VCU Rams (18-14) at Rhode Island Rams (23-6)
College Basketball: Friday, March 9, 2018 at 12:00 pm (Capitol One Arena)
The Line: Rhode Island Rams -9.5 -- Over/Under: 148 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The VCU Rams and 25th ranked Rhode Island Rams will square off at Capital One Arena this Friday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the A-10 Men’s Championship.
The 8-seed VCU Rams improved to 18-14 (9-9 A-10) on the season after defeating the 9-seed Dayton Flyers, 77-72, yesterday afternoon in the 2nd round of the A-10 Men’s Championship. VCU trailed by a 70-65 margin with just 3:16 left in regulation, however, the Rams were outstanding defensively down the stretch and was able to secure the victory after closing game on a 12-2 run. VCU shot 49.1% from the field while holding Dayton to 42.9% shooting from the field and 23.8% (5-21) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Rams was Justin Tillman who had a double-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks in the win. On the season, VCU is averaging 76.2 ppg on 45.9% shooting from the field. The Rams are averaging 8.4 three-pointers per game on 35.5% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, VCU has been led by Justin Tillman (18.9 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 1.0 bpg), De’Riante Jenkins (12.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.3 spg), Issac Vann (9.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.0 spg), and Jonathan Williams (9.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 5.7 apg, 1.3 spg). Defensively, VCU is allowing their opponents to average 74.9 ppg on 45.2% shooting from the field. The Rams have a rebound margin of 1.8 and a turnover margin of -0.7.
The 25th ranked Rhode Island Rams finished their season with an overall record of 23-6 and earned the top-seed in the A-10 Men’s Championship after finishing conference play with an overall record of 15-3. Rhode Island was outstanding for most of the season, winning 16 straight games at one point, however, the Rams struggled a bit down the stretch losing 3 of their last 5 games including an embarrassing 30-point loss at home against Saint Joseph’s. Rhode Island as been led by their defense this season which ranks 56th in scoring defense, 22nd in steals per game, and 2nd in turnover margin. On the season, Rhode Island is averaging 76.4 ppg on 46.4% shooting from the field. The Rams are averaging 6.4 three-pointers per game on 33.8% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Rhode Island has been led by Jared Terrell (17.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.6 spg), E.C. Matthews (12.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg), Stanford Robinson (9.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.8 apg, 2.3 spg), and Jeff Dowtin (9.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 5.5 apg, 1.1 spg). Defensively, Rhode Island is holding their opponents to an average of 67.6 ppg on 45.1% shooting from the field. The Rams have a rebound margin of 0.4 and a turnover margin of 5.4.
VCU is 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600 and are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Friday games. Rhode Island is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games, however, are just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Rhode Island defeated VCU by a 81-68 margin on the road in early February in the two teams only matchup up the season.
VCU picked up a nice comeback victory against Dayton to stay alive in the A-10 Tournament, however, VCU hasn’t had a great year largely due to their defense that ranks just 243rd in scoring defense and 248th in defensive FG%. Rhode Island struggled down the stretch however, this is a team that can beat you on both ends of the court as to go along with the Rams solid defense, Rhode Island is ranked in the top-100 in both scoring offense and FG%. Rhode Island struggled down the stretch but I feel that was just more do the fact they had the A-10 regular season championship and as this is an experienced team that had no trouble against VCU on the road this season, I’m taking Rhode Island to cover this spread.