BANKER (FIU Panthers vs. UTSA Roadrunners)
Going to start off by saying that line line doesn’t make much sense to me at all but I’m not going to question it. FIU takes on UTSA in this conference matchup and UTSA is one of the worst 10-15 teams in the nation by far. On offense, UTSA ranks 2nd to last in the nation in effective field goal percentage and 3-point shooting as a team. They also rank 354th in 2-point percentage and 324th in overall adjusted offensive efficiency so they are a dreadful offensive team. On defense they aren’t much better as they rank 309th in defensive efficiency, 326th in effective field goal percentage defense, and 337th in 3-point percentage defense as well so they are also a very bad defensive team.
They come into this game with a record of 7-13. 3 of their wins have come against non-division 1 teams and 3 of their wins have come against IUPUI, Denver, and Lamar who have a combined record of 11-49. Lamar and iupui haven’t even beaten a division 1 team yet. FIU is a very capable team who has put up some solid performances this year and should be able to take of this dumpster fire of a team. FIU has actually played very solid defensively this year as they rank 67thnationally in defensive effective field goal percentage and 49th in defensive 3-point percentage.
FIU is also coming off of 2 huge wins vs Marshall and western Kentucky, both as underdogs, and think that they will be able to carry this momentum over into this game. The bottom line here is that UTSA is a horrendous team who has shown that they are incapable of beating even the most average of teams. FIU is a middle of the pack team who has been tending up with some impressive wins and UTSA is going in the complete opposite direction. I think FIU takes care of business here in an 8–10-point win. Score Prediction: 69-60 FIU
Bellarmine is a team most people haven’t heard of and it’s because they’re a relatively new team to division 1. This is only their second season in D1 hoops, but they have emerged as a solid program out of the A-sun who is currently 2ndin the conference with a 5-1 record. They’ll face a team in Stetson who has really been struggling lately going 2-4 in their L6 and 0-3 at home during that stretch as well. Stetson has 8 wins on the season but 4 have come against non-division 1 teams and one was against Lamar who I mentioned earlier doesn’t have a single D1 win on the season. Stetson has played. Avery easy schedule and has struggled against the better teams in the A-sun as they lost by 28 to Kennesaw State and lost by 16 to Liberty and both were home games. Bellarmine has been playing well and should be able to come away with a win here. Score Prediction: 81-69 Bellarmine
Nicholls St is a very solid team out of the southland conference who has a very good shot to win their conference title. They come into this game with an 11-9 record but their 9 losses are a bit deceiving as they’ve played a tough schedule and almost came away with upset victories over Wisconsin and kept things close with Purdue. They face a team in McNeese state who has struggled against better competition this season. They have 8 wins on the season and 4 have come against non-division 1 teams and 3 have come against SF-NY, incarnate word, and Houston Baptist who have a combined record of 15-35. Ty Gordon is an excellent player for Nicholls St and should be the best player on the floor and I expect him to make enough plays to lift Nicholls up to a much-needed road win in conference play. Score Prediction: 82-74 Nicholls St.