Wagner Seahawks at Baylor Bears
When and Where: Tuesday March 13 at 7 p.m. ET at Ferrell Center in Waco, TX
Wagner lost to LIU Brooklyn in the Northeast Conference’s tournament championship, but since the Seahawks won the NEC’s regular season title they are in the NIT. The Seahawks had won five of their previous six games before losing to Brooklyn. Baylor, a No. 1 seed in the NIT, has lost four of its previous five games. The lone Bear win during that stretch came against Oklahoma. The NIT has new rules this year, which could make for an interesting game, especially the first time both teams will play with a longer three-point field goal, four 10-minute quarters instead of two 20-minute halves and the shot clock resetting to 20 seconds after an offensive rebound instead of the full-30 seconds.
It was a tough way to end the conference tournament with a loss. Wagner was expected to be in the NCAA tournament after a strong conference season. The Seahawks are averaging 74 points per game, which ranks in the middle of the pack nationally. Wagner’s shooting 35 percent from three on the season, showcasing its efficiency. The Seahawks have two of their top three scorers shooting at least 39 percent from three.
Wagner will be hungry, looking to upset a Power Five team in Baylor. The Seahawks are led by sophomore Blake Francis. Francis is averaging 17 points per game. Francis, however, must bounce back following a terrible NEC championship game. Francis shot 3-of-17 for only eight points. If Francis plays like he’s capable of playing, the Seahawks have a legitimate chance to pull off the win.
Baylor had a disappointing end to the season. The NIT isn’t where the Bears expected to end their season. Baylor began the season 5-0, and was ranked in the top 25. The Bears beat Creighton in the non-conference schedule. Baylor, however, was inconsistent the rest of the season. The Bears have some serious talent, especially Manu Lecomte. Baylor has three players averaging double-figures, so if the Bears are motivated enough, they shouldn’t have too much of a problem beating Wagner.
Lecomte enjoyed some success in the NCAA tournament throughout his career, so it’s weird seeing the senior participating in the NIT in his final March. He’s averaging 16 points per game. Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. is also a senior for the Bears, averaging 14 points and a shade under nine rebounds per game.
- Seahawks are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games.
- Bears are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- Bears are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Tuesday games.
- Bears are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games.
Baylor should be motivated to play well in the NIT, so this should be an easy win. The Bears have a solid defense, allowing opponents to score 69 points per game, which ranks just outside the top 100 in the country.