Mercer at UNC Greensboro: 3/8/21 College Basketball Picks and Prediction
Photo by Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
UNC Greensboro Spartans (20-7) vs Mercer Bears (18-10)
Game Info: Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7:00 pm (Harrah's Cherokee Center)
Betting Odds: UNC Greensboro Spartans -5 -- Over/Under: 141 Click Here for the Latest Odds
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The Mercer Bears and UNC Greensboro Spartans will square off at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center in the SoCon Championship this Monday night.
The 7-seed Mercer Bears (18-10) was able to advance to the SoCon Championship after defeating the 6-seed VMI Keydets, 73-59, this past Sunday night. Mercer was outstanding defensively, limiting the high-powered three-point attack of VMI, and was able to pull away in the 2nd half after taking a 66-52 lead with 3:13 left in regulation. Mercer shot 42.6% from the field and 35.5% from beyond the arc while VMI shot 40.7% from the field and 16.0% from beyond the arc. Mercer outrebounded VMI by a 46-35 margin and committed just 5 turnovers in the victory. Leading the way for the Bears was Neftali Alvarez who had 23 points, 1 rebound, & 2 assists.
On the season, Mercer is averaging 77.3 ppg on 48.1% shooting from the field. The Bears are averaging 8.8 three-pointers per game on 37.6% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Mercer has been led by Ross Cummings (13.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.5 apg), Neftali Alvarez (13.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 4.2 apg, 1.4 spg), Leon Ayers III (12.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.3 spg), & Felipe Haase (11.9 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.7 apg).
Defensively, Mercer is allowing their opponents to average 71.9 ppg on 43.9% shooting from the field. The Bears have a rebound margin of 2.8 and a turnover margin of -0.5.
The 1-seed UNC Greensboro Spartans (20-8) was able to advance to the SoCon Championship after defeating the 5-seed East Tennessee State Buccaneers, 77-65, this past Sunday. UNC Greensboro was outstanding on the offensive end against East Tennessee State and was able to pull away late after taking a 65-55 lead with 7:19 left in regulation. UNC Greensboro shot 45.9% from the field and 50.0% from beyond the arc while East Tennessee State shot 46.3% from the field and 33.3% shooting from beyond the arc. UNC Greensboro was outrebounded by East Tennessee State by a 36-31 margin, however, won the turnover battle by a 12-4 margin. Leading the way for the Spartans was Isaiah Miller who had 21 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, & 4 steals.
On the season, UNC Greensboro is averaging 73.8 ppg on 42.5% shooting from the field. The Spartans are averaging 7.7 three-pointers per game on 302% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, UNC Greensboro has been led by Isaiah Miller (19.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 3.9 apg, 2.7 spg), Keyshaun Langley (9.6 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.1 spg), Kaleb Hunter (8.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg), & Angelo Allegri (8.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg).
Defensively, UNC Greensboro is allowing their opponents to average 67.7 ppg on 41.4% shooting from the field. The Spartans have a rebound margin of 3.3 and a turnover margin of 3.2.
The Bears are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall and 11-5 ATS in their last 16 Monday games. The Spartans are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games as a favorite and 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games overall.
Mercer is a solid team, however, I think there were a bit fortunate against a tired VMI team (had 4 players play 42+ minutes the night before vs. Furman) and it is a bit concerning that their top player, Ross Cummings, has really struggled from the floor at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center. UNC Greensboro won both games against Mercer during the regular season and have been solid on both ends of the court as they come into this game ranked 114th in scoring offense & 96th in scoring defense. UNC Greensboro has the best player in the SoCon in Isaiah Miller and as I think the Spartans will have no trouble putting up some decent offense against Mercer’s 219th in scoring defense, I think the play here is to take UNC Greensboro to cover. Good Luck!