East Region First Round Picks: #16 LIU-Brooklyn Blackbirds vs #16 James Madison Dukes

2013 NCAA Tournament – East Region First Round
#16 LIU-Brooklyn Blackbirds vs #16 James Madison Dukes
University of Dayton Arena – Dayton, Ohio
Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 6:40 pm Eastern, TV: TruTV
Opening Line: Pick
Current Line: LIU-Brooklyn -2
Opening Total: 142
Current Total: 145 1/2
Opening Money Line: LIU-Brooklyn -125 / James Madison +105
Current Money Line: LIU-Brooklyn -130 / James Madison +110

LIU-Brooklyn is  slight favorite against James Madison in the east Region first round Wednesday night.

LIU-Brooklyn is slight favorite against James Madison in the east Region first round Wednesday night.

The LIU-Brooklyn Blackbirds of the Northeast Conference will take on the James Madison Dukes of the Colonial Athletic Association for the right to face #1 seed Indiana in the second round of the East Region. Neither LIU nor James Madison won their conference regular season title, but both won their conference tournaments.

The 20-13 Blackbirds finished tied for second in the NEC with Bryant and Wagner with 12-6 records. Robert Morris won the conference with a 14-4 record, but were upset in the semis of the NEC tournament by #5 seed Mt. Saint Mary’s. The #3 seeded Blackbirds beat the Mountaineers 91-70 in the championship game. It was the third straight NEC Championship for LIU-Brooklyn. The Blackbirds are 0-5 in their previous NCAA tournament appearances.

James Madison finished 4th in the CAA with an 11-7 record. The 20-14 Dukes finished behind 14-4 Northeastern and 13-5 Towson and Delaware. The Dukes were seeded third in the CAA tournament because Towson was ineligible for post-season play. James Madison beat #1 seed Northeastern 70-57 in the Championship game. The Dukes clinched their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1994 with the win. JMU is 3-4 in four previous NCAA appearances, but hasn’t won since 1983.

James Madison has beaten LIU-Brooklyn both times they played in history. The Dukes swept a home and home series in 1989 and 1990. The two schools have one common opponent this season. Both beat Hofstra at home. The Blackbirds won 88-84 December 8, and the Dukes beat the Pride 62-41 January 31.

LIU-Brooklyn is coached by Jack Perri, in his first year with the Blackbirds. He took over the program when longtime coach Jim Ferry left to become the coach at Duquesne. LIU started off the season 0-4, then won 5 straight, and then lost 6 straight. Since then, the Blackbirds have gone 15-3, including a current 5 game winning streak. LIU has losses to Morehead St, at Lafayette, at Maryland, at Kentucky, at St. Peter’s,  Seton Hall, at Lamar, at Sacred Heart, at Quinnipiac, Wagner twice, Robert Morris, and at Mt. Saint Mary’s. The Blackbirds have wins over Columbia, Rice, Lafayette, Manhattan, Mt. Saint Mary’s twice, Bryant, Quinnipiac twice and Wagner. Only 4 LIU-Brooklyn games have had a line on them this season, but the Blackbirds are 4-0 ATS and the total is also 4-0.

LIU-Brooklyn is outscoring teams 80-76. The Blackbirds are #5 in scoring nationally but #336 out 347 teams in points allowed. LIU is shooting 48.3% from the field and 38.5% from 3 point range. The Blackbirds are in the top 20 nationally in both categories. Brooklyn makes 69% of their free throws. The Blackbirds average 35.4 rebounds per game and give up 29.1 per game. LIU opponents are shooting 46.8% from the field and 37.3% from 3 point range. The Blackbirds are #316 or worse in both categories. LIU averages 15 assists, 7 steals, 4 blocks, and 14 turnovers.

Forward Jamal Olasewere averages 18.9 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Forward Julian Boyd is out for the season with a knee injury. Through 8 games, he averaged 18.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. Guard C.J. Garner averages 16.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Guard Jason Brickman averages 9.6 points, 8.5 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1 steal per game. Guard Brandon Thompson averages 8.4 points, 3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. E.J. reed averages 7.7 points, 4 rebounds, and a block per game. Booker Hucks, Kenny Onyechi, Gerrell Martin, and Troy Joseph make up the rest of the rotation.

James Madison is coached by Matt Brady. The Dukes have losses at UCLA, at Duquesne, North Dakota St in Pittsburgh, at Miami-(OH), George Washington, Richmond, Georgia St twice, at Hampton, George Mason twice, at Towson, and at Drexel in addition to the Northeastern loss. The Dukes have wins over Youngstown St in Pittsburgh, Winthrop, San Jose St and San Diego in a tournament in Las Vegas, Towson, and Delaware twice. The Dukes beat William and Mary 72-67 in the CAA quarterfinals and Delaware 58-57 in the semifinals. JMU is 21-10 ATS and the total is 6-13-2 this season.

James Madison is outscoring teams 65-64.6 this season. The Dukes are shooting 41.8% from the field and 33.5% from 3 point range. JMU makes 70% of their free throws. The Dukes average 32.5 rebounds per game and give up 31.4. JMU opponents are shooting 42.9% from the field and 35.5% from 3 point range. The Dukes average 12 assists, 8 steals, 5 blocks, and 11 turnovers per game.

Forward Rayshawn Goins averages 12.6 points, and 7.2 rebounds per game. He will miss the first half of the LIU-Brooklyn game after he was arrested Sunday night for obstruction of justice and disorderly conduct.  Guard A.J. Davis averages 11.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game. Guard Devon Moore averages 11.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Andrey Semenov is out for the season with an ankle injury. He averaged 10 points a game. Forward Andre Nation averages 8.6 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game. Ron Curry, Charles Cooke, Alioune Diouf, Enoch Hood, and Taylor Bessick make up the rest of the rotation.

James Madison is 5-0 ATS in Wednesday games, after a straight up win, against teams with winning records, and in neutral site games, 4-0 in non-conference games, 5-1 after a cover, and 19-7 overall.

LIU-Brooklyn is 4-0 overall, 6-1 after a straight up win, and against teams with winning records, 5-1 in neutral site games, and and 4-1 after a cover.

We don’t know how the loss of Goins for the first half will hurt James Madison. One thing is for certain, James Madison can’t get into a track meet with the speedy Blackbirds. LIU would like this game to played in the high 70′s or even low 80′s, while the Dukes want it in the mid 60′s. Whichever team can control the tempo, will have a great shot at winning. The prize is a chance to be a 25 point underdog to Indiana in the second round, but hey at least that game is in Dayton too.

Our colelge basketball hanicappers are red hot. Don’t miss out on any winners for the rest of the tournament.

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