UIC vs. St. Francis (PA) - 3/14/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
St. Francis (PA) Red Flash (18-12) at UIC Flames (17-15)
College Basketball: Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 8:00 pm (UIC Pavilion)
The Line: UIC Flames -4 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The St. Francis (PA) Red Flash will travel to UIC Pavilion to take on the UIC Flames this Wednesday night in 1st round action of the CIT Tournament.
The St. Francis (PA) Red Flash finished their regular season with an overall record of 18-12 and earned the 2-seed in the NEC Tournament, however, had their NCAA Tournaments hopes crushed early in the NEC Tournament after being upset by the 7-seed Fairleigh Dickinson Knights by an 84-75 margin in the quarterfinals. St. Francis (PA) struggled defensively against the Knights and couldn’t fight back after a pair of FT’s by Fairleigh Dickinson’s Noah Morgan gave the Knights a 79-75 lead with just :19 seconds left in regulation. St. Francis (PA) allowed Fairleigh Dickinson to shoot 48.4% from the field and was outrebounded by the Knights by a 37-29 margin. Leading the way for the Red Flash was Keith Braxton who had a double-double with 24 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 steals. On the season, St. Francis (PA) is averaging 79.6 ppg on 47.1% shooting from the field. The Red Flash are averaging 8.1 three-pointers per game on 37.2% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, St. Francis (PA) has been led by Jamaal King (18.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.2 spg), Keith Braxton (17.4 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.7 spg), Andrew Wolford (14.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg), and Mark Flagg (6.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg). Defensively, St. Francis is allowing their opponents to average 75.7 ppg on 45.9% shooting from the field. The Red Flash have a rebound margin of -2.1 and a turnover margin of 2.1.
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The UIC Flames had a successful season as they finished regular seed play with an overall record of 17-15, and although they did finished with the 3-seed in the Horizon Tournament due to their impressive 12-6 conference record, the Flames couldn’t get past the quarterfinals after being defeated by the Milwaukee Panthers, 80-75. UIC struggled with turnovers throughout the game and couldn’t fight back after an 8-0 Panthers run gave Milwaukee a 71-62 lead with 2:50 left in regulation. UIC allowed Milwaukee to shoot 46.7% from the field and lost the turnover battle to the Panthers by a 16-8 margin. Leading the way for the Flames was Tarkus Ferguson who had 23 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 block, and 2 steals. On the season, UIC is averaging 75.1 ppg, 45.0% shooting from the field. The Flames are averaging 6.6 three-pointers per game on 34.4% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensviely, UIC has been led by Dikembe Dixson (14.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.3 spg), Marcus Ottey (13.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.8 apg), Tarkus Ferguson (9.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 5.3 apg, 1.1 spg, 1.0 bpg), and Tai Odiase (9.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.2 bpg). Defensively, UIC is allowing their opponents to average 72.8 ppg on 40.8% shooting from the field. The Flames have a rebound margin of 1.6 and a turnover margin of -2.2.
The Red Flash are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up loss and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Wednesday games. The Flames are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games and 0-5 ATS in their last 5 home games.
St. Francis (PA) has won 8 of their last 11 games and has been led by their offense this season that ranks 49th in scoring offense and 54th in FG%. UIC struggled a bit down the stretch as the Flames have lost 4 of their last 6 games, however, UIC was solid on both ends of the court this season and come into this game ranked 140th in scoring offense, 27th in defensive FG%, and 2nd in blocks per game. This game has the potential to be high-scoring however, UIC has faced much better competition this season as the NEC is one of the worst rated conferences this year and as I think Flames just have more talent from top-to-bottom on their roster, I’m taking UIC to cover this small home spread.