Can Gators chomp on Colonials?
As the NIT gets down to the nitty-gritty, Florida and George Washington have the honors in tonight’s quarterfinal matchup.
Oddsmakers from online sports book BetDSI have installed the Colonials as 2-point favorites entering the 7 p.m. ET tip at the Charles E. Smith Center. The over/under total sits at 148.
The Gators opened their semifinal showdown with Ohio State on a 16-4 run before hanging on down the stretch. Monday’s 74-66 victory marked the team’s second straight away from the O’Connell Center, which continues to undergo renovations.
George Washington (25-10), of course, won’t object to hosting another postseason affair. Led by Tyler Cavanaugh’s 22 points and 12 rebounds, the Colonials bounced No. 1 seed Monmouth from the festivities two nights ago. GW shot 52 percent from the field in that 87-71 upset, never trailing in the game.
While Cavanaugh runs things in the paint, Kevin Larsen anchors the 3-point attack for head coach Mike Lonergan. The Copenhagen native owns a 66.7 percentage from deep over the last four games. He also doubles as the school’s leading rebounder, averaging 8.3 boards per contest.
UF (21-14) counters with its own force of nature down low. Dorian Finney-Smith registered a double-double against the Buckeyes, extending a marvelous NIT stretch. Ever since center John Egbunu underwent surgery for a torn thumb ligament, Finney-Smith has elevated his play to a different plane.
Both of these schools deserve to bask in the Big Apple lights next week. Only one will advance to Madison Square Garden, however, and we prefer George Washington’s more versatile attack. There’s no place like home either, where the Colonials are 15-3.
WEDNESDAY NCAA FREE PICK: GEORGE WASHINGTON -2