The Belmont Bruins and Virginia Cavaliers meet up today in the NCAA Tournament Second Round in the East Region. The game is scheduled for a 3:10 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on truTV. Currently the College Basketball Betting Odds for the game have Virginia favored by a comfortable number to advance in the tournament.
Virginia loves to play a slug-it-out, slow pace of basketball. Tony Bennett’s team has prided itself on playing defense, scoring in the low 60s and just beating their opponents up. The slow style of game has allowed them to win another ACC title this season and it could help them make a nice run in this tournament.
Belmont will look to speed the Cavaliers up at all costs. The Bruins average almost 75 points per game, a full 10 points higher than what Virginia scores per game. The difference, at least for the Cavaliers, has been a suffocating defense that keeps them in every game no matter how poor the offense is playing.
Virginia ranks tops in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency while Belmont comes in 250th, the worst mark of any team left in the tournament.
Justin Anderson is expected to play in today’s game for the Hoovs, he’s been out quite a while with a finger problem. While he may not have the same type of offensive impact he had for Virginia before the injury, he should still bring the intensity, hustle and smart play on the defense end of the floor. Prior to the injury Anderson was averaging better than 13 points a game, but Bennett’s team might not need him to come in and start knocking down shots right away.
Belmont is led by Craig Bradshaw and his 18.1 points per game, but scoring against Virginia could be a nightmare today. Belmont is going to have to speed it up, work the ball out in transition and they need to shoot well. For the season the Bruins posted a 47.6 percent clip from the floor, which ranks Top 25 nationally. The only way they contend today is if they shoot higher than that number.
Free Pick: Virginia 68, Belmont 55
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