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Tulsa vs. SMU - 3/14/19 AAC Tournament First Round College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
SMU at Tulsa
Date & Time Thursday March 14, 2019, 8:00 PM (EDT)
Location
FedexForum
Memphis, TN
The Line
SMU Mustangs -2 -- O/U: 140.5
TV Channel
ESPNU
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NCAA BB | SMU at Tulsa
Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

The SMU Mustangs and the Tulsa Golden Hurricane meet in an AAC tournament first round matchup from the FedExForum on Thursday night.

The SMU Mustangs come into the conference tournament as the #10 seed, finishing the year with a 14-16 overall record, including 6-12 in conference play, losing out on a tiebreaker with UConn for the #9 spot. SMU faced some tough opposition in the non-conference portion of their schedule with a loss to TCU and a win over Georgetown as well as a loss to 2019 Missouri Valley tournament champion Bradley. SMU started conference play 3-1 and 4-3 before going on a losing skid where SMU dropped 9 of their next 10 games before finishing the year on a high note with a win over USF. Jahmal McMurray led SMU in scoring with 17.8 points per game while Ethan Chargois came 2nd with 12.5 points per game. Jimmy Whitt Jr. is 3rd with 12.1 points along with team-high averages of 6.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game while Isiaha Mike is SMU’s 4th double-digit scorer with 11.9 points per game on the year. As a team, SMU is averaging 71.8 points per game on 43.9% shooting from the field, 33.7% from behind the arc and 71.8% from the foul line this season.

The Tulsa Golden Hurricane enter the tournament as the #7 seed, finishing the year 18-13 overall, including an 8-10 record in AAC conference play, winning out on a head-to-head tiebreaker with USF for the 7th spot. Tulsa had some tough non-conference opposition, with losses to Nevada and Utah as well as wins over Dayton, Oklahoma State and Kansas State just to name a few. Conference play was a bumpy road for Tulsa, starting 2-6 and 3-7 before rattling off 5 wins in their final 8 games, however still finishing below .500 in conference play. DaQuan Jeffries led the Golden Hurricane in scoring with 13 points per game while Martins Igbanu had 12.6 points per game with both Jeffries and Igbanu sharing the team-high in rebounding with 5.7 rebounds per game. Sterling Taplin added 9.7 points as well as leading Tulsa in assists with 4.1 assists per game this season. As a team, Tulsa is averaging 72 points per game on 45.1% shooting from the field, 34.6% from behind the arc and 69.4% from the foul line this season.

SMU is 11-24-1 ATS in their last 36 games against a team with a winning record and 18-39-1 ATS in their last 58 neutral site games while the under is 6-2 in their last 8 games following a win. Tulsa is 24-9 ATS in their last 33 Thursday games while the over is 7-2 in their last 9 neutral site games. The over is 7-2 in the last 9 meetings between these two teams.

I can understand SMU being favored here after winning the lone head-to-head meeting between the two in the regular season. However, that doesn’t change the fact that Tulsa was playing the better basketball of the two down the stretch while SMU at times couldn’t seem to buy a win. I know it’s the conference tournament and anything can happen, but I simply think that the wrong team is favored here so I’ll take the free points with Tulsa in this one.

Pick:
Tulsa +2

Chris has been a sports fan from when he was old enough to pick up a basketball and was a standout offensive lineman throughout high school and college. Chris uses that same instinct, determination and drive to analyze trends and statistics to find and produce winners on a consistent basis. Chris has been writing for Sports Chat Place since 2016 and covers a wide array of sports from college and pro football, college basketball, hockey and baseball.

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