Mount St. Mary’s vs. LIU Brooklyn Pick
Shockers on the NCAA basketball betting lines have happened all throughout the NEC Tournament this year, and what’s left standing in the conference final will play out on Tuesday night. The No. 3 Long Island Blackbirds will take on the No. 5 Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers in Coraopolis, PA with a spot in the NCAA Tournament on the line.
The Mountaineers have only been to the NCAA Tournament three times before in school history, and they are hoping to make it a fourth time this year. This has always been one of those teams in the NEC that has been underrated, knowing that Mount St. Mary’s has one of the highest RPIs in the conference at 138 (coming into play on Saturday). The stats aren’t particularly overwhelming when you look at what the Mount is bringing to the table, but when you dig a little deeper, you’ll see a team that has some real potential. Amazingly, Mount St. Mary’s upset the Robert Morris Colonials on Saturday with G Shivaughn Wiggins scoring just two points. He is one of the four men on this team that are averaging more than 5.7 points per game this year, and without his contributions on the season, this team wouldn’t be where it currently is. Instead, it was the top scorer, G Rashad Whack that had a great night against the Colonials, putting up 26 points and knocking down four-of-five from beyond the arc.
The Blackbirds are known for their running and gunning, and they have scored at least 91 points in three straight games. This is one of the most fun teams to watch in the nation, as it runs all over the court and scores at will against anyone that it faces. LIU Brooklyn is averaging 79.1 points per game this season, and it shoots 47.9 percent from the floor, both of which are Top 15 numbers in the nation. This is a team with NCAA Tournament experience, and it is a shock that this year’s team didn’t play as well as last season’s did. F Julian Boyd has missed most of the season with a torn ACL, which has hurt a ton, but F Jamal Olasewere, G CJ Garner, and G Jason Brickman are all back to help lead the way. Olasewere is a monster in the paint, averaging 19.0 points and 8.5 boards per game, while Garner is the best man in the backcourt, averaging 15.6 points per game. The problem comes with turnovers. The Blackbirds are coughing it up 15.0 times per game, and that’s not going to cut it here in the NEC Final.
These two split the season series this year. One would tend to think that the Mountaineers could hang in this one with that bring the case, but we aren’t all that sure. The loss that Long Island suffered came in a game where Olasewere was on the bench for half the game in foul trouble. As long as he is on the court, the boys from Long Island are a heck of a lot better than the ones from Mount St. Mary’s. Lay the points and go with the Blackbirds to fly back to the NCAA Tournament once again. LIU Brooklyn 88 – Mount St. Mary’s 74