College Basketball Betting News and Notes Tuesday, March 19

College Basketball Betting News and Notes Tuesday, March 19

College Knowledge

NCAA play-in games (Tues, Dayton)
North Carolina A&T is #9 team in country in experience, but they tied for 6th in MEAC- they turn ball over 22.5% of time, but force turnovers 23.7% of time, so their games are chaotic. Liberty lost its first 10 games vs D-I games this season; they're 15-20 with three non-D-I wins- they lost to two MEAC teams, to Morgan St by 5, Howard by 7. A&T beat Campbell 85-60, Radford 81-77 in two games vs Big South teams- they don't shoot well (39.2% from arc). Big South is #29 league, MEAC #30. Dogs are 2-1-1 vs spread in these lower play-in game last two years.

Middle Tennessee has to be thrilled to be here after another meltdown in Sun Belt tourney; Blue Raiders have four juniors/four seniors in rotation; they're #2 experienced team in country, are 14-1 in last 15 games- they played #40 non-conference schedule, sub a lot (#12 in bench minutes), but Sun Belt is #19 league, WCC #10. St Mary's is 19-3 last 22 games, with all three losses to Gonzaga; they're 5-2 in other games against top 100 teams- they also sub a lot, but don't defend 3-balls too well (36.9%). Five of Gaels' top six guys are juniors/seniors. Favorites are 2-2 in the upper level play-in games, with last at-large teams to get in.

Other tournaments
There is nothing as futile as trying to handicap these consolation events that run opposite the NCAAs, especially in the first round, because the most important issue is this: Who still wants to be playing? I have no idea who still wants to play; once they play a game or two, then maybe we can come up with something, but for this week, I'd stay away. That said, some very brief notes on these games........

-- Maryland lost by 3 to North Carolina Saturday; Niagara lost by 22-17 to Notre Dame/Bucknell, two best teams they've played- Eagles haven't played in nine days.
-- St John's lost last five games and eight of last ten; St Joe's won its last six home games. Johnnies tossed Harrison, their best player.
-- Louisiana Tech was 16-0 in WAC, then lost last three games, losing in Vegas Thursday. Florida State won its last four home games, three by 4 or less points. Tech has to be a little bit on tilt after late meltdown.
-- Robert Morris is so excited they cancelled classes Tuesday, Kentucky hasn't won a road/neutral game since Noel got hurt. Colonials lost by 5 to Arkansas, by 2 to Xavier, so they shouldn't get crushed here.

-- Northeastern is 3-4 in last seven games, after falling behind by 20 in both first halves at CAA tourney. Alabama lost by 10 to Florida three days ago. Huskies haven't played since last Monday.
-- Norfolk State went 16-0 in MEAC, then lost in tourney; they lost by 22 at NC State of ACC in December. Virginia beat Duke,then lost three of last four games to wind up here- they can't be happy.
-- Denver is 17-2 in last 19 games, losing in first round of WAC tourney in Vegas Thursday. Ohio lost MAC final to Akron Saturday; Princeton offense hard to prepare for on short notice.
-- Washington lost in OT at Pac-12 tourney, lost five of last six true road games. BYU lost three of last four games, hasn't played in 11 days.

-- SF Austin went 16-2 in Southland, but lost in tourney final Saturday; Stanford lost three of last four home games; they lost in OT at Pac-12 tourney Wednesday. SFA won Bracket Buster game at Long Beach.
-- George Mason/Charleston will be CAA rivals next year; Patriots' last five games were all decided by 6 or less points. Charleston won 12 of its last 15 games, but lost SoCon final to Davidson.
-- Lehigh is 3-4 in last seven games, losing last three on road; they upset Duke LY, now an NIT game at Wyoming? Cowboys are 1-6 last seven games, but are 14-0 outside MWC. Both teams missing a key guard.
-- Long trip for Vermont, which lost home game for America East title Saturday. Santa Clara hasn't played in 11 days- they won five of last six home games, went 9-8 in WCC.

-- Rider/Hartford haven't played in 10 days, Broncs since 43-42 loss in MAAC tourney. Hawks went 4-3 this season vs MAAC opponents. Broncs won five of their last six games.
-- Gardner-Webb won by 10-20 points in two games vs OVC foes; they had won seven in row before getting upset in Big South tourney. Eastern Kentucky is 2-3 in last five games, allowing 80+ in all three losses.
-- Fairfield lost four of last six games, scoring 46.7 ppg; they last played nine days ago. Kent State lost by 3 to rival Akron Friday, ending 6-game winning streak- they won last five home games.
-- Oakland is worst defensive team in country, but they beat Valparaiso, best team in Horizon, by hoop at home. Youngstown State is 4-7 in last 11 games; they lost in OT to North Dakota State of Summit.

-- Savannah State turns ball over 27.4% of time, worst in country- they lost by 3-16 points in two games vs C-USA teams. East Carolina is 5-2 this season against teams ranked outside top 200 (Savannah is #219).
-- Boston U/Loyola will be Patriot rivals next year; this is Terriers' first game in 19 days. BU split pair of 8-point decisions vs MAAC outfits. Loyola won by 26-3 in its two games vs America East teams.
-- North Dakota won four of last five games; they blew 12-point lead vs Weber State in Big Sky semis Friday; they lost 72-47 at Northern Iowa back in November. Panthers haven't played in eleven days.
-- Evansville hasn't played in 11 days; they split pair of 12-point games with OVC opponents. Tennessee State turns ball over 22% of the time; they haven't played in eleven days either.

Amarillosports.com

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Tuesday, March 19

North Carolina A&T vs. Liberty Point Spread and Pick
By: The Linemakers
Sportingnews.com

No. 16 North Carolina A&T vs. No. 16 Liberty, Midwest region (Dayton, Ohio)

Line:
North Carolina A&T -2 (as of Monday afternoon)

North Carolina A&T (19-16 SU, 7-0 ATS, 2-3 O/U)

Strengths:
For North Carolina A&T to win a game in the tournament, their defense must shine. The Aggies kept opponents’ field-goal percentage down and generated turnovers. While they were 0-2 against the 26-50 teams in the RPI, there were 1-0 against teams 51-100, that win being over Eastern Kentucky. Senior forward Adrian Powell and junior guard Lamont Middleton are the team’s go to offensive options and both contribute equally on the stats sheet. The Aggies also are good at getting to the line.

Weaknesses: Scoring is an issue. They were one of the worst offensive teams in college basketball while facing one of the softest schedules in the nation. Offensively, they struggle from the field, are turnover-prone and though they get to the line they aren’’t proficient at hitting free throws. Rebounding is a problem on both the offensive and defensive sides of the floor. The Aggies were a middling 8-8 in the MEAC this year and would not have been anywhere near the NCAA Tournament had they not won their conference tournament. In a two game stretch against two NCAA Tournament teams, Cincinnati and Iowa State in November, the Aggies lost 93-39 and 86-57.

Liberty (15-20 SU, 5-3 ATS, 4-1 O/U)

Strengths:
The best thing Liberty has going for it is veteran coach Dale Layer, who is taking his second program (he also guided Colorado State in 2003) to the Big Dance in the last decade. His teams tend to play their best basketball at the end of the season, which is exactly what the Flames did this year after getting off to a 1-10 start. They won their last five games, including the four upsets they pulled off (in six days) while winning the Big South Tournament. The players most responsible for that run were 6-0 junior guards and leading scorers Davon Marshall (14.2 ppg) and John Caleb Sanders (13.4), who exploded for 20 and 27 points, respectively, in the Big South final over top seed Charleston Southern, combining for eight 3-pointers. Marshall, one of the NCAA’s top 3-point shooters, had six of those and is shooting 43.3 percent on treys (101-for-233) for the season.

Weaknesses: There are good reasons this team has 20 losses. Other than 3-point marksmen Marshall and Sanders, the Flames just don’t have much talent or athleticism, especially inside, where 6-9 sophomore Tomasz Gielo (7.6 ppg) is the only player averaging more than five points. They also don’t handle the ball very well for a team that starts three guards, ranking outside the top 300 in turnover margin.

The Linemakers' lean: This is a matchup of literally the lowest-seeded teams in the Big Dance that went a combined 34-36 on the season and snuck in by winning their respective conference tournaments. The winner gets Louisville, the tournament’s top overall seed.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Tuesday, March 19

Saint Mary’s vs. Middle Tennessee State Point Spread and Pick
By: The Linemakers
Sportingnews.com

No. 11 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 11 Middle Tennessee State, Midwest region (Dayton, Ohio)

Line:
St. Mary's -3

Saint Mary’s (27-6 SU, 15-14-1 ATS, 11-13 O/U)

Strengths:
The Gaels are led by Matthew Dellavedova, a four-year starter who does it all from the point guard position. He is the school’s career leader in points, assists and 3-pointers, and he has NCAA Tournament experience. Saint Mary’s lost in the first round last season and made a run to the Sweet 16 in 2010. Behind an efficient offense, Saint Mary’s hasn’t lost to a team not named Gonzaga since December 27.

Weaknesses: The Gaels will go where Dellavedova takes them, and if an opponent is able to shut him down, they will struggle—as they did when he put up two points in the conference tournament loss to the Zags. The Gaels’ only ranked opponent in the regular season was Gonzaga, which they played three times and were blown out by twice, so they haven’t really been tested in a way that will help them in the tournament. Also, a good 3-point shooting team could get hot and really hurt the Gaels—they ranked among the nation’s worst in 3-point field goal percentage defense.

Middle Tennessee State (28-5 SU, 14-14-1 ATS, 11-9 O/U)

Strengths:
The Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders have a deep and experienced group. It is not uncommon for ten players to see double-digit minutes. Of the top ten guys in their rotation, six are seniors and four are juniors; that includes a starting lineup consisting of three seniors and two juniors. In fact, there are only four underclassmen on the entire roster. The Blue Raiders reeled off 17 consecutive wins heading falling in the semifinals of the Sun Belt tournament. Eight of those wins came on the road.

Weaknesses: MTSU may find itself in trouble if it falls behind early. Despite posting solid numbers from beyond the arc, the Blue Raiders’ poor work on the glass and at the free-throw line prevents them from being a high-scoring team. Size also could prove to be a hurdle. Of the ten players who averaged double-digit minutes throughout the regular season, only Shawn Jones and JT Sulton, both listed at 6-8, provide any size. Furthermore, the Blue Raiders have only gone 2-7 against the RPI Top 100, so they are far from the most battle-tested unit in the field.

The Linemakers' lean: There was lots of talk around Middle Tennessee State ahead of Selection Sunday from pundits hoping the Blue Raiders would get an invite, and we’re in agreement that they deserved a shot. The 21st-ranked defensive team in the country goes 10-deep. Meanwhile, it’s been a somewhat down year for St. Mary’s, who beat up on West Coast Conference competition -- until they met up with Gonzaga, which beat the Gaels three times this season.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Tuesday, March 19

Tuesday's NCAA Play-Ins: What Bettors Need to Know
By Covers.com

Liberty Flames vs. North Carolina A&T Aggies (-2, 127)

Liberty’s remarkable journey has given it a chance to do something special. The Flames, who started the season with eight straight losses, play North Carolina A&T in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday at Dayton, Ohio. If Liberty can win its first NCAA Tournament game in history, it will get a chance at top-seeded Louisville in the second round of the Midwest Region on Thursday. The Flames won their last five games - including their final four to win the Big South tournament and earn their first bid since 2004. They also became the second 20-loss team to qualify.

North Carolina A&T also made an improbable run from the seventh seed in the MEAC tournament to reach the NCAAs for the first time since 1995. The Aggies scored less than 60 points in five of their last seven games - and won six of them. North Carolina A&T is an experienced group, with seven seniors – five of them four-year players.

ABOUT LIBERTY (15-20): The Flames put it all together in the Big South tournament, beating the three teams with the best regular-season records. Liberty made 36 shots from behind the 3-point arc in the last five games, shooting 48.6 percent. Davon Marshall led the way from long range, draining 23-of-35, and averaging 18 points. John Caleb Sanders also came through with 27 points in the championship game and Tavares Speaks averaged 15 points in the last three. “We played four of our best games in these four games of the tournament,” Sanders told reporters. “Talk about peaking at exactly the right time.”

ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA A&T (19-16): The Aggies finally added a 16th MEAC championship banner by limiting eight of their last nine opponents to 57 points or less and finding ways to win. North Carolina A&T had to play good defense. The Aggies are shooting 39.9 percent from the field and just under 30 percent from behind the 3-point line. Senior Adrian Powell and junior Lamont Middleton both stepped up in the last four games, averaging 15.8 and 13.8 points, respectively. Another senior, Austin Witter, had a big championship game. The Aggies will lean on their defense, which allows only 38.3 percent shooting.

TRENDS:

* Flames are 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall.
* Aggies are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games overall.
* Over is 6-1 in Flames’ last seven overall.
* Under is 4-1 in Aggies’ last five neutral site games.

TIP-INS

1. Before the Big South tournament, Liberty had not strung two wins together against Division I tournaments.

2. Liberty is 0-2 in the NCAA Tournament and the Aggies are 0-9.

3. North Carolina A&T started the season 1-4, including a 93-39 loss to Cincinnati.

Check out the free play from Doc's Sports for this game.


St. Mary’s Gaels vs. Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (+3, 132)

Middle Tennessee’s best season in its history will include a trip to the NCAA Tournament, despite losing in the Sun Belt semifinals. The Blue Raiders earned their first bid in 24 years and will play Saint Mary’s in the first round on Tuesday at Dayton. The winner plays Memphis on Thursday in the second round of the Midwest Region. Middle Tennessee broke the team record for wins, which included a team-best 17 straight. The Blue Raiders, who beat Mississippi in December, are balanced offensively and have limited opponents to 57.8 points.

Three of the six losses for Saint Mary’s came against No. 1 Gonzaga. The Gaels, who have reached the NCAAs four of the last six years, likely punched their ticket by beating Creighton on Feb. 23. The team’s all-time leading scorer, Matthew Dellavedova, is the key for a productive Saint Mary’s offense.

ABOUT MIDDLE TENNESSEE (28-5): The last time the Blue Raiders made the NCAA Tournament, they upset Florida State in the first round. Middle Tennessee owns a plus-six rebounding margin and has made 37.8 percent of its 3-point shots. Marcos Knight is the only player scoring in double figures (12.5) and also leads the team in rebounds (5.8). Raymond Cintron, who was held scoreless in the last game against Florida International, is the top 3-point threat (44 percent) and Bruce Massey was the league’s defensive player of the year.

ABOUT SAINT MARY’S (27-6): The Gaels haven’t lost to another team other than Gonzaga since before Christmas. Saint Mary’s can score and Dellavedova leads the way, averaging 15.8 points and 6.4 assists. The 6-4 senior guard will have to turn it around after making just 3-of-20 shots in the WCC tournament. Stephen Holt, Beau Levesque and Brad Waldow – all underclassmen – average in double figures to add support. Levesque has made 47.4 percent from behind the 3-point arc, where the Gaels have converted 262 shots – most in the WCC and in the top 25 in the nation.

TRENDS:

* Gaels are 1-4 ATS in their last five neutral site games.
* Blue Raiders are 4-0 ATS in their last four Tuesday games.
* Under is 7-0 in Gaels’ last seven games following an ATS loss.
* Over is 6-0 in Blue Raiders’ last six games vs. a team with a winning percentage above .600.

TIP-INS

1. Middle Tennessee has won a school-record 11 road games each of the last two seasons.

2. Dellavedova is also the Gaels’ all-time leader in assists and can break the single-season mark of 213 with two more.

3. Saint Mary’s reached the regional semifinals in 2010 before losing to Baylor.

Check out the free play from Doc's Sports for this game.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Tuesday, March 19

Tuesday's Play-In Action
By CarbonSports

The North Carolina Aggies and Liberty Flames will play for the opportunity to face the Louisville Cardinals in the Midwest Region on Thursday. Likewise, the little know Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders will challenge the St. Mary’s Gaels for a shot at the 11th seed in the Midwest Region, which will lead to a matchup against the intimidating Memphis Tigers.

North Carolina Aggies -2.0 over Liberty Flames

Though neither team faces betting lines that often, the Liberty Flames went 4-0 SU and ATS to win the Big South Championship. This is mostly notable because they were underdogs in all four of those matchups. Something should be said for a team that ends the season well, and these boys have been playing past their potential for quite some time.
   
They’ve been at rest for over a week which might have cooled off their momentum slightly, but the Flames toppling the Aggies in another upset here isn’t so far fetched.

It’s going to be hard to convince those backing the North Carolina A&T Aggies about that. With a perfect 7-0 ATS record this season, the Aggies far exceeded expectations this season by barely surviving Morgan State in the MEAC Tournament finals.

The main idea is that while Liberty has shown flashes of being much better than we had expected, the Aggies have simply played against a higher caliber of competition throughout the year. They come from a conference that is slightly tougher and that will help give them the edge in this play-in matchup.

Middle Tennessee State +3.0 over St. Mary’s Gaels

After tripping up against Florida International in the semifinals of the Sun Belt Tournament, the Blue Raiders will have another chance at punching their ticket to the big dance as they face off with the St. Mary’s Gaels on Tuesday. The Raiders are not an exceptional betting team for the simple reason that they were heads and shoulders above everyone else in their league during the regular season. The fact remains that this team should be a better matchup for St. Mary’s than the public is anticipating.

The Gaels are a familiar name which is why most of the action is going to lean towards them in this one. But they are not a known commodity, which is important to understand. Just because a school has a big name, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to win out all the time (read: Kentucky). St. Mary’s is a great program and they certainly have a lot of talent, but their defense is seriously lacking and Middle Tennessee can run the score on you in a very big hurry.

Very few people know about the inside-outside combination of Shawn Jones and Marcos Knight who have steadied the Blue Raiders all season with solid production. They have to atone for their mistakes during championship week, and they certainly have the talent to do so. What better way to make up for a mistake than by playing in to the 64-team bracket?

Take Middle Tennessee on the number. The stretch in the moneyline isn’t worth robbing yourself of a generous three-point cushion.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Tuesday, March 19

Tuesday's Cliff Notes
By Dave Essler

Kentucky-Robert Morris: I simply don't know how Kentucky can be motivated to play in front of 3000 Robert Morris fans. Granted, RM isn't what they were last season, and has to be pissed about losing at home to Mt. St. Mary's, but if this is their consolation it's perhaps the biggest game in school history. And what they do is SHOOT. Almost 38% from deep, and their at home. Don't care what the number is, simply cannot take Ky-Jelly.

Niagra at Maryland: Terps gave it everything they had to win the ACC tournament, which was their only ticket. I wonder how much energy that took, to beat Wake, Duke, and almost beat NC. They were playing well, but now play a MAAC team in a game they probably don't care about. You can bet that Niagra does care. From a motivation standpoint there is no contest here, but Niagra is tiny and young, and I am not sure they can overcome the athletic disadvantage on will alone. They play quick, which could be a curse if they don't start well. With that tiny opening number they're begging for people to take the young Terps. Might have to pass that one.

St. Johns-St. Josephs: St. Joe's has been one of the most consistent teams all season. No real bad losses til the last one of the year at Charlotte, which we called, but that was far more situational than it was talent. Any other Conference but the A-10 and more people would be aware of how solid they are. They more than likely think, and want to, win the NIT.The Johnnies are simply there because they're in the Big East and have a name coach. I suppose they could look at this as a potential "start over". Super young and haven't won a game since D'Aneglo Harrison went down, and with a Freshman PG, I can't see taking them here. St. Joe's did have SOME trouble w.up tempo teams like LaSalle and Umass, but on the road. At home they beat Iona, so yeah, can't go Johnnies here.

LaTech-FSU; How can FSU seriously wanna play this game, and even though LaTech ended the season on a tough note, they've got to think they've got a chance to go deep here. They play fast, more than fast enough to play /wFSU. A little under sized here, but with the defense they can play, they can win this game.

Northeastern-Alabama: Hate to say this, but 'Bama gave it all THEY had to win the SEC because that was obviously their only ticket. They really crumbled down the stretch, losing every road game, and how must they feel after coming closer to the score indicated to beating Florida. They simply did not beat a good team, anywhere, all season. Not sure about N'eastern right now. They handily won the CAA regular season and lost to a hot JMU team, which was also aided by some over confidence, I'm sure. If Alabama isn't at their best, Northeastern is the type of team that could give them issues. NE's defense isn't stout, but 'Bama's offense isn't either, and NE can shoot from over Bama's defense. Alabama is just young enough to make this game close. Clearly they won't have much of a crowd.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Tuesday, March 19

First Four Tips
By Brian Edwards
VegasInsider.com

Liberty vs. North Carolina A&T

As of late this morning, most books were listing North Carolina A&T (19-16 straight up, 7-0 against the spread) as a 2.5-point favorite with the total in the 126-127 range.

North Carolina A&T is back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1995 when it lost to Wake Forest in a first-round game. The Aggies won the MEAC Tournament by beating Morgan St. 57-54 as four-point underdogs. The 111 combined points stayed ‘under’ the 122-point total. Adrian Powell scored a team-high 14 points for the Aggies.

North Carolina A&T is a perfect 3-0 ATS as a single-digit favorite. The Aggies faced two teams in the NCAA field this year, losing 93-39 at Cincinnati and falling 86-57 at Iowa St. in a pair of non-lined contests.

Liberty (15-20 SU, 5-3 ATS) is only the second team in NCAA Tourney history to make the field with 20 losses, joining the 2008 Coppin St. squad. The Flames lost their first eight games this season, but they have won five in a row and captured the Big South Tournament title with an 87-76 victory over Charleston Southern as 7.5-point underdogs. John Caleb Sanders was the catalyst with 27 points, seven rebounds and four assists compared to only one turnover.

Liberty is led in scoring by Sanders, who averages a team-high 13.8 points per game. The Flames probably played their best game on Nov. 14 at Georgetown, losing a 68-59 decision in a non-lined affair. Even though the Hoyas shot 50 percent from the field and went to the free-throw line 26 times compared to Liberty’s nine attempts from the charity stripe, the Flames stayed close by draining 11-of-20 from 3-point land.

Liberty has an RPI of 289. Georgetown and Iona (87-69 road loss) were the Flames’ only games against schools in the NCAA field, but they played two other RPI Top 100 opponents. They lost 84-42 at Richmond and dropped a 74-56 decision to So. Miss on a neutral court.

North Carolina A&T has an RPI of 214. The Aggies got their best win on Dec. 19 when they beat Eastern Kentucky (RPI: 66) 78-67 at home. Powell finished with 16 points and eight rebounds.

With a hat tip to USA Today, Liberty has a pair of notable alumni in ESPN’s Samantha Ponder and former Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves first baseman, Sid Bream.

The ‘over’ is 4-1 overall for Liberty.

The ‘under’ is 3-2 overall for the Aggies.

Tip-off is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. Eastern on TruTV in Dayton, Ohio.

Saint Mary’s vs. Middle Tennessee

As of late this morning, most spots had Saint Mary’s (27-6 SU, 15-14-1 ATS) installed as a three-point ‘chalk’ with a total of 132. The Blue Raiders are +140 on the money line (risk $100 to win $140).

Saint Mary’s has been a single-digit favorite 10 times, posting a 5-5 spread record.

Randy Bennett led the Gaels to the Sweet 16 several years ago, but they lost a first-round game to Purdue last year. Matthew Dellavedova is this team’s senior point guard and one of the best players in WCC history. He averages 16.5 points, 6.2 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game. His leaning buzzer beater to propel the Gales to a win at BYU was probably the difference in this squad getting an at-large bid.

Saint Mary’s had won six in a row before losing 65-51 to Gonzaga in the WCC Tournament finals. The Gaels lost to the ‘Zags three times and their other three defeats came at No. Iowa and to Georgia Tech and Pacific on a neutral court at a tournament in November.

Middle Tennessee (28-5 SU, 14-14-1 ATS) lost 61-57 to Florida International as a 13.5-point favorite in the Sun Belt Tournament semifinals, prompting a long week of angst in Murfreesboro. The Blue Raiders had just one win over an RPI Top 100 foe with 65-62 win over Ole Miss. However, they had the nation’s sixth-best non-conference strength of schedule based on playing at Akron (82-77 loss in overtime), at Belmont (64-49 loss) and vs. Florida (66-45 defeat) in Tampa. Kermit Davis’s team won 75-61 at UCF, beat UAB 84-64 at home and knocked off Vandy 56-52 on a neutral floor.

Middle Tennessee has been an underdog four times, going 1-3 ATS. The Blue Raiders, who had won 17 in a row until the loss to FIU, are 28th in the RPI Rankings.

The ‘over’ is on a 7-3 run for Middle Tennessee to improve to 11-9 overall.

Davis’s top assistant is Monte Towe, the former head assistant at the University of Florida under Norm Sloan in the 1980s. Towe was the floor general and starting point guard for the 1974 North Carolina St. team that won the national championship.

The ‘under’ is 13-11 overall for Saint Mary’s.

TruTV will have the telecast 30 minutes after the conclusion of Liberty-NC A&T.

B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets

Two of tonight’s CBI games have been postponed until Wednesday: North Dakota at Northern Iowa and Fairfield at Kent St.

Iowa will play host to Indiana St. in the NIT on Wednesday. The Hawkeyes, who are favored by 12.5, have posted a 5-2 spread record in seven games as double-digit favorites this year. The Sycamores slumped down the stretch, limping to a 1-8 ATS mark in their last nine games. However, they went 6-2 ATS in eight games as underdogs of 7.5 points or more. ESPN2 will have television coverage at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

Maryland will host Niagara tonight in the NIT at 7:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2. The total is in the 148-149 range.

Kentucky is a 3.5-point favorite tonight at Robert Morris on ESPN at 7:30 p.m. Eastern The Wildcats, the defending national champs who are a No. 1 seed in the NIT, will get the winner of Providence-Charlotte is they advance.

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