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2016 Atlantic Sun Basketball Championship Predictions, Picks, Odds and NCAA Betting Preview

2016 Atlantic Sun Basketball Championship Predictions, Picks, Odds and NCAA Betting Preview

The North Florida Ospreys swept all before them in the Atlantic Sun last year as they won both the regular season and tournament titles. After recently completing a successful defense of their regular season crown, can the Ospreys and their offense-heavy brand of basketball also repeat as tournament champs when the Atlantic Sun tourney starts up on Tuesday, March 1?

Get familiar with the teams that could end up winning the Atlantic Sun tourney – and booking a trip to the NCAA Tournament – with our conference tournament preview below. Meanwhile, don’t forget to check out our preview of the Patriot League tournament here.

March Madness News & Predictions

2016 Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament Preview


North Florida Ospreys


The North Florida Ospreys repeated as regular season champs this year as they rolled to a 10-4 conference record. After starting February with a brutal four-game losing skid, the Ospreys turned things around to win their last three, although the last two were only by a combined four points.

Still, the Ospreys will come in as heavy favorites to repeat in the tourney as well. They have the offense to hang with anyone – they averaged 85.5 points per game (No. 3 in the country) and are No. 28 in offensive efficiency per KenPom – and also have the experience with a veteran-laden team that won it all last year.

NJIT Highlanders

2016 Atlantic Sun Basketball Championship Predictions, Picks and Preview

NJIT made quite a first impression in its inaugural season in the Atlantic Sun. The Highlanders went 8-6 in conference play and snagged the No. 2 seed via tiebreakers. Junior guard Damon Lynn had another excellent season as he led the team with 18 PPG. Six other players averaged at least 7 PPG.

NJIT is the conference’s closest challenger to North Florida according to KenPom’s metrics, although the Highlanders have a lot of homework to do to beat the champs. NJIT were swept by the Ospreys during their two regular season meetings, and lost by a combined 50 points.


Florida Gulf Coast Eagles

It was an unusual down year for Florida Gulf Coast, as the Eagles went just 8-6, the first time they’ve failed to win double-digit conference games since 2011-12. Nevertheless, it probably isn’t a wise move to sleep on Dunk City in the tournament.

Head coach Joe Dooley has once again molded the No. 1 in the conference in scoring defense, one which held the vaunted North Florida offense to 65 points on 35 shooting in a recent 16-point blowout over the Ospreys.

FGCU has gone a combined 8-3 over the last four A-Sun tournaments, and reached the final in three of those four years.

Jacksonville Dolphins

2016 Atlantic Sun Basketball Championship Predictions, Picks and Preview

Jacksonville hasn’t gotten out of the conference tournament quarterfinals in five years, and it won’t be carrying any momentum into this year’s tournament, either. The Dolphins went just 1-4 in its last five regular season games, although two of those losses – including their season finale against top-seed North Florida – were only by a single point.

The Dolphins have a team filled with upper classmen that will be dying to break that unfortunate streak. Their terrific one-two punch in Kori Babineaux (18.7 PPG) and Marcel White (15.4 PPG), who are No. 3 and No. 9 in the conference in scoring this season, are capable of carrying them to a surprise tournament run.

Long Shot

Lipscomb Bisons

Make no mistake though, Jacksonville is vulnerable, and its quarterfinal opponent Lipscomb can take full advantage. The Bisons are No. 60 in the nation in scoring, although their defense has been pretty awful. But the Bisons’ ability to score a ton of points on offense makes them a much better bet to win the tournament than a Stetson or South Carolina Upstate.

Writer’s Prediction

North Florida goes back-to-back as the Ospreys’ offense delivers another tournament title.

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Written by Brad

Sports Betting Tips, News, and Analysis