Friday, March 21, 6:27 PM on TRU
Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl, San Diego, California
Opening Lines & Odds - VCU -6.5 -- Over/Under: 136.5
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Virginia Commonwealth (26-8) has gone from perennial Cinderella to household favorite in their impressive four year run under coach Shaka Smart. Starting with a CBI tournament win in 2010, followed by a Final Four in 2011 and back to back Sweet 16 appearances the last two seasons, VCU is no longer happy just being in the tournament. The 31-2 Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks look to start their own legacy in their 2nd tourney appearance as the always dangerous 12 seed.
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Stephen F. Austin has won 28 straight games but isn't getting much love from oddsmakers as early 6.5 point underdogs. The Lumberjacks possess the Southland Conference player of the year in Jacob Parker but have a strong supporting cast as evident by Desmond Haymon's 14.3 PPG and Thomas Walkup's 19 points in the conference title game.
The Friday night tip off for VCU is the start of what hopes to be another long, successful postseason run for Shaka Smart and the Rams. VCU was unable to capture the Atlantic 10 title, losing 65-61 to St. Joseph's on Sunday. Still their resume was impressive enough to the committee to earn a 5 seed. Virginia Commonwealth comes into the tournament winning 11 of 14 games but their postseason success could be tied to the availability of super sub Melvin Johnson, the A10 Player of the Year who missed the conference title game after injuring his knee in the semi-finals.
VCU is 18-14-0 ATS this season
VCU is 12-17-0 against the over/under this season
Stephen F Austin is 1-1-0 ATS this season
Stephen F Austin is 0-0-0 against the over/under this season
Injuries to Watch
03/16/14 G Melvin Johnson Knee Questionable Friday vs. Stephen F. Austin
02/18/14 F Terrance Shannon None has left the team
Stephen F Austin
No injuries to report at this time
Tony's Pick: Take Stephen F. Austin
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