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Lipscomb Bisons vs. Davidson Wildcats
NCAAB: Tuesday, March 19, 2019, John M. Belk Arena, Davidson, North Carolina, 6:00 PM ET
The National Invitation Tournament First Round will see the matchup between the Lipscomb Bisons and the Davidson Wildcats at John M. Belk Arena in Davidson, North Carolina, Tuesday night. Lipscomb represents the Atlantic Sun Conference after losing the championship tournament finals, while Davidson lost in the semis of the Atlantic 10 championship tournament. This will be the first-ever head-to-head duel between these two schools.
The Bisons just stayed shy of the NCAA tourney bid
The Lipscomb Bisons (25-7; 14-2 Conf.) are coming off a painful 74-68 defeat to the Liberty Flames in the ASUN finals to stay without a place in the Big Dance. The Bisons lost a tight battle that saw 18 lead changes in the second half, so they will need some time to get over it. Garrison Mathews led his team with 21 points on 4-of-8 shooting from deep, but he couldn’t deliver in the final minute. Lipscomb suffered its first defeat over the last five outings, while the Bisons are 7-1 straight up and 4-4 ATS in their previous eight showings on the road. This will the Bisons’ second appearance at the NIT after losing to UTEP in the opening round in 2006.
Lipscomb enters the NIT as a No. 49 at the NCAA NET Rankings and a No. 53 at the latest KenPom rankings. The Bisons are scoring 110.0 points per 100 possessions (65th in the country) on 48.3% shooting from the field, allowing 96.8 points in a return (52nd in the country) which tell a lot about a good job they are doing on both sides of the ball. The senior guard Garrison Mathews is a key guy for the Bisons, averaging 20.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, while the junior PG Kenny Cooper is adding 10.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per contest.
The Wildcats look terrifying on the home court
The Davidson Wildcats (24-9; 14-4 Conf.) finished the regular season at the second spot of the A 10 standings, but they couldn’t reach the championship tournament finals, losing to the Saint Louis Billikens 67-44 in the semis. It was a heavy defeat for the Wildcats who shot the season-low 25.9% from the field, scoring only 15 points in the second half. Instead of battling for the place in the Big Dance, the Wildcats will appear at the National Invitation Tournament for the first time since 2016 when they lost to Florida State in the first round. The Wildcats have won four of their last five games overall, while they are 19-1 straight up in their previous 20 showings on the home court.
"That was from the Brooklyn Bridge."
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) March 16, 2019
Davidson enters the NIT as a No. 75 at the NCAA NET Rankings and a No. 84 at the latest KenPom rankings. The Wildcats are tallying 107.5 points per 100 possessions (109th in the country) on 44.8% shooting from the field, conceding 99.3 points in a return (85th in the country). The junior guard Jon Axel Gudmundsson is leading the way for Davidson, averaging 17.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game. The sophomore guard Kellan Grady is posting 16.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per contest, while the freshman forward Luka Brajkovic is adding 10.9 points and 6.1 boards per outing.
- 19-1 SU and 14-6 ATS in the last 20 games at home
- Under is 4-1 in the last five games overall
- 1-8 ATS in the last nine games overall
- Under is 8-3 in the last 11 games on the road
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Bisons are having a great season, but losing the place in the March Madness in the final minute of the ASUN championship tournament can really damage their confidence. On the other side, the Wildcats had more time to recover and will play in front of the home fans which could be a huge advantage. Davidson has been excellent at home lately, so I’m backing the Wildcats to reach the next round.
Prediction: Davidson Wildcats -2.0 (-110)
Full-Game Total Pick
While the Bisons are playing at a very fast pace, averaging 72.9 possessions per 40 minutes (14th in the country), the Wildcats are recording just 64.5 possessions per 40 minutes (319th). I assume the Bisons will have a tall task to obtrude their style of play on the road, while both these teams can play some tough defense, so I’m backing the under.
Prediction: Under 149.0 points (-110)
Full-Game Prop Bet
I expect to see a tight game tonight, assuming that neither side possess enough firepower to win the game by a double-digit margin. I’m already backing the hosts to win the game and cover, but I really think the Bisons stand a chance and their biggest issue is a narrow loss in the conference tournament finals that certainly made some damage. Hereof, I’m backing the lowest winning margin, expecting to see a thrilling finish.
Prediction: Winning Margin: Any Team by 1-5 points (+130)
Half-Time Side Pick
The Wildcats were leading at halftime in three of their last five games overall and in three of their previous five outings on the home court. On the other side, the Bisons were leading at halftime in four of their last five games overall along with a 1-point trail to Liberty, while they were also leading in four of their previous five outings on the road. Hereof, I’m backing the Bisons to cover at halftime.
Prediction: Lipscomb Bisons +1.0 (-110)