Confidence Makes Stephen F. Austin +8 Our Tourney Pick vs. West Virginia

Charles Stark

Friday, March 18, 2016 11:30 AM UTC

Friday, Mar. 18, 2016 11:30 AM UTC

The little guy takes on the big guy today when Stephen F. Austin takes on West Virginia for Friday’s NCAA tournament action. Will a Cinderella arise from this contest?



NCAA tournament odds experts have come out making Stephen F. Austin a +8 underdog like at Heritage Sports -105. For one of my NCAA tournament picks I am going to back Stephen F. Austin plus the points to keep this game interesting. West Virginia is very good but I anticipate the Lumberjacks will be able to score and the pace should be decently slow.


Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks
SFA averages 79.5 points per game, is on a 20 game winning streak, and ranks 11th in the country in shooting efficiency. Of course they are coming out of the smaller Southland Conference but their winning streak is no joke especially when you add in the fact they rank 2nd in the country in average scoring margin at 15.3 points per game. They also move the ball very well averaging 18.3 assists per game which ranks second in the country. Defensively they have been good not great and I expect them to struggle at times versus the most athletic team they have faced this season. Still, they control tempo extremely well allowing opponents to get up only 50.9 field goal attempts with 15.6 of those coming from distance which ranks them 11th and 13th in the country respectively. If they are able to take care of the basketball against West Virginia’s pressure they have an outside shot at the upset.


West Virginia Mountaineers
West Virginia averages 79.2 points per game, finished 2nd in the Big 12, and rank second in the country in free throw attempts per game.  Defensively just like SFA they control tempo allowing opponents just 48.8 field goal attempts per game which ranks second in the country.  With both of these teams though controlling shots I believe this will only help SFA make this game competitive as the Mountaineers rank in the bottom half of the country in opponent shooting efficiency. Offensively they can score and they average in the top third of country in overall shooting percentage and field goals made per game. They are not a very good three point shooting team though averaging just 32.9% from beyond the arc. Of course the conferences are completely different and West Virginia has been playing against some of the best teams all season. I don’t expect them to lose this game but I do expect SFA to stay within the number.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Stephen F. Austin +8 
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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