East Carolina Pirates vs. SMU Mustangs Betting Preview
Where: XL Center— Hartford, Connecticut
When: Friday, March 10, 2017, 12:00 PM ET
Line: East Carolina Pirates vs. SMU Mustangs – view all NCAA Basketball lines
TV Broadcast: ESPN2
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Betting on the East Carolina Pirates (15-17, 6-12 AAC)
This quarterfinals date with top-seeded and 12th-ranked SMU doesn’t look good for East Carolina, which is coming off a wire-to-wire win over Temple in the first round of the American Athletic Conference tournament on Thursday, 80-69.
Kentrell Barkley and Caleb White collected 26 and 11 points, respectively, in that win, while freshman Elijah Hughes provided the punch off the bench with 17 points and a pair of threes. And speaking of which, the Pirates aren’t really known for their shooting, but they nailed almost 50 percent of their attempts from down town (10-for-21) against the Owls.
They’re going to need every possession and basket they can get against the Mustangs, who have the third-best scoring defense (59.4) in the nation today. Barkley and White will be leading an East Carolina offense that averages just 64.5 points this season. The former is tallying a team-high 12.4 points per game.
Betting on the SMU Mustangs (27-4, 17-1 AAC)
Only the basketball gods can stop SMU from dominating this matchup. The Mustangs had no trouble in disposing East Carolina in two games this season: a 75-44 win at home on Dec. 31 and an 86-46 road win on Feb. 1. This third encounter shouldn’t be any different.
SMU outclasses the Pirates in talent, depth, experience and in many other aspects. Junior forward Semi Ojeleye leads SMU with 18.5 points this season, and is one of four double-digit scorers in the team. Combine that loaded 0ffense with a merciless defense that’s held 22 of its last 24 opponents under 70 points, including four foes limited below 50 points, this Mustangs team is just too much to handle for East Carolina.
SMU has won its previous 13 games (11-1-1 ATS), and has lost just once—versus Cincinnati—in conference play this season.
SMU wins and coves. Duh.
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