North Carolina Central Eagles (18-15) at Hampton Pirates (19-14)
College Basketball: Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 1:00 pm (Norfolk Scope Arena)
The Line: Hampton Pirates -3.5 -- Over/Under: 146 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The North Carolina Central Eagles and Hampton Pirates will square off at Norfolk Scope Arena this Saturday afternoon in the finals of the MEAC Men’s Tournament.
The 6-seed North Carolina Central Eagles improved to 18-15 (9-7 MEAC) on the season after defeating the 7-seed Morgan State Bears, 79-70, last night. North Carolina Central was outstanding on the offensive end against the Bears and pulled away in the 2nd half after taking a 67-55 lead with 5:17 left in regulation. North Carolina Central shot 59.6% from the field while holding Morgan State to 39.7% shooting from the field and 33.3% shooting from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Eagles was Raasean Davis who had a double-double with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and a steal. On the season, North Carolina Central is averaging 72.6 ppg on 46.2% shooting from the field. The Eagles are averaging 6.3 three-pointers per game on 33.9% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, North Carolina Central has been led by Raasean Davis (15.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.0 bpg), Pablo Rivas (11.3 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.1 bpg), Jordan Perkins (8.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 5.3 apg), and Larry McKnight Jr. (6.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg). Defensively, North Carolina Central is allowing their opponents to average 69.6 ppg on 46.2% shooting from the field. The Eagles have a rebound margin of 4.7 and a turnover margin of -2.1.
The top-seeded Hampton Pirates improved to 19-14 (12-4 MEAC) on the season after defeating the 4-seed North Carolina A&T Aggies, 96-86, last night. Hampton led by a 49-37 margin at halftime and pulled away in the 2nd half after taking an 84-73 lead with 1:55 left in regulation. Hampton shot 48.4% from the field and 63.6% (7-11) from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for the Pirates was Malique Trent-Street who had 25 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals. On the season, Hampton is averaging 77.5 ppg on 45.1% shooting from the field. The Pirates are averaging 5.7 three-pointers per game on 31.6% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Hampton has been led by Jermaine Marrow (19.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 5.5 apg, 1.2 spg), Malique Trent-Street (13.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.8 spg), Kalin Fisher (12.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.1 apg), and Greg Heckstall (8.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.0 apg). Defensively, Hampton is allowing their opponents to average 73.8 ppg on 41.8% shooting from the field. The Pirates have a rebound margin of 2.1 and a turnover margin of -0.2.
The Eagles are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 Saturday games and the Eagles are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall. The Pirates are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS win and 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games vs. MEAC opponents.
Hampton won their only matchup against North Carolina Central this season as the Pirates won by an 86-70 margin on the road in early February.
The North Carolina Central Eagles have won 4-straight games and has been led by their defense this season that ranks 101st in scoring defense, 55th in defensive FG%, and 48th in rebound margin. Hampton has won 10 straight games and rank 79th in scoring offense, 57th in scoring defense, and 9th in FT%. North Carolina has had a nice run, however, I just don’t think the Eagles have enough firepower on the offensive end and as the Eagles can struggle with turnovers, I’m taking Hampton to cover this spread.