(10) Seton Hall vs. (7) Wofford
Time: 8:40 PM CT (CBS)
Spread: WOF -2.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
Seton Hall finished the season 20-13 and had a 9-9 record in Big East play. It finished second in the Conference tournament, losing 72-74 to Villanova in the finale. The Pirates had won four straight prior to that loss, and it defeated Villanova 79-75 during that stretch. Seton Hall went 3-2 against AP-ranked opponents and also defeated Kentucky by a point while the Wildcats were ranked No. 9 in the nation.
It collides against #7 Wofford and is a 2.5-point underdog to the 29-4 Terriers. Wofford won all 18 of its conference games and went 11-4 in non-conference play. It only played one ranked opponent all season, then No. 17 Mississippi State—and lost. Wofford still averaged 83 points per game this season with a +17.6 point differential. The over/under is set at 143 points according to college basketball oddsmakers at 5dimes, and the game will tip off at 8:40 PM CST on Thursday night on CBS.
Seton Hall is led by guard Myles Powell. Powell averaged 22.9 points, four rebounds, and three assists in 36 minutes a night this season. No. 2 scorer Myles Cale trails far behind at 10.3 points per game. Both are adept three-point shooters, though Powell shot 284 this season which was over one-third of the Pirates’ attempts. Cale shot 139, and the Pirates shot 32.4 percent from three as a team on 714 total attempts this season.
Seton Hall recorded an 8-3 record this season when Powell scored 25 points or more, and he had 28 points on 9 of 16 shooting in the 84-83 OT thriller win over Kentucky. When Powell is really clicking, Seton Hall has the offensive punch to destroy teams. The defense is a bit shaky in having surrendered 71.5 points per game this season, but the 3-2 record against AP ranked teams is tantalizing and Wofford is currently ranked No. 19.
Seton Hall also relies on two foreign students, Michael Nzei and Sandro Mamukelashvili. Both averaged roughly nine points per game, but Sandro led the team in rebounding at 7.8 per game in just under 30 minutes a night. A 6’10” sophomore, he scarcely played last year as a freshman (under 10 minutes per game) but has really blossomed. Mamukelashvili hails from Georgia and he had seven points and 14 rebounds in the loss to Villanova on Mar. 16. He has had 10 or more rebounds in three of the last five games and is averaging nearly one block per game over his last five appearances.
Wofford went 0-3 this season against AP ranked opponents despite possessing a top-40 defense that held opponents to just 65.6 points per game. Wofford’s stats are skewed by the weakness of its schedule, but the Terriers have one of the best win differentials in the field. It also concluded the season by winning its final 20 games. It is not accustomed to some of the adversity it will face in March Madness but is nevertheless opening round favorites.
Wofford is led by Fletcher Magee’s 20.5 points per game. Magee shoots 42.5 percent from three-point range and he attempted a team-high 353 threes this season. Wofford shot 874 as a team which is moderately high, but the Terriers connected on 41.6 percent of its triples this season. Cameron Jackson and Nathan Hoover added another 14.6 and 13.3 points per game, respectively, and Jackson led the Terriers in rebounding at 7.5 per game. Jackson all struggled in three of the four-team losses this season. Jackson had only five double-doubles this season despite averaging 14 and 7, but Wofford fared just 3-2 in those games.
ATS TRENDS (c/o COVERS):