Southern Utah at Northern Colorado
|Date & Time||Thursday March 14, 2019, 7:30 PM (EDT)|
Northern Colorado Bears -7.5 -- Over/Under: 141
E Sports Network; PLUTO
The Southern Utah Thunderbirds and Northern Colorado Bears will square off at CenturyLink Arena this Thursday night in the Quarterfinals of the Big Sky Men’s Championship.
The 7-seed Southern Utah Thunderbirds had no trouble generating offense in their 1st round match-up against the Idaho State Bengals and had no trouble advancing after defeating the Bengals by a 94-80 margin on Thursday. Southern Utah trailed by a 41-40 margin at halftime, however, was able to pull away in the 2nd half after a 10-0 run gave the Thunderbirds an 86-70 lead with just :49 seconds left in regulation. Southern Utah shot 53.7% from the field and 73.3% from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for the Thunderbirds was Andre Adams who had 23 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.
Coming into their game against Idaho State, Southern Utah was averaging 75.4 ppg on 44.2% shooting from the field. The Thunderbirds were averaging 8.0 three-pointers per game on 33.2% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Southern Utah has been led by Cameron Oluyitan (12.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.2 spg), Brandon Better (12.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.5 apg), Andre Adams (10.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.0 apg), and Harrison Butler (10.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.0 spg).
Defensively, Southern Utah was allowing their opponents to average 75.9 ppg on 43.0% shooting from the field. The Thunderbirds had a rebound margin of -0.4 and a turnover margin of -0.4.
The Northern Colorado Bears have only made the NCAA Tournament once in their history (2010-11), however, the Bears have a great chance of making a run for the automatic bid after finishing their season with a 21-10 overall record while earning the 2-seed in the Big Sky Men’s Championship with a 15-5 conference record. Northern Colorado has been led by an explosive offense and although they suffered a shocking upset loss at home against Northern Arizona in their regular season finals, the Bears do come into postseason play winning 7 of their last 9 games. Northern Colorado comes into this match-up ranked 69th in scoring offense, 68th in FG%, and 122nd in scoring defense.
On the season, Northern Colorado is averaging 77.0 ppg on 46.4% shooting from the field. The Bears are averaging 9.6 three-pointers per game on 36.5% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Northern Colorado has been led by Jordan Davis (23.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 4.6 apg, 1.4 spg), Bodie Hume (10.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.2 bpg), Jonah Radebaugh (9.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.0 spg), and Jalen Sanders (6.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.2 spg).
Defensively, Northern Colorado is allowing their opponents to average 69.2 ppg on 44.8% shooting from the field. The Bears have a rebound margin of 3.0 and a turnover margin of 0.5.
Northern Colorado defeated Southern Utah in both regular season match-up as the Bears won by a 79-68 margin at home in late January while the Bears won by a 70-53 margin on the road last Thursday.
The Thunderbirds are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600 and just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Bears are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss and 8-0 ATS in their last 8 games following an ATS loss.
Northern Colorado has been one of my favorite teams to back this season and although they had little trouble defeating Southern Utah in both match-ups, it was a bit concerning to see the Bears defense give up 89 points agianst Northern Arizona in their regular season finale. Southern Utah’s defense is a concerning against Jordan Davis and the Northern Colorado offense, however, the Thunderbirds are 2-0 in neutral site games this season and as I think they can keep up their hot shooting that we saw in their match-up against Idaho State, I think the Thunderbirds will do enough to cover with the points in this one. Good Luck!