Northern Colorado Bears (22-11) at Montana Grizzlies (24-7)
College Basketball: Friday, March 9, 2018 at 8:35 pm (Reno Events Center)
The Line: Montana Grizzlies -3.5 -- Over/Under: 146.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
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The Northern Colorado Bears and Montana Grizzlies will face off at the Reno Events Center this Friday night in semifinals of the Big Sky Men’s Championship.
The 5-seed Northern Colorado Bears improved to 22-11 (11-7 Big Sky) on the season after defeating the 4-seed Weber State Wildcats, 80-55, last night in the quarterfinals of the Big Sky Men’s Championship. Northern Colorado was outstanding on the offensive end against the Wildcats and had no trouble pulling away after taking a 53-28 lead with 13:43 left in regulation. Northern Colorado shot 51.7% from the field and 62.5% (10-16) from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for the Bears was Andre Spight who had 25 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block, and 2 steals. On the season, Northern Colorado is averaging 80.3 ppg on 46.3% shooting from the field. The Bears are averaging 8.7 three-pointers per game on 34.7% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Northern Colorado has been led by Andre Spight (21.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.2 spg), Jordan Davis (16.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.9 apg), Anthony Johnson (9.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg), and Jalen Sanders (9.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.4 bpg). Defensively, Northern Colorado is allowing their opponents to average 72.8 ppg on 44.6% shooting from the field. The Bears have a rebound margin of 2.1 and a turnover margin of 0.7.
The top-seeded Montana Grizzlies improved to 24-7 (16-2 Big Sky) on the season after defeating the 8-seed North Dakota Fighting Hawks, 84-76, yesterday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the Big Sky Men’s Championship. Montana had all they could handle with North Dakota however, was able to pull away from the Fighting Hawks after an 8-0 Grizzlies run gave Montana an 82-72 lead with just a minute left in regulation. Montana shot 49.2% from the field and 66.7% (8-12) from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for the Grizzlies was Ahmaad Rorie who had 30 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. On the season, Montana is averaging 77.4 ppg on 46.7% shooting from the field. The Grizzlies are averaging 5.5 three-pointers per game on 33.1% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Montana has been led by Ahmaad Rorie (16.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.3 spg), Michael Oguine (15.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.4 spg), Jamar Akoh (13.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.1 apg), and Bobby Morehead (7.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.3 spg). Defensively, Montana is holding their opponents to an average of 67.9 ppg on 42.3% shooting from the field. The Grizzlies have a rebound margin of 4.7 and a turnover margin of 3.1.
The Bears are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Friday games and 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Grizzlies are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record and 17-6-1 ATS in their last 24 games overall.
Montana won both their regular season matchups against Northern Colorado this season as the Grizzlies won by a 89-80 margin at home in early January, while winning by a 88-79 margin on the road in early February.
Northern Colorado has won 6 of their last 7 games and has been led by their offense this season as they come into this matchup ranked 45th in scoring offense and 97th in FG%. Montana has won 4 straight games and has been solid on both sides of the court this season as they currently rank 82nd in scoring offense and 61st in scoring defense. Northern Colorado is a perfect 5-0 on neutral courts this season and as Montana is not nearly as strong as a team when they are away from home, I think the duo of Andre Spight and Jordan Davis will do enough to at worst get Northern Colorado the win with the points.
Please Note: The Team/Players stats for both teams are not updated with the results from their games on 3/8.