Marshall Thundering Herd (25-10) at West Virginia Mountaineers (24-10)
College Basketball: Sunday, March 18, 2018 at 9:30 pm (Viejas Arena)
The Line: West Virginia Mountaineers -12 -- Over/Under: 159.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Marshall Thundering Herd and West Virginia Mountaineers will square off at Viejas Arena this Sunday night in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament.
The 13-seed Marshall Thundering Herd notched their first ever NCAA win after upsetting the 4-seed Wichita State Shockers, 81-75, this past Friday afternoon. In a tight back and forth game in the 2nd half, Marshall was able to pull away for good after C.J. Burks picked the pocket of the Shockers, Landry Shamet, and converted on the break away dunk to give the Thundering Herd a 78-72 lead with 2:01 remaining in regulation. Marshall shot 46.7% from the field and 39.1% (9-23) from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for the Thundering Herd was Jon Elmore who had 27 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. On the season, Marshall is averaging 84.2 ppg on 46.9% shooting from the field. The Thundering Herd are averaging 10.0 three-pointers per game on 35.5% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Marshall has been led by Jon Elmore (22.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 6.9 apg, 1.5 spg), C.J. Burks (20.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.1 apg, 1.1 spg), Ajdin Penava (15.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 1.8 apg, 4.0 bpg), and Jarrod West (7.9, 2.7 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.6 spg). Defensively, Marshall is allowing their opponents to average 78.7 ppg on 44.0% shooting from the field. The Thundering Herd have a rebound margin of -4.7 and a turnover margin of 1.2.
The 5-seed West Virginia Mountaineers improved to 25-10 on the season and advanced to the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament after defeating the Murray State Racers, 85-68, this past Friday night. West Virginia was outstanding on the defensive end, especially against the Racers top scorer, Jonathan Stark, and had no trouble securing the victory after taking a 73-59 lead with 2:40 left in regulation. West Virginia shot 51.6% from the field while holding Murray State to 41.2% shooting from the field and 30.4% (7-23) shooting from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Mountaineers was Jevon Carter who had 21 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, and 6 steals. On the season, West Virginia is averaging 79.8 ppg on 43.6% shooting from the field. The Mountaineers are averaging 8.7 three-pointers per game on 35.3% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, West Virginia has been led by Jevon Carter (17.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 6.7 apg, 2.9 spg), Daxter Miles Jr. (12.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.3 spg), Sagaba Konate (10.9 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 3.3 bpg), and Esa Ahmad (10.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.7 apg). Defensively, West Virginia is holding their opponents to an average of 69.0 ppg on 42.4% shooting from the field. The Mountaineers have a rebound margin of 3.2 and a turnover margin of 5.3.
The Thundering Herd are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up win and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games. The Mountaineers are 4-1 ATS in their last games vs. a team with a winning % above .600 and 17-8-2 ATS in their last 27 NCAA Tournament games.
Marshall continued their great run, which including winning the C-USA Championship, with their upset over Wichita State and has been led by their offense this season that ranks 10th in scoring offense, 63rd in FG%, and 22nd in three-pointers made per game. West Virginia is once again led by their defense that ranks t-88th in scoring defense, 15th in blocks per game, 14th in steals per game, and 2nd in turnover margin. West Virginia has won 11 of their last 13 games however, it’s hard to deny how well Marshall has played this season as not only did they knock of Wichita State, the Thundering Herd also went 2-0 against a very good Middle Tennessee team. Marshall has some great shooters and as this is more points than I originally though the line was going to be set at, I think that if Marshall limits their turnovers, they’ll be able to cover with the points.