First Four: Belmont Bruins vs. Temple Owls Preview and Pick

Before March Madness begins in earnest on Thursday, we still have to get down to 64 teams. Eight teams will meet in Dayton to vie for one of those last few spots on Tuesday and Wednesday, and while it’s far from ideal, it beats the alternative. The Temple Owls and the Belmont Bruins were two of the last teams invited to the NCAA Tournament, and they will vie to travel to Jacksonville for the right to take on the Maryland Terrapins on Friday.

First Four Betting Line: Belmont -3 vs. Temple, O/U 155.5 (From BetDSI)

The Bruins breathed a huge sigh of relief when they heard they were headed to Dayton. After falling to Murray State in the OVC Championship Game, many thought that Belmont would be another mid-major that narrowly missed out because it failed to win its conference tournament. However, the Selection Committee rewarded Belmont for a great regular season that included wins over UCLA and Lipscomb (twice), so the Bruins will be dancing.

Temple was in the field right after it beat UCF in its regular season finale, but a bad loss to Wichita State in the Owls’ first game of the AAC Tournament meant they had to go to Dayton. The Owls are accustomed to disappointing losses, as their last two losses in the regular season, against Tulsa and Memphis, hurt their resume.

The Matchup

Belmont has been one of the most fun teams to watch in the country. Dylan Windler is the team’s leader, and despite being listed as a guard, he is constantly around the paint and is cleaning up the glass. He is averaging a double-double this year with 21.4 PPG and 10.7 RPG, and his play is a big part of why Belmont has a top 20 offense in the nation according to Ken Pomeroy.

Unsurprisingly, the Bruins are very efficient on the offensive end. They are hitting 49.9 percent of their field goals this season, and they don’t turn the ball over too much. Everyone gets involved in the action too as this team is averaging nearly 20 assists per game.

As for Temple, the Owls were the second-weakest team to get an at-large bid according to Ken Pomeroy. His ratings have this team ranked as the 76th best team in the country, and they don’t have an offense or a defense that ranks in the top 80.

This is a team led by its guards, but they haven’t been too efficient. Temple has three players that are averaging double digits in terms of points per game, but none of the three are shooting better than 46 percent from the floor, and only one is hitting better than 35 percent from downtown. As a whole, the Owls sink less than a third of their triples, and that’s concerning for a team that relies so heavily on guard play.

The Pick

I love Belmont in this situation. The Bruins are a more well-rounded team, and they will be able to pick apart Temple with their dynamic offense.

About Jonathan Willis

Jonathan Willis has written on virtually every sport imaginable over the last decade. His specialties are college football, eSports, politics, the NFL and the NHL. He is always looking for soft markets to pounce on, and he will have you in the black by the end of the year.

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First Four: Belmont Bruins vs. Temple Owls Preview and Pick
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First Four: Belmont Bruins vs. Temple Owls Preview and Pick
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The Temple Owls and the Belmont Bruins were two of the last teams invited to the NCAA Tournament, and they will vie to travel to Jacksonville for the right to take on the Maryland Terrapins on Friday.
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GetMoreSports.com
Get More Sports

About Jonathan Willis

Jonathan Willis has written on virtually every sport imaginable over the last decade. His specialties are college football, eSports, politics, the NFL and the NHL. He is always looking for soft markets to pounce on, and he will have you in the black by the end of the year.

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