Featured Video from Scott Reichel
Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus Ohio
When: Friday, March 22, 2019, 2:45 pm Eastern
We have a South Region first-round matchup to consider when the Colgate Raiders face the Tennessee Volunteers in their first-round encounter on Friday afternoon in Columbus, Ohio. I’m the Flash and I’m pleased to be previewing this game between the Patriot League Champion Raiders and SEC runner-up Volunteers. Let’s look at this intriguing matchup and make “Cash with the Flash” on this Friday afternoon contest.
Introducing Patriot League Champion Colgate
Colgate finished the season as the Patriot League Champions and had a record of 24 wins and 10 defeats and the Raiders cleaned up in the conference with a 13-5 record and KenPom ranks Colgate number 129 in the country with a strength of schedule ranking of 254, so it’s a good thing the Raiders won their conference. Colgate never lost more than two consecutive games this season and have winning streaks of four games and the eleven-game winning streak the Raiders are currently enjoying. Colgate hasn’t played any top 25 schools this season and is about to face one of the best teams in the country on Friday.
There are no shortcuts to anything good in life… especially a conference championship. It's been awesome to see this @ColgateMBB program grow over my time here with the @PatriotLeague. Matt Langel and his staff have done a phenomenal job https://t.co/kQnF4g8M9K
— Morgan Uber (@Morgan_Uber) March 16, 2019
The Raiders aren’t reporting any injuries for their contests with Tennessee on Friday.
Colgate has a neutral site record of two wins and one loss and is currently enjoying an 11-game winning streak.
Junior forward Rapolas Ivanauskas leads Colgate in scoring, averaging 16.4 points per game with a team-leading 7.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists. Ivanauskas knocks down 1.3 three-pointers per game and has exceeded his scoring average in three of the past five games.
The Raiders score an average of 75.8 points with 8.4 offensive rebounds, 27.2 defensive boards and dish 15.6 assists per game this season.
UPDATE #1 3-20-2019 The Flash
Colgate Head Coach Matt Langel had this to say about playing Tennessee
“I don’t think it’s quantifiable,” Langel said of the odds of Colgate winning. “We’re playing against one of the top teams in the country and we don’t have the same type of roster. It’s certainly not impossible, but it’s a tall task; there’s a reason that Tennessee has won 29 games and beaten Kentucky twice and beaten Gonzaga early in the season. I’m sure there are people out there who have a metric on it, like 2 percent, 5 percent, whatever it might be, but for us, in the world of sports, that’s why everyone loves this because every now and then one team catches lightning in a bottle and does something special. That’s what we’ll try to do.”
UPDATE #2 3-21-2019 The Flash
Ivanauskas was asked what kind of player he thinks Grant Williams is;
Grant Williams is a fantastic player. We scouted him all week. Really strong guy, really great in the post, really good in the duck-in situations. It’s going to be a tough situation it’s not going to be just me and Dana or anyone else. It’s going to be a team effort. He’s an All-American and we have a lot of respect for him. And we can’t wait to play him.
Stay tuned for updates until tip-off!!
Tennessee Struggles at End of Season
The Volunteers spent quite a bit of time this season as the number one ranked team in the country. Losses to Kentucky, LSU and to Auburn twice ruined what would have been a very special season. Tennessee finished with a record of 29-5 and 15-2 in the SEC including a run to the finals of the SEC Tournament so there is plenty to be happy about in Knoxville. KenPom ranks the Volunteers at number eight in the country with a strength of schedule rating as the 27th most difficult in NCAA D1 hoops. Tennessee has a record of 4-3 this season against the top 25, never lost more than one consecutive game and boasts a 20-game winning streak this season. Tennessee is ready for Colgate and hopefully, the Raiders will be ready for them on Friday.
— Tennessee Basketball (@Vol_Hoops) March 17, 2019
Tennessee isn’t listing any injuries for the matchup with Colgate.
The Volunteers has a neutral site record of 4-2 this season and is hoping to stop a one-game losing skid on Friday against the Raiders.
Junior forward Grant Williams leads Tennessee in scoring, averaging 19 points per game with a team-leading 7.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. Williams has exceeded his scoring average twice in his last five games.
Tennessee scores an average of 81.8 points per game and snares 9.1 offensive rebounds, hauls down 28.5 defensive rebounds and dish 18.2 assists per game this season.
UPDATE #1 3-20-2019 The Flash
Tennessee Head Coach talked about the NCAA Tourney, Colgate and more during his press conference on Monday afternoon
UPDATE #2 3-21-2019 The Flash
Tennessee senior guard Admiral Schofield was asked about how his experiences during last season’s tournament made him a better basketball player;
“I would just say I’m more motivated. But also it gave me an opportunity to go through the NBA process. So I learned a lot about the game, a lot of things outside of the game that helped me for this upcoming March.
But the biggest thing it taught me how much I loved my teammates, I missed my teammates. And it really gave me motivation towards doing something special in returning. So I think it made me better as far as being a leader and understanding what we want to get done as far as our goals.
We’ve been in great positions this year to win championships. We haven’t finished, but at the same time we have a great opportunity to win another one this year”
- Over is 4-0 in Volunteers last 4 overall.
- Over is 4-0 in Volunteers last 4 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Raiders are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Raiders are 8-0 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This is a game the Flash doesn’t like very much. There isn’t a way in the world we should believe that Colgate can win this game on Friday. That just isn’t likely to happen. Tennessee is 15-13-1 ATS this season when the favored side and Colgate is 6-3 ATS this season when in the underdog role. The Volunteers haven’t been very consistent lately and I think what is most likely to happen is a Tennessee victory but I can’t trust them enough to lay 17.5 points or more in some cases, on Friday. The Flash is on Colgate Friday!!
Prediction: Colgate +17.5 Points
Full-Game Total Pick
These are two of the slower paced sides in college basketball and that total is astronomically high for this game. Colgate is a decent side and finished over the total in 62.5 percent of their games this season and Tennessee ended up over the total in 57 percent of its games this season. So going over the total seems the most likely thing to happen on Friday.
When I did the math and added everything together, I came up with 133 points and thought that might be 20 points too low. Let’s make “Cash with the Flash” and play the over on Friday.
Prediction: Under 151.5 points