The 2018 NCAA Tournament tips off Tuesday night from Dayton with a March Madness matchup between No. 16 seeds LIU Brooklyn and Radford meeting in the First Four and the right to then play No. 1 Villanova.
NCAA Tournament Odds and Betting Analysis
The winner of this game gets the opportunity to most likely be blown out by East Region No. 1 Villanova on Thursday in Pittsburgh. Neither LIU Brooklyn nor Radford had many lined games this season. The Highlanders did play three power conference schools, all on the road, and lost by 10 to Ohio State, 12 to Vanderbilt and 27 to Virginia Tech. The Buckeyes and Hokies are both in the NCAA Tournament. LIU Brooklyn didn’t get the chance to play any major conference opponents.
It’s the third all-time NCAA Tournament appearance for Radford; it’s 0-2 and was crushed in both: 101-58 to North Carolina in 2009 and 99-63 to Duke on 1998. LIU Brooklyn makes its seventh trip to the Big Dance. It is 0-6 and played in the First Four in 2013, losing 68-55 to James Madison.
Radford opened as a 4.5-point favourite in March Madness betting.
The Highlanders (22-12, 5-4 ATS) finished second in the Big South regular-season standings – they were picked to finish seventh in the preseason — to UNC Asheville but beat Liberty in the conference tourney title game for a seventh straight victory. Perhaps the most memorable shot of any tournament thus far was freshman Carlik Jones’ buzzer-beating 3-pointer for the win against Liberty. Radford is not a very good offensive team with only two players averaging double-digit points and putting up an average of 67.4 points per game (only Virginia played at a slower pace), which is 314th nationally. It does defend well, allowing just 64.4 points (14th).
LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds
The Blackbirds (18-16, 3-4 ATS) would have to be considered the weakest team in the field of 68 as they finished fourth in the Northeast Conference and had a losing overall record entering the conference tournament. LIU Brooklyn upset regular-season champion Wagner in the title game, the first home loss of the season for Wagner. Joel Hernandez had 32 points and seven rebounds, and Raiquan Clark had 20 points and eight rebounds as LIU shot 53.2 percent and held Wagner to 30 percent. Hernandez and Clark, both guards, are the Blackbirds’ two best players and leading scorers. The team often has four guards on the floor as it’s a very small club, ranking 340th nationally in average height.
Highlanders vs. Blackbirds March Madness Predictions