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The Delaware Blue Hens are in the midst of an impressive season, compiling a record of 20-10 overall, with a 10-7 record in the Colonial Athletic Association. Being in a weaker mid-major conference, the Blue Hens won’t warrant any At-Large consideration for the NCAA Tournament, but they can hope to build on their promising season by going on a run in the CAA Tournament. They enter this game on a mini skid, losing two games in a row and failing to cover in each of them.
UNC Wilmington, one of the lesser known teams from the state of North Carolina, is having a rough go about things this season. They enter this contest with a record of 10-20, and are near the bottom of the CAA standings with a 5-12 record. Their only hope for a long-shot berth in the NCAA Tournament is to win the CAA conference tournament, but while I won’t suggest putting any money on that improbable outcome, crazier things have happened in this sport.
Delaware looking to break their mini losing streakDelaware started the season with a 9-0 record on the backs of a very weak non-conference schedule, and things started changing once they started playing some actual competition. They only score a little over 74 points per game, and have an unimpressive +3.5 point differential this season. They don’t have the resume or advanced numbers of a team that could pull an upset in the NCAA Tournament, but they should go into the CAA Tournament with a boatload of confidence based off of their regular season play.
The #BlueHens will play in the #4/#5 quarterfinal game in the CAA Tournament on Sunday, March 8 at 2:30 p.m. at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, D.C.— Delaware Men’s Basketball (@DelawareMBB) February 28, 2020
Delaware will face either Towson, Charleston or Northeastern in the quarterfinals. pic.twitter.com/j7VGRHt8js
Working in the Blue Hens favor is the play of Nate Darling, as the guard comes into this game averaging a very impressive 21.4 points per game. Regardless of his supporting cast, having a player who can score the ball at this rate makes the Blue Hens a dangerous team to prepare for, because on any given night, Darling can single-handedly carry Delaware to a victory. For this reason, top seeds would hope to avoid them if they somehow made the NCAA Tournament, as we’ve seen mid-majors make runs on the back of a single superstar before.
UNC-Wilmington looking to finish the season with some excitementWhile UNC-Wilmington is not playing for their postseason hopes, this time of year is a prime opportunity to play spoiler for the teams with bigger hopes going forward. The Seahawks actually stacked up their non-conference slate, as they had meetings with UNC, Davidson, Boise State, Stanford, and Vanderbilt. They went winless in those games, but it shows some heart as a program to be willing to take a step up in competition early in the season. Unfortunately, it didn’t pan out for the Seahawks in the long-run.
The Seahawks struggle to score the ball, as their average of only 68.9 points per game is only good for 271st in the nation. The leading scorer for the team is Jaylen Sims, who comes in only averaging 12.4 points per game. This is a microcosm of the Seahawks team as a whole, as they can’t find any consistent scoring threats, making it nearly impossible to compete with the more talented teams. Entering their game with Delaware, they’re hoping to buck that trend.
- UNCW is 12-14-1 ATS this season
- UNCW is 7-5 ATS at home this season
- Delaware is 16-13 ATS this season
- Delaware is 6-6 ATS in road games this season
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Delaware is without a doubt the better team, and they have much more to play for going forward, as they’re looking to build momentum before the CAA Tournament. That being said, they can’t look over this Seahawks team, as they are battle tested and could be looking to play spoiler to the Blue Hens. In the end, the lack of scoring for the Seahawks will hurt them, as Delaware adds another road victory to their ledger.
Full-Game Total Pick
I think I made it very clear that UNCW has trouble scoring the ball. Because of this, the total will be lower than usual, and I still think the under is the play here. Delaware is just trying to win this game and advance to the next, and scoring a ton of points will not be necessary to do that. Take the under here and the smart play is to pair it with the Blue Hens spread.