Featured Video from Scott Steehn
These two teams split the season series with St. Bonaventure winning the last meeting 79-56 on Feb. 17. The Bonnies earned a bye into the quarterfinal round after going 12-6 during the conference season, while George Mason squeezed out a victory over rival George Washington to advance in the A10 Tournament. Can the Patriots keep up their recent success with an upset over the Bonnies at the Barclays Center on Friday?
Bonnies hope to continue success vs. A10 opponents
St. Bonaventure closed the regular season with a 66-57 victory over Saint Louis last weekend, earning them a bye into the quarterfinal round of the A10 Tournament. Courtney Stockard scored a team-high 20 points, while Kyle Lofton chipped in 14 for the Bonnies, who hit 20 of their 27 free throws on the night.
Mark Schmidt guided the Bonnies to a 16-15 overall record and a 12-6 mark during league play in the regular season. St. Bonaventure enters slotted at No. 133 in the latest KenPom rankings after winning seven of their last eight conference games. The Bonnies have scored 101.1 points per 100 possessions for the year (237th in the NCAA) and 101.1 points per 100 possessions during conference play (7th in the A10). St. Bonaventure has struggled to shoot the 3-ball and get to the free throw line, which has limited their efficiency on offense. However, they play at a slow pace and take care of the basketball at a high level, turning the ball over on only 17.5 percent of their offensive possessions versus league opponents (5th in the A10).
Defense has been the Bonnies calling card all season long and they’ve improved drastically on that end of the floor during conference play. They have limited opposing teams to just 97.1 points per 100 possessions for the season (57th in the NCAA) and 94.4 points per 100 possessions in league play (2nd in the A10).
Patriots win back-to-back games versus GW
George Mason escaped the second round of the A10 Tournament on Thursday with a 61-57 victory over George Washington in a game which neither team led by more than eight points on the night. Justin Kier scored a team-high 26 points, while Otis Livingston added 12 for the Patriots, who limited the Colonials to 35 percent shooting from the field to advance to the next round.
Dave Paulsen’s squad enters the quarterfinal round ranked No. 154 in the latest KenPom rankings after winning back-to-back games against George Washington. The Patriots have scored 104.4 points per 100 possessions for the season (169th in the NCAA) and 102.2 points per 100 possessions versus conference opponents (6th in the A10). The Patriots don’t shoot a lot of 3-pointers, so they do most of their damage either inside the arc or at the free throw line. However, turnovers have been a problem for George Mason this year, especially during the conference season, as they have coughed up the basketball on 19.1 percent of their offensive possessions in league play (11th in the A10).
On defense, the Patriots have surrendered 103.3 points per 100 possessions for the year (151st in the NCAA) and 101.0 points per 100 possessions versus A10 opponents (7th in the A10). Opposing teams have been able to get whatever they’ve wanted inside the arc versus the Patriots defense, which has allowed A10 teams to shoot a blistering 54.4 percent from two-point range (14th in the A10).
- Patriots are 6-22-1 ATS in their last 29 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Patriots are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up win.
- Patriots are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games.
- Under is 6-0 in Bonnies last 6 vs. Atlantic 10.
- Under is 5-1 in Bonnies last 6 neutral site games.
- Under is 21-8-1 in Bonnies last 30 overall.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The favorite has covered the spread in each of the last nine meetings between these two teams and George Mason has covered the number in just one of the last seven meetings in this series. Given their inability to take care of the basketball, its hard to trust the Patriots in this spot. George Mason had been struggling down the stretch of the conference season before winning back-to-back games against George Washington. Look for the Bonnies to cover the spread in this matchup on Friday evening.
Prediction: Pick: St. Bonaventure Bonnies -3.5
Full-Game Total Pick
The Bonnies rank among the best defensive teams in the Atlantic 10 and they play at a slow pace on offense. St. Bonaventure has gone under the projected total in each of their last six A10 games and five of their last six neutral site contests. Meanwhile, the Patriots have gone under in four straight neutral site contests and five of their last seven Friday games. Take this A10 Tournament game to stay under the projected total on Friday afternoon.
Prediction: Under 129.5