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Stephen F. Austin vs. Texas Tech - NCAA First Round - 3/15/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (28-6) at Texas Tech Red Raiders (24-9)

College Basketball: Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 7:27 pm (American Airlines Center)

The Line: Texas Tech Red Raiders -11 -- Over/Under: 138.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: TruTV

We have some East Region first round action on Thursday, as the #3 seed Texas Tech Red Raiders take on the #14 Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks in a college basketball matchup. 

The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks ended up as the #14 seed in the region after finishing the regular season at 28-6, including a 14-4 conference mark that was good enough for the #3 seed in the conference tournament, where the Lumberjacks took down Central Arkansas and Nicholls State before defeating top-seeded Southeastern Louisiana in the conference title game to earn their spot in the big dance. SFA did a solid job out of conference, taking down some tough opposition like Louisiana Tech and Louisiana-Monroe, with losses to NIT-bound Mississippi State and fellow NCAA tournament team Missouri in the non-conference portion of their schedule. Shannon Bogues leads Stephen F. Austin in scoring with 15.4 points per game while TJ Holyfield leads the Lumberjacks in rebounding with 6.4 rebounds per game and Aaron Augustin leads SFA in assists with 3.4 assists per game this season. As a team, Stephen F. Austin is scoring 81.1 points per game on 48.8% shooting from the field, 37.2% from behind the arc and 70.5% from the foul line this season.

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Stephen F. Austin vs. Texas Tech - NCAA First Round - 3/15/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Tech Red Raiders ended up as a #3 seed in the big dance following their 24-9 overall record, including an 11-7 mark in conference play, winning a tiebreaker to finish with the #2 seed in the Big 12 tournament also receiving a first round bye in the process. The Red Raiders took down Texas before falling to eventual conference championship runner-up West Virginia in the semifinals. Texas Tech took down some decent opposition of their own, notching wins over Northwestern, Boston College, South Carolina and a fellow NCAA tournament team in Nevada, with their lone non-conference loss coming to Seton Hall. Keenan Evans led Texas Tech with an average of 17.5 points and 3.1 assists per game while Jarrett Culver leads the Red Raiders in rebounding with 4.7 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Texas Tech is scoring 75.2 points per game on 46.4% shooting from the field, 36.6% from behind the arc and 70.1% from the foul line this season. 

Stephen F. Austin is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games against a team with a winning percentage above .600 while the under is 7-1 in their last 8 neutral site games. Texas Tech is 0-6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 16-34-1 ATS in their last 51 neutral site games while the under is 5-1 in their last 6 NCAA tournament games.

I know it’s a 14 vs. 3 matchup, but I’m shocked to see Texas Tech as this much of a favorite. The committee forgave  Texas Tech’s late struggles due to injuries, but the fact is that even when those injuries subsided, the Red Raiders still couldn’t cover games, which is all we really care about. Stephen F. Austin is very good offensively, and this game has upset alert written all over it for me, so while I’m not sure the Lumberjacks pull off the upset, they’re more than capable of giving Texas Tech a scare, so I’ll take Stephen F. Austin and the points here.

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