Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros and Seattle Redhawks will square off at Orleans Arena this Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the WAC Men’s Tournament.
The UT Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros finished their season with an overall record of 15-16 and earned the 5-seed in the WAC Men’s Tournament after finishing conference play with a 6-8 record. UT Rio Grande Valley struggled down the stretch, losing 4 of their last 6 games and went just 1-5 this season against the top-3 teams of the WAC Conference. UT Rio Grande Valley struggled on both ends of the ball this season as the Vaqueros ranked just 338th in FG%, 332nd in 3P-FG%, and 310th in scoring defense. On the season, UT Rio Grande Valley is averaging 76.0 ppg on 40.5% shooting from the field. The Vaqueros are averaging 6.3 three-pointers per game on 31.1% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, UT Rio Grande Valley has been led by Nick Dixon (20.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.4 spg), Terry Winn (9.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg), Xavier McDaniel Jr. (9.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg), and Moe McDonald (6.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.2 apg). Defensively, UT Rio Grande Valley is allowing their opponents to average 78.4 ppg on 44.7% shooting from the field. The Vaqueros have a rebound margin of -2.6 and a turnover margin of 2.1.
The Seattle Redhawks finished their year with an overall record of 19-12 and come into the WAC Men’s Tournament as the 4-seed after finishing conference play with an overall record of 8-6. Seattle was one of only two teams to beat the top-seed New Mexico State Aggies this season in conference play, however, the Redhawks struggled down the stretch, losing their last three games which included a 73-47 loss on the road to Utah Valley in their regular season finale. On the season, Seattle is averaing 75.6 ppg on 44.7% shooting from the field. The Redhawks are averaging 9.1 three-pointers per game on 36.5% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Seattle has been led by Matej Kavas (15.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.2 apg), Jordan Hill (13.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.2 spg), Aaron Menzies (11.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 2.1 bpg), and Richaud Gittens (10.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.2 spg). Defensively, Seattle is allowing their opponents to average 72.0 ppg on 41.0% shooting from the field. The Redhawks have a rebound margin of 3.4 and a turnover margin of -2.8.
The Vaqueros are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss and just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall. The RedHawks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss however, just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Seattle won both matchups against UT Rio Grande Valley this season as Redhawks won by a 79-76 (OT) margin on the road in mid-January while winning by a 85-68 margin at home in mid-February.
Both UT Rio Grande Valley and Seattle struggled towards the end of the regular season however and although Seattle has been the more impressive team on both ends of the court, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Seattle turns the ball over a lot and has picked up just three wins on the road this season. UT Rio Grande Valley will need to ensure they don’t allow Seattle to get hot from beyond the arc, however, as I think the Redhawks offense will struggle on the neutral court, I’m taking UT Rio Grande Valley to cover with the points.