College Basketball Picks
Florida Gulf Coast Eagles
Date/Time: March 9th, 12:00 pm ET
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NCAA Basketball Pick – March 9th
The very first bid to the NCAA Tournament will be handed out on Saturday afternoon in Macon, where the Mercer Bears will essentially host the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles in the Atlantic Sun Final.
Florida Gulf Coast has never been in the NCAA Tournament, though this is the second straight season in which the team is playing here in the A-Sun Final. The Eagles made it here to the finale against Mercer with a relatively easy jaunt, taking down both the North Florida Ospreys and the Stetson Hatters. This though, is a totally different task, and everyone on the team knows it. This is a high flying team that is going to run all over the court. G Sherwood Brown and G Bernard Thompson are both great shooters from the inside and outside, and they are averaging a combined 29.4 points per game between them. Brown knocked down 8-of-15 shots from the floor on Friday night against the Hatters, scoring 18 points. He was one of the six men on the team that scored at least nine points, though the rest of the team only scored a grand total of three.
Mercer really hasn’t had a tough time getting here to the finale of the A-Sun. The Bears haven’t danced since the 1985 season, and if they were to win this game, this would be only the third time that they would be in the NCAA Tournament. This is clearly the best team in the Atlantic Sun and has been all year long. Whereas FGCU is a team that loves to run up and down the court, Mercer is an outfit that would much rather slow the game down, be efficient with the basketball, and ultimately play great defense. The Bears are allowing 57.3 points per game this year, and teams are only shooting 38.9 percent from the floor. G Langston Hall is one of the best point guards in the conference, and he and G Travis Smith are great complements for one another. Smith is knocking down 42.5 percent of his shots from long range, and he is averaging 13.4 points per game, while Hall is not only a great scorer at 10.9 points per game, but an awesome distributor as well at 4.8 assists per night.
Mercer is going to have the home court advantage in this game, and this is an opportunity that the team isn’t going to be able to pass up on. The defensive pressure that the Bears are going to bring to the table will be too much for Florida Gulf Coast to handle. The Eagles got the best of the Bears in the most recent meeting, but this time around, the most important game of the year is going to go to Mercer. Mercer 66 – Florida Gulf Coast 57
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