North Carolina Central Eagles vs. UC Davis Aggies Preview
Where: University of Dayton Arena — Dayton, Ohio
When: Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 5:40 PM ET
TV Broadcast: truTV
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Betting on the North Carolina Central Eagles (25-8, 13-3 MEAC)
Newly crowned Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion North Carolina Central Eagles fly into this game having won three-straight contests, including last Saturday’s conference title-clinching win (67-59) over Norfolk State.
MEAC Player of the Year—Patrick Cole—led North Carolina Central with 18 points and eight rebounds, while Dajuan Graf gathered 17 points in what was a cold shooting day for the Eagles who shot below 40 percent collectively. Those two are leading the team in scoring with 19.5 and 14.3 points, respectively, this season. They form a solid backcourt duo that’ll need to stay hot to keep the Eagles in games and especially in times when the shots don’t fall.
Senior guard Rashaun Madison provided some key buckets in the conference championship game, hitting three three-pointers to finish with 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field. The Eagles would love to see him build on that effort, which will take some burden off of Cole and Graf on offense.
Betting on the UC Davis Aggies (22-12, 11-5 Big West)
UC Davis averages 70.5 points per game, allows 68.9 points; grabs 35.6 rebounds and collects just 12.9 assists this season. Yes, those numbers aren’t frightening, but the Aggies still found their way to success this season—a Big West title and a first-ever appearance in the Big Dance—mainly through sheer hustle and determination.
Senior guard Brynton Lemar is their most efficient weapon this season, averaging a team-best 16.1 points per game. He’s been heating up lately after putting up back-to-back 20-point performances, and will be looking to extend his double-digit scoring streak to 19-consecutive games.
The Aggies, however, have lost their shooting touch. They’ve shot below 40 percent in each of their previous four games. They really, really need to regain their stroke for them to notch an early upset here.
North Carolina Central (-4) wins a close one, 72-67.
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