The NEC Conference Tournament begins tonight! March is just around the corner, and college basketball is about to take center stage. Things are getting exciting. We also have some insane action in the Big 12 and Mountain West. However, those games are going to be hard to pick.
Therefore, I’ve backed a few teams from small conferences that I think can get revenge for a loss earlier this year. All three teams I’ve bet today are looking for revenge at home as solid favorites. This should be interesting!
North Carolina vs. Norfolk State: Norfolk State -8 (-110)
(7:30 p.m. ET)
Norfolk State is 19-6 and 10-2 in conference play. However, one of those losses came against North Carolina Central on the road. In that game, Norfolk State was up 62-57 with 3:09 to go but lost. The Spartans struggled from three and at the foul line. At home, that likely won’t happen again.
The reality is, North Carolina Central has been a terrible offense, giving up turnovers at nearly 24 percent of the time. Defensively, Norfolk State has been really good, holding opponents to below averages from inside and outside this season.
The Spartans should also get to the line at a solid pace and have hit 34.1 percent from deep and 50.5 percent from inside the arc this season. Norfolk State should be able to pull away easily tonight.
South Carolina State vs. Howard: Howard -10 (-110)
(7:30 p.m. ET)
South Carolina State is one of the worst offenses in college basketball. Right now, SCST has a 43.1 percent effective field goal percentage while hitting just 30.5 percent from three and 41.9 percent from two. This team is better off shooting threes throughout the entire game than trying to score from inside the arc. Because of all of the bricks, SCST should earn a bunch of offensive rebounds, but the high turnovers won’t be any help either.
On the season, Howard is earning 24.1 percent turnovers per game. That defense will help the offense, with Howard hitting 37.2 percent from three this year. Howard can also get to the line at a very high pace. Turnovers might be a problem for Howard too, but overall, Howard’s field goal percentage will be much better in this game.
Alcorn State vs. Texas Southern: Texas Southern -5.5 (-110)
(8:30 p.m. ET)
Texas Southern is 12-4 in conference play and has won nine of its last 10 games in conference play. But earlier this year, Texas Southern lost to Alcorn State, 73-72. Texas Southern struggled badly on the defensive end in that game but stormed back with 22 points in the final 10 minutes while allowing just eight points in the last 10 minutes from Alcorn.
That’s what we will likely see for most of tonight’s game. With Texas Southern at home, the Tigers won’t struggle in the middle portion of this game.
Alcorn State is shooting an effective field goal percentage of 45.9 percent while turning the ball over 20.8 percent this season. The offense is only good for offensive rebounds. But the reality is, Texas Southern will be just fine on the defensive glass.
Plus, Texas Southern’s offense will have a solid day as well. Alcorn State’s defense has allowed opponents to shoot a 52.3 percent effective field goal percentage while giving up nearly 35 percent from downtown and 52.4 percent from inside the arc.
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