Rhode Island at VCU
|Date & Time||Friday March 15, 2019, 12:00 PM (EDT)|
VCU Rams -7.5 -- O/U: 132
The Rhode Island Rams and the VCU Rams meet in an A-10 tournament quarterfinal matchup in college basketball action from the Barclays Center on Friday afternoon.
The Rhode Island Rams come into this game looking to pull off an upset after taking down La Salle by a final score of 76-57 in the second round on Thursday. Cyril Langevine led Rhode Island with 25 points on 9 of 10 shooting with a 7 of 10 mark from the foul line along with 12 rebounds while Fatts Russell added 19 points with a team-high 7 assists and Jeff Dowtin chipped in 12 points to round out the trio of double-digit scorers for Rhode Island in the winning effort. Heading into Thursday, Jeff Dowtin leads Rhode Island in scoring and assists with 15.3 points and 3.9 assists per game while Langevine led the Rams in rebounding with 9.9 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Rhode Island is averaging 69.7 points per game on 43% shooting from the field, 27.5% from behind the 3-point line and 67% from the foul line this season.
The VCU Rams come into the A-10 tournament as the top seed, finishing the regular season with a 25-6 overall record, including a 16-2 record in A-10 play. VCU had some quality wins out of conference, with victories over Temple, Wichita State and Texas as well as losses to Virginia and St. John’s. VCU started conference play with 4 wins out of their first 6 games, but finished the year by rattling off 12 straight wins to finish the year, holding their final 11 opponents to 68 points or less. Marcus Evans leads VCU in scoring and assists with 14.3 points and 3.3 assists per game while De’Riante Jenkins is averaging 11.3 points per game and Issac Vann chipped in 11 points per game to round out the trio of double-digit scorers for VCU on the year. Marcus Santos-Silva added 9.5 points as well as leading the Rams in rebounding with 7 rebounds per game this season. As a team, VCU is averaging 71.5 points per game on 44.4% shooting from the field, 30.6% from behind the arc and 69.9% from the foul line this season. The Rams are also one of the nation’s toughest defensive units, sitting 8th in the nation in terms of scoring defense, holding opponents to just 61.2 points per game as well as allowing teams to shoot just 38.2% from the field (6th-best in D-I) and 27.4% from 3-point range (2nd-best in the country) this season.
Rhode Island is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against a team with a winning record while the over is 5-2 in their last 7 neutral site games. VCU is 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games overall and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against a team with a winning record while the under is 4-0 in their last 4 Friday games. The favorite is 9-0 ATS in the last 9 meetings between these two teams.
These two teams split the regular season series, so it will be interesting to see how Rhode Island comes into this game. However, while Rhode Island easily handled La Salle, playing back-to-backs isn’t something common for most of college basketball, and now these guys have to take on the best defensive team in the conference on no rest. VCU held Rhode Island to just 42 points the last time these two teams met and with VCU having a major rest advantage, I expect the result to be no different. I’m not saying that Rhode Island is held to 42, but I think VCU is good enough to win this one by double-digits so I’ll lay the points in this spot.