UNC-Greensboro Spartans vs. Wofford Terriers Pick

by | Mar 11, 2019 | cbb

UNC-Greensboro Spartans (28-5 SU, 14-15-2 ATS) vs. Wofford Terriers (28-4 SU, 18-11 ATS)
When: Monday, March 11, 2019 – 7 PM ET
Where: U.S. Cellular Center, Asheville, N.C.
TV: ESPN
By: Dan Jamison, College Basketball Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: WOF -6 (5Dimes Sportsbook)

Last Time Out: UNC Greensboro beat Furman 66-62; Wofford beat East Tennessee State 81-72.

Scouting the Spartans:

Believe it or not, UNC-Greensboro was actually more competitive against the likes of LSU and Kentucky than it was against Wofford. Against LSU, the Spartans played the Tigers to the wire, eventually losing by six. Sportsbooks had LSU favored by 4. Kentucky was a little tougher, but Greensboro was still in the game for 30 minutes before succumbing to the Wildcats. Against Wofford? Greensboro lost the first game by 29 and the second by 30. However, Greensboro also had problems with Furman during the regular season and evened the score with the Paladins in the conference semifinals, so this game isn’t a foregone conclusion. Greensboro is still a good team that’s got quality senior leadership in Francis Alonso and solid shooting from junior Kyrin Galloway. Even though they’ve had problems with the Terriers, they still pushed the SEC’s best for quite a while, so underestimate the Spartans at your own peril.

Scouting the Terriers:

This has been a season that Wofford has been building toward, but not even the Terriers thought that they’d be this good that they likely don’t have to worry about this game. Wofford’s profile is such that it’s likely looking at a single-digit seed if it can get a win here, and that’s because the Terriers have taken care of business against the teams they should beat.

They’ve done it the traditional way for a mid-major: relying on senior leadership and some great shooting. Fletcher Magee is the leader for the Terriers, averaging 20.4 points a game and hitting 42.3 percent of his shots from beyond the arc. But Wofford is far from just Magee. As a team, Wofford shoots 41.7 percent from deep, which ranks second in the nation only to Lehigh.

X-Factor:

Pressure. In a traditional one-bid league like the SoCon, this is normally shared by both teams. However, that’s not the case this season. Barring an absolute failure by the selection committee to properly analyze things, Wofford is safely in the field. UNC-Greensboro, however, has only one sure path to the postseason: winning this game. Despite the Spartans’ gaudy record, they’re not the kind of name that draws eyeballs to the screen, and they don’t have an automatic bid to the NIT as a conference champion, so a bid to the secondary tournament is no sure thing should Greensboro fail to beat Wofford.

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In this contest, Wofford wants to win, but Greensboro feels like it has to win. Whichever team handles the crucible that is the conference championship game will walk out victorious.

UNC-Greensboro will Cover if:

The Spartans get their defense to perform up to their specifications. Greensboro’s game is built on one thing: winning the turnover battle. The Spartans rank second in the nation in turnover margin, averaging a margin of 5.3 turnovers per game. But in two meetings, Wofford didn’t turn it over. The Terriers coughed it up 21 times in the two games combined, which isn’t what Greensboro needs to make its game plan work. When the Spartans aren’t forcing their opponents into mistakes, they are much more beatable.

Wofford will Cover if:

The Terriers can handle the Greensboro defense and find open 3-point looks. In both meetings between the teams, Wofford shot the lights out from deep and took Greensboro out of the game. If the Terriers can get hot again, this game is going to go pretty similar to how the first two went, as Greensboro is not built to win a 3-point contest.

Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread:

Greensboro is a good team that’s likely going to be a threat to win the Southern Conference next season. But I just can’t pick the Spartans against this Wofford team. The Terriers have every piece of the puzzle needed to dominate at the mid-major level and make a Sweet 16 run in the NCAAs. Greensboro is building toward that, but with two of its three best players returning next season, the Spartans feel like they’re a year away.

But the real issue for me is that this matchup is horrible for Greensboro. The Spartans win when their opponent turns the ball over. Wofford isn’t a team that turns the ball over very often. A ball-hawking defense is a powerful weapon, but if the weapon stops, it can be easily beaten. That’s happened twice already this year, and I can’t see Wofford losing to a team it beat by 29 and 30 when it knows that it can take the selection committee out of the equation entirely by winning this game. Give me Wofford in this one.

Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread:

Greensboro is a good team that’s likely going to be a threat to win the Southern Conference next season. But I just can’t pick the Spartans against this Wofford team. The Terriers have every piece of the puzzle needed to dominate at the mid-major level and make a Sweet 16 run in the NCAAs. Greensboro is building toward that, but with two of its three best players returning next season, the Spartans feel like they’re a year away.

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But the real issue for me is that this matchup is horrible for Greensboro. The Spartans win when their opponent turns the ball over. Wofford isn’t a team that turns the ball over very often. A ball-hawking defense is a powerful weapon, but if the weapon stops, it can be easily beaten. That’s happened twice already this year, and I can’t see Wofford losing to a team it beat by 29 and 30 when it knows that it can take the selection committee out of the equation entirely by winning this game. Give me Wofford in this one.

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