UT Arlington Shows They Can Play With Anyone Giving Alabama all they want

Charles Stark

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 1:59 PM UTC

Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017 1:59 PM UTC

Texas Arlington came with a big win on the road at BYU and today they will face an even more challenging venue at Alabama. Although the Crimson Tide is a football school their basketball program has become extremely competitive under Avery Johnson. Alabama is naturally favored at home, but are they favored by too much?

Texas Arlington vs Alabama

Oddsmakers have come out making Alabama -10.5 favorite in this matchup, but for my NCAA basketball pick I’m going to back Texas Arlington to stay within the number. This is year three of the Avery Johnson era at Alabama and they have extremely good team with some solid starters returning. They started out the year with a nice win over Memphis followed up by beating two smaller schools. Despite the fact they are 3-0, I am not overly impressed with this Alabama team and I expect UT Arlington to give them all they want. On the season the Crimson Tide have some nice statistics, but again their competition has been less than stellar so the fact that they are shooting 56.2% from the floor, ranking seventh in the country, to me doesn’t mean all that much right now. They have some nice pieces back highlighted by Braxton Key, but he is currently out with a knee injury.

Texas Arlington is one of the best mid-major teams in the country, and they emphasize things on the defensive end. In just a couple of games their statistics have been less than stellar playing two up-tempo teams and Loyola Marymount and BYU. I was really impressed in their win on the road versus BYU as they held the Cougars to just 43% from the floor and 22% from distance, both statistics extremely difficult to do on BYU’s home-court. This is a selfless team that shares the basketball with four guys averaging double figures, and they can be very difficult to score against. In the end, although this game is at Alabama, this is just too many points.  Last year they broke the record for league wins and Scott Cross is one of the more underrated coaches in the country.  Don't be shocked if this game goes down to the wire.

Free NCAAB Pick: Texas Arlington +10.5Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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