NCAA Tournament: Virginia vs. UMBC fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Friday, March 16
Game Time: 9:20 ET
Venue: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
All You Really Need To Know About Virginia (31-2)
(ACC), RPI: 1. 1-seed
Embrace The Pace. The deliberate style might make you want to jab a sharp stick in your eye, but it’s brutally effective. No matter how it looks, you’re doing something right if you win both the ACC regular season and conference championships, losing just one ACC game – by one to Virginia Tech – along the way.
Kyle Guy is the main scorer, with Devon Hall and Ty Jerome providing a little help, but the Cavaliers win by playing killer defense, not screwing up, and with a pace that keeps everything under control. They led the nation in both the fewest turnovers, scoring defense, and fewest fouls. However, losing De’Andre Hunter is a problem, they don’t take a lot of free throws, and they’re not built for shootouts.
All You Really Need To Know About UMBC (24-10)
(American East), RPI: 112. 16-seed
With wins in eight of the last nine games on the way to a thrilling last-second win over Vermont to take the American East championship, the Retrievers are off to the tournament for the second time. There’s plenty of firepower with four starters averaging in double-digits, but Jarius Lyles is the star averaging close to 20 points per game.
Dangerous from the outside, they’re fantastic from three, they don’t turn the ball over, and they manage to find the open man for that open shot from the outside. They can’t hit free throws – making just 65% of their tries – and they don’t block any shots, but they can bomb away.
What’s Going To Happen
The Retrievers will shoot and shoot some more, trying to do anything to break up the Virginia D from three, and then they’ll miss, the Cavs will get the rebounds, and score off the play.
It’s not a part of the style, but Virginia can score when it has to. It’ll get up early, turn up the defensive pressure, and guard well enough from the outside to win easily. UMBC might be among the best teams in the nation from three, but it won’t get a shot to make enough of them.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Virginia 74, UMBC 52
Line: Virginia -22.5, o/u: 121.5
ATS Confidence: 3
5: Watching games by Vegas pool working on fruity drink No. 3
1: Watching game online while doing TPS reports in your cubicle