In their final home game of the season, the UNCG Spartans (23-5, 12-3 SoCon) host the East Tennessee State Buccaneers (22-7, 12-4 SoCon) at Greensboro Coliseum. The game starts at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 24, 2019.
East Tennessee State Buccaneers at UNCG Spartans Free Prediction
The last time the Buccaneers played, they dismantled the VMI Keydets, 94-70. East Tennessee State’s offensive rebounding percentage was their largest strength over VMI. The Buccaneers had a rate of 33.3 (below their season average of 39.2), while the Keydets posted a mark of 16.7 (below their season average of 24.3). East Tennessee State was lifted by Bo Hodges, who was the team’s leading scorer with 26 points on 10-for-13 shooting.
The Spartans edged the Western Carolina Catamounts in their last game, 79-76. The Spartans held the Catamounts to an offensive rebounding percentage of 13.5 (below their season average of 29.8) and had a free throw rate of 0.344 (above their season average of 0.204). With 17 points, eight rebounds and six steals, Isaiah Miller had a solid outing for UNCG.
Baskets could be hard to come by in this battle between two of the NCAA’s top defenses. UNCG currently ranks 47th in defensive efficiency (96.4) and East Tennessee State is 58th (97.1). It could also be an error-filled game for the offense of the Buccaneers, which ranks 273rd in ball security (turnover percentage of 20.2 percent). They’ll be going up against the top-notch defense of the Spartans, which forces the fifth-most turnovers in the nation (24.8 percent).
This is the second game of the season between these two teams. In the first, James Dickey put up 10 points and nine rebounds and the Spartans defeated the Buccaneers 75-68. UNCG had a better turnover percentage (17.5 vs. 20.5). East Tennessee State, on the other hand, had a better free throw rate (0.155 vs. 0.129).
East Tennessee State Buccaneers vs. UNCG Spartans Pick
Prediction: SU Winner – UNCG, ATS Winner – UNCG, O/U – Over
UNCG averages 8.9 steals per game, which ranks 10th in the NCAA. East Tennessee State ranks 144th in steals allowed per game (6.7).
The Buccaneers’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 3.8, down from 11.8 for the season.
During their last five games, the Spartans have scored an average of 67.8 points per game (9.0 below their season average) and allowed an average of 70.6 points per game (3.3 above their season average).
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