Colonials clash with Pride
George Washington finds itself in a familiar position entering tonight’s throwdown with Hofstra at the Charles E. Smith Center.
For the second straight season, the Colonials (23-10) will tip off in the NIT. Oddsmakers at online sports book Bovada.lv like GW as a 6-point favorite to topple the Pride.
Mike Lonergan’s team enjoyed another exemplary conference run, going 11-7 in Atlantic 10 competition before bowing out to NCAA-bound Saint Joseph’s in quarterfinal action. Forwards Tyler Cavanaugh (16.4 points, 7.4 rebounds) and Kevin Larsen (11.7, 8.5) serve as catalysts on both ends of the floor.
Hofstra is not lacking standard-bearers, either. Seniors Juan’ya Green (17.6) and Ameen Tanksley (16.0) spearheaded the Pride’s charge to a share of the Colonial Athletic Association crown. Perhaps more impressively, the squad’s 24 triumphs represent the second-most in school history since the program commenced DI play in 1972-73.
In four of its past five NIT trips, Hofstra failed to reach the quarterfinal round. We can only imagine the motivation powering Joe Mihalich’s troops this time around, though, given, last Monday’s excruciating loss to North Carolina Wilmington in the CAA title game.
The Colonials clearly desired that 13th seed out West, that invitation to contest mythical Duke. Yet the present features a different form of challenger, and a daunting one at that. In maybe the most competitive first-round matchup of this tourney, GW comes out ahead.
TUESDAY NCAA FREE PICK: GEORGE WASHINGTON -6