Longwood vs UNC Asheville Odds, Pick | Big South Championship Betting Guide (Sunday, March 10)

Longwood vs UNC Asheville Odds, Pick | Big South Championship Betting Guide (Sunday, March 10) article feature image

Via Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images. Pictured:  Walyn Napper #1 of the Longwood Lancers looks up during the second half against the Winthrop Eagles during the Quarterfinal of the Men’s Big South Championship at High Point University on March 8, 2024 in High Point, North Carolina.

Longwood vs UNC Asheville Odds

Sunday, March 10
12 p.m. ET
Longwood Odds
-110o / -110u
UNC Asheville Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings . Get up-to-the-minute NCAAB odds here.

The Big South Tournament crescendos on Sunday after a thrilling Saturday in which both semifinals went to overtime. This event has already had multiple dramatic finishes, and Sunday offers the possibility of one more.

If anyone is worried about an anticlimactic final, fear not. These two squads played two close games this year. Both ended with the home team winning by five, meaning a true neutral site offers enticing possibilities for a March moment.

Longwood is rising to its talent level and preseason expectations after an inconsistent Big South campaign. Griff Aldrich’s Lancers won this tournament in 2022, and several pieces from that squad remain.

Big South title experience still favors UNC Asheville, though. The Bulldogs have four starters back from the team that won this championship last year, and they displayed that gumption with a dominant overtime period against Gardner-Webb.

Check out our College Basketball Betting Hub for more NCAAB previews, predictions, news and analysis.

Longwood Lancers

The Lancers have gotten hot at the right time and have beaten league champ High Point twice in a week. They now have a chance to return to the Big Dance for the second time in three years if they can capture the rubber match against UNC Asheville.

Longwood thrives on the glass, excelling on both ends thanks to a cadre of long wings and two active big men in Elijah Tucker and Szymon Zapala. In two regular season games against these Bulldogs, the Lancers won the glass battle 44-30 and 33-28. Expect them to hammer the boards once again.

Walyn Napper is also a name to watch. The former Southern Miss transfer has ascended into alpha status for the Lancers by hitting big shot after big shot over the past two weeks. Like all of Longwood’s perimeter players, he is a physical presence driving downhill who will overpower many smaller guards.

That size also surfaces on defense, where the Lancers use their athleticism edge to force turnovers. If Zapala is off the floor, though, Longwood is vulnerable in the paint.

UNC Asheville Bulldogs

Every UNC Asheville game starts with one question: how are you going to defend two-time Big South Player of the Year Drew Pember?

The versatile big man can score inside or out. If you send a conventional big at him, he will pull you out to the perimeter and bury jumpers or slash off the bounce. If you counteract that with a quicker defender, he is plenty comfortable on the block and attacking the offensive glass.

As a result of that matchup fungibility, the former Tennessee Volunteer sees a bevy of double-teams. His passing vision has taken a leap this year, which has helped him to punish foes by finding cutters or shooters like Fletcher Abee and Josh Banks.

Defensively, Asheville has become a force in league play. Pember, Toyaz Solomon and Nick McMullen give the Bulldogs plenty of size as a three-man rotation up front. As a result, Asheville leads the Big South in two-point percentage defense.

Considering Longwood ranks in the bottom 20 nationally in 3-point Attempt Rate, points could be at a premium against the Bulldogs’ intimidating interior wall.

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Longwood vs. UNC Asheville

Betting Pick & Prediction

Both teams’ quarterfinal games sailed well under the full-game total. Their semifinals would have, too, if not for the additional five minutes of overtime.

Unsurprisingly, I am siding with the under here. The two regular season matchups had 66 and 67 possessions, respectively, and the postseason influence should temper even that tepid pace.

Because both teams are coming off overtime thrillers along with with the high stakes dictating value on each and every possession, I expect a slow battle here. Longwood and UNC Asheville have routes to scoring, but tempo, potential tired legs and a nerve-inducing atmosphere make me comfortable taking the under.

Pick: Under 144 (play to Under 141)

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Nick Sterling
May 21, 2024 UTC