In what should be the highest scoring game of the four played at the First Four in Dayton to start the NCAA Tournament, the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds will face off with the James Madison Dukes in March Madness betting action for the right to play the Indiana Hoosiers on Friday.
Long Island has now made it to three straight NCAA Tournaments, and we absolutely love it when we see veteran teams that have danced multiple times before. It’s a shame that F Julian Boyd is out for the season, as he was one of the major cogs in this lineup. However, the high flying Blackbirds can push the tempo in large part because of its guards more than anything else. G Jason Brickman is one of the top ball movers in the country, and he is joined in the backcourt by hot shooting G CJ Garner, who hits 50.7% of hit chances from the field and 45.8% from long range. F Jamal Olasewere is the big man that teams in the NEC had a tough time stopping. Olasewere is a double-double machine, and this year, he has averaged 18.9 points and 8.5 boards per game. The Blackbirds are going to keep the tempo of the game up, and anyone that remembers the last two years of them being in the dance knows that it doesn’t matter who the foe is either. It’s still run, run, and run some more.
The Dukes are the CAA reps this season, and we, just like everyone else, are wondering how in the heck they made it here to the NCAA Tournament. The CAA was insanely bad this season, and there were a lot of teams ranked in the bottom 75 of the RPI in the entire country this year in this conference. Though JMU did go on to win the conference tournament this year by beating the William & Mary Tribe, Delaware Blue Hens, and Northeastern Huskies, there were some bad losses in the mix as well. Even in the non-conference season, there was very little out there to make us think that this team could really compete with the best and brightest in the NCAA Tournament. Even the stats suggest problems for the Dukes. F Rayshawn Goins is the top scorer on the team at 12.7 points per game, but he isn’t a particularly great shooter at 41.2 percent from the floor and 37.8 percent from long range. Goins was arrested on Sunday for obstruction of justice, and his status for the game on Wednesday night is unknown.
If James Madison is going to hang around in this game, it is going to have no choice but to put the rock in the air from long range quite a bit. Teams that don’t see the Blackbirds on a regular basis really struggle with the flow of this offense, which is a lot faster than even some of the fastest teams that you see on TV all the time. We expect this one to fly past the ‘total’, but we like the experience that Long Island brings to the table as well for the easy win. LIU Brooklyn 81 – James Madison 69
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.