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The Sun Belt Conference quarterfinals continue this evening as the UL Monroe Warhawks grapple with the Georgia Southern Eagles at Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Warhawks are 11-9 in league play, while the Eagles are 12-6. These teams split the two meetings this year.
Warhawks Crush Chanticleers To Move On
The UL Monroe Warhawks went just 1-2 in their last three regular season games, but they have won their first two games of the Sun Belt Tournament. The Warhawks took out Appalachian State in round one by a score of 89-80 and followed that up with an 80-50 destruction of Coastal Carolina. The Warhawks are now at 18-14 on the year overall and they are ranked 137th in the nation by KenPom while taking on the 208th ranked schedule.
The defense has not been good at all for the Warhawks this year, but it was exceptional in the 80-50 win over Coastal Carolina. The Warhawks allowed CC to hit just 29.5% of their shots overall, including just 20% (5/25) of their shots from beyond the arc. It will not be that easy in this one as Georgia Southern has a very strong offense. ULM shot 50% overall, including 45.2% (14/31) from long range in the win. Leading their attack was Michael Ertel (15.3 ppg), who had 20 points. The Warhawks have averaged 81.6 ppg and have allowed 77.8 ppg in league play.
The Warhawks enter this game ranked 49th in the nation in scoring at 78.7 ppg, while also ranking 120th in shooting (45.4%), 11th in three-point shooting (39.3%) and 7th in free throw shooting (78.0%). On defense, they are 247th in points allowed, giving up 74.1 ppg, while also ranking 264th in defensive FG% (45.2%) and 253rd in three-point defense (35.6%).
Win Streak Snapped With Loss To Georgia State
The Georgia Southern Eagles have had a solid season as they come in at 20-11 overall, which includes a 12-6 mark in league play. They had been one of the hottest teams in the league as the Eagles ripped off six wins in a row, but that streak came to an end with a 90-85 home loss to Georgia State. They will now look to bounce back and make a run at the Sun Belt Title. The Eagles enter this game ranked 104th by KenPom and they have faced the 115th ranked schedule.
The defense has not been that good this year for the Eagles, but it did play well during their win streak. Well, it struggled in their loss to the Panthers as they allowed Georgia State to hoit 49.2% of their shots overall, including 37.5% (9/24) from long range. The Eagles had allowed just 65.8 ppg during their win streak. Georgia Southern shot just 44.9% from the field overall, and the real killer was that they were just 4/18 (22.2%) from long range. Leading their attack was Isaiah Crawley (11.4 ppg) & Tookie Brown (17.9 ppg), who each had 19. The Eagles have averaged 80.7 ppg and have allowed 74.4 ppg in league play so far.
Breaking | Tookie and Quan named All-Sun Belt
— GS Men's Basketball (@GSAthletics_MBB) March 11, 2019
Georgia Southern has been strong on offense this year as they enter this contest ranked 9th in the nation in scoring, putting up 83.5 ppg, while also ranking 3rd in shooting (50.3%), 266th in 3-point shooting (32.7%) and 247th in free throw shooting (68.7%). At the defensive end of the court, they have been poor this year as they enter this contest ranked 285th in the nation in points allowed, giving up 76.0 ppg, while also ranking 230th in defensive FG% (44.7%) and 86th in 3-point defense (32.8%).
Georgia Southern is:
- 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss.
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games
UL Monroe is:
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points
- The Under is 18-8-1 in last 27 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I like Georgia Southern to take this one. They are off a rough home loss to the Panthers, but they had won their previous six games in a row and I will look for them to get back on track in this one. Their defense played well over the winning streak and after allowing 90 to Georgia State, you can bet that they have worked on defense during their time off. The Eagles have a strong offense and the Warhawks are not a good defensive team at all. Look for the Eagles to fly on to the next round of the Sun Belt Tournament.
Prediction: Georgia Southern -1.5
Full-Game Total Pick
My first inclination was to take the Over as both teams have averaged over 80 ppg in league play, but this is tournament basketball and those games tend to be lower scoring. The Eagles just allowed 90 points in their last game, but they had allowed just 65.8 ppg during their previous six games. Monroe has not been great on defense this year, but they did allow just 50 points to Coastal Carolina and that has to give their defense some confidence heading to this one. The Under is 6-1 in ULM’s last seven vs. a team with a winning straight up record and 6-1 in Georgia Southern’s last seven vs. the Sun Belt, plus 5-1 the last six games in this series.
Prediction: Under 160