High/Low Picks For Tuesday, March 7

Matthew Jordan

Monday, March 6, 2017 7:27 PM UTC

Monday, Mar. 6, 2017 7:27 PM UTC

The biggest spread on the opening NCAA basketball board for Tuesday was a SWAC Tournament quarterfinal between Alabama State and Texas Southern, while the smallest spread was a Bethune-Cookman & Delaware State MEAC matchup. Here are my picks.

Alabama State At Texas Southern (-17.5)

All four quarterfinal games in the SWAC Tournament are held on the campus of the higher-seeded schools. The winners advance to the semifinals at Houston’s Toyota Center on Friday – this winner here faces either No. 4 Prairie View A&M or No. 5 Grambling State -- and the championship game is on Saturday. Texas Southern (20-11, 16-2) earned the No. 1 seed by winning its third straight regular-season conference title. The Tigers are looking for their seventh all-time NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2015. They have never won a game in the Big Dance. It’s quite possible the winner of the SWAC Tournament will be forced to play in the First Four, although ESPN’s Joe Lunardi currently projects Texas Southern as the No. 16 in the West Region and opening against Gonzaga.

Texas Southern dominated the league’s awards, as one would expect. Guard Zach Lofton won SWAC Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year. The junior transfer from Illinois State led the league with 17.9 points per game. He also averaged 3.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.3 steals. Marvin Jones was named the SWAC Defensive Player of the Year and Demontrae Jefferson the Freshman of the Year. Jones averaged 1.5 blocks and 6.6 rebounds per game. Jefferson was second on the team in scoring at 14.4 ppg. Texas Southern’s conference losses were in overtime at Mississippi Valley State and 71-62 at Jackson State. It enters on a six-game winning streak. Alabama State (8-22, 6-12) is the No. 8 seed. The Hornets are on a six-game losing streak. They were 0-2 vs. Texas Southern this season but only lost 70-68 at TSU on Jan. 28.

NCAAB Free Pick: Alabama State +17.5Best Line Offered: SportsBetting

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Bethune-Cookman Vs. Delaware State (Pick’em)

MEAC Tournament game from Norfolk, Va. BCC is the No. 9 seed and Delaware State the No. 8, with the winner facing No. 1 North Carolina Central on Wednesday. Delaware State (10-21, 7-9) has made the NCAA Tournament once, in 2005. The Hornets – who upset St. John’s in non-conference play -- closed the regular season last Thursday with a 66-56 win over Howard to end a three-game losing streak. Their best player is sophomore Devin Morgan, who was named third-team All-MEAC. Morgan, the 2015-16 MEAC Rookie of the Year, is tops on the Hornets and 13th in the league in scoring at 14.7 points per game. He’s six made 3-pointers shy of tying the single-season school record.

BCC (9-21, 6-10) has never reached the Division I NCAA Tournament. It closed the season winning four of five. Junior Brandon Tabb was named second-team All-MEAC. He leads the Wildcats in scoring (18.1 ppg) and is the co-leading rebounder (5.3 ppg). He was fourth in the conference in scoring, steals and free throw shooting (81.2 percent), and second in 3-pointers made with 102. Bethune-Cookman lost at home to Delaware State 88-82 in OT on Feb. 3 in their only meeting. Morgan hit back-to-back 3-pointers to get the Hornets started in OT. He also had a crucial steal late in regulation. Delaware State and Bethune-Cookman have met three times in the MEAC Tournament, most recently in 2010, a 57-55 quarterfinal win by the Hornets.

NCAAB Free Pick: Bethune-Cookman At Pick’emBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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