St. Mary’s vs. VCU NCAA Tournament Pick from Brandon Shively: March 16th 2017
St. Mary’s vs. VCU
NCAA Tournament Pick: St. Mary’s -4.5 (March 16th 2017)
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I like this matchup for Saint Mary’s on Thursday against VCU and expect them to cover this short spread. The Gaels will be playing with a chip on their shoulder after being banned from the postseason last year. Sure, all teams get up for the Big Dance, but I feel there is an added emphasis of excitement and motivation for them. The Gael’s rank 12th in the nation using an advanced analytic rating, the BPI. If seeding were based solely on the BPI, they would be a 3 seed. Point being is that I feel there is great value with them laying a small number to a 10 seed in the 1st round.
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Saint Mary’s has an offense that does not force things nor do they turn the ball over often. They have the guard’s to handle the pressure that the VCU rams defense likes to throw at opponents and that is a big key to this game. The Gael’s can control the pace of the game on both ends of the court, but it is on offense that will prove to be the deciding factor here.
Jock Landale of Saint Mary’s is one of the best player’s in the tournament this year. The 6’11 junior will be the best player on the floor here and should pose a big edge down low against a VCU team that is undersized in the frontcourt. Saint Mary’s has no injury issues and is experienced in having the same starting 5 all season.
The Gael’s rank 15th in offensive efficiency according to KenPom and 26th in defensive efficiency. In conference play, they ranked 1st in three point percentage, free throw percentage, and also in offensive rebounding percentage.
St. Mary’s only game this year vs the A-10 vs at Dayton and they had a 20 point lead in the 2nd half before letting off the gas and winning by 4 points. The Gael’s are 12-2 ATS since 12/29/2014 as a favorite of 6 points or less, including 3-0 ATS this year. VCU is 1-12 SU their L13 as an underdog on a neutral site. This year they lost by 7 and 8 points as a dog on a neutral to Rhode Island and Baylor. Take a closer look at Saint Mary’s as I expect them to keep VCU in the 58-62 point range which won’t be enough against the highly efficient offense of the Gaels. (1* Saint Mary)
Brandon has THREE Big Plays on Thursday as the tournament tips off. He has a 10* Best Bet, a 9* ‘Total’ knockout, but starts it off EARLY with a 9* Winner that starts at 12:15 PM EST. He has profited with 13 of his last 16 ‘3 Packs’, either going 3-0 or 2-1. Save some $$ and get ALL 3 picks for only $60 on Thursday or subscribe to his March Mayhem package or a full 31 days of picks in ALL Sports! He is on a heater carrying a 28-14 (66%) run his L42 basketball plays. Join in as we look to continue beating up on the books!