Mercer Bears (19-14) at North Texas Mean Green (16-17)
College Basketball: Monday, March 19, 2018 at 8:00 pm (The Super Pit)
The Line: North Texas Mean Green -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Mercer Bears and North Texas Mean Green will square off at UNT Coliseum this Monday night in the quarterfinals of the CBI Tournament.
The Mercer Bears improved to 19-14 on the season and advanced in the CBI Tournament after defeating the Grand Canyon Antelopes, 78-73, this past Wednesday night. Mercer led by a 36-33 margin at halftime and was able to pull away for the victory after an 11-0 Bears run gave Mercer a 72-65 lead with just 2:43 left in regulation. Mercer shot 50.9% from the field and 50.0% (10-20) from beyond the arc in the win. Leading the way for the Bears was Jordan Strawberry who had 21 points, 8 assists, 1 rebound, and a steal. On the season, Mercer is averaging 75.6 ppg on 47.7% shooting from the field. The Bears are averaging 8.6 three-pointers per game on 39.0% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Mercer has been led by Jordan Strawberry (11.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.0 apg), Demetre Rivers (11.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.0 apg), Stephon Jelks (9.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.6 apg), and Desmond Ringer (9.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg). Defensively, Mercer is holding their opponents to an average of 69.0 ppg on 43.3% shooting from the field. The Bears have a rebound margin of 5.8 and a turnover margin of -0.7.
The North Texas Mean Green had their offensive rolling in their 1st round matchup against the South Dakota Coyotes and had no trouble advancing in the CBI Tournament after defeating South Dakota by a 90-77 margin this past Wednesday. North Texas led by a 39-35 margin at halftime and easily pulled away after taking a 73-51 lead with 7:28 left in regulation. North Texas shot 42.4% from the field while holding South Dakota to 37.1% shooting from the field and 18.2% (6-33) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Mean Green was Roosevelt Smart who had 34 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal. On the season, North Texas is averaging 73.4 ppg on 44.6% shooting from the field. The Mean Green are averaging 8.0 three-pointers per game on 35.4% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, North Texas has been led by Roosevelt Smart (19.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg), Ryan Woolridge (13.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 5.6 apg, 1.3 spg), A.J. Lawson (9.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.3 apg), and Shane Temara (7.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg). Defensively, North Texas is allowing their opponents to average 71.6 ppg on 43.4% shooting from the field. The Mean Green have a rebound margin of 3.5 and a turnover margin of -0.8.
The Bears are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 road games and 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall. The Mean Green are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games and 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Mercer has won 9 of their last 10 games and has been solid on both ends of the court this season as the Bears rank 121st in scoring offense and t-88th in scoring defense. North Texas struggled down the stretch of the regular season however, the Mean Green looked outstanding against a very good South Dakota team on the road and come into this matchup ranked 180th in scoring offense, 155th in scoring defense, and 63rd in rebound margin. Mercer is the more balanced team, however, North Texas looked outstanding on both ends of the court against South Dakota and although the line has yet to be released, I’m leaning on taking North Texas in a game which I imagine they’ll be favored by a few points. Please check back when the line is released.