Winthrop Favored In Play In Game
Winthrop is favored by points in the NCAA tournament play-in game but the total could be the best bet as neither the Eagles nor Arkansas-Pine Bluff are likely to generate any offensive fireworks today.
Winthrop Eagles (19-13) vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions (17-15)
Bovada has Arkansas-Pine Bluff as the favorite posted at -4 with Winthrop at +4 with a total of 113.
Today, in the play-in game for the NCAA tournament the Winthrop Eagles face the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions. To think that the Golden Lions are one game away from getting to the Big Dance is a major accomplishment since they lost their first 11 games of the season.
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However, they came back strong and finished in second place in the Southwest Athletic Conference and then won the conference tourney for a spot in this game.
Winthrop did not look like a team that would get in the NCAA tourney, as they finished third in the Big South conference. However, the Eagles caught fire at the right time and won the conference tourney, which gave them the automatic bid.
The team that wins this game will play powerhouse Duke in the first round, but getting into the Big Dance is a HUGE deal for both teams, especially Arkansas-Pine Bluff since they have never played in the NCAA tournament.
This season Winthrop is 2-2 ATS and Arkansas-Pine Bluff is 1-3 ATS.
In their last games Winthrop beat Coastal Carolina 64-53 in the finals of the Big South tourney and Arkansas-Pine Bluff beat Texas Southern 50-38 in the SWAC tourney.
These both win with their defense, as Winthrop only gave up an average of 61.4 ppg and Arkansas-Pine Bluff only gave up an average of 64.4 ppg.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff has a solid backcourt, as the only player that is averaging in double figures for the Golden Lions are guards Terrance Calvin (10.4) and Savalance Townsend (10.2 ppg).
Winthrop has a more well balanced team with two guards, two forwards, and a center averaging at least six points per game led by G Reggie Middleton.
The Lions have the advantage in the frontcourt and the Golden Eagles will have to play good inside defense and keep Winthrop from winning the battle of the boards.
For Winthrop to win they will have to play solid perimeter defense and not allow the Calvin and Townsend to have big scoring games.
In a couple of interesting trends for this game Arkansas-Pine Bluff is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games and Winthrop is 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games.