Longwood vs. Tennessee Odds, Picks, Predictions For NCAA Tournament First Round: Play the Under
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- Betting on Longwood vs. Tennessee? Find the odds for this first-round NCAA Tournament matchup in our preview below, complete with picks and predictions.
Longwood vs. Tennessee Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Winners of SEC, Tennessee, take on the winners of the Big South, Longwood, in a No. 3 versus No. 14 matchup in the South Region.
Tennessee has gone through a gauntlet of a schedule in both the non-conference and in the SEC. The Volunteers finished the year with the fourth-most difficult schedule, per KenPom.
Through that difficult schedule, the Volunteers finished the year as the third-best defense in the nation in terms of adjusted efficiency.
Longwood is the exact opposite playing one of the easier schedules in college basketball (330th, per KenPom), but even though it went 15-1 in the Big South, 14 of those wins were by eight points or less.
So, we’ll see if the Lancers are ready for the Volunteers’ lockdown half-court defense.
By Jim Root
Providence and Wisconsin get all kinds of flak for their “luck” in close games. But they are not the only ones with an impressive winning percentage in such contests.
Longwood is 10-1 this year in games decided by six points or less or in overtime. However, it may not just be luck — Griff Aldrich’s team fits the same narrative as its power-conference counterparts.
Like the Friars and Badgers, these Lancers are loaded with experience (four seniors and a junior in their top six players), and they have guards capable of making big plays late.
The trio of Justin Hill, DeShaun Wade, and Isaiah Wilkins is outstanding for the mid-major layup.
Wade started his career at East Carolina, and Wilkins played at two different ACC schools (Wake Forest and Virginia Tech) before joining Longwood. Those three consistently show patience and poise in stressful moments.
All three are physically imposing, and each can bury open jumpers, as well.
That’s a huge part of this Longwood attack. The Lancers rank sixth in the entire country in 3P%, and stretch forwards Jesper Granlund and Nate Lliteras space the floor from the frontcourt.
Up front, a platoon of Zac Watson and Leslie Nkereuwem holds down the center spot. They may lack size (both just 6-foot-7), but their limited workloads allow them to play maniacally hard at all times. Nkereuwem is one of the best offensive rebounders in the country, and Watson is an active finisher, as well.
The lack of size up front does show up in Aldrich’s defensive scheme. The Lancers play a compact man-to-man, daring foes to shoot over the top to avoid conceding easy interior buckets. The guard trio can all be pesky as on-ball defenders, though.
The Volunteers are peaking at the right time of the season, winning the SEC Tournament and beating Kentucky for the second time this year. The Volunteers have won 15 of their past 17 games, finishing a stellar 11-7 in Quad 1 games.
Head coach Rick Barnes fields the third-best defense per adjusted efficiency at KenPom. Offenses that struggle with turnovers and rebounding will have their hands full with Tennessee.
When opposing teams are able to cross mid-court, Tennessee has excelled in shutting down most offensive play sets. The Volunteers are top-30 in defensive efficiency against the half-court set, pick-and-roll, cut, isolation, post-up and off-the-dribble 3-point attempts.
If an opponent has the correct matchups, Tennessee can be beat due to its lack of offense.
Barnes runs a high frequency of screens and his unit takes a lot of off-dribble and catch-and-shoot 3-pointers. The Volunteers are 66th in point distribution from beyond the arc, indicating any team with defensive perimeter issues will struggle against the SEC Tournament champions.
Keeping the Volunteers off the glass and containing their perimeter shooting is the key to knocking out the No. 3 seed that easily deserved a 2-seed.
Longwood vs. Tennessee Betting Pick
The Volunteers finished the year third in adjusted defensive efficiency and can really defend anything Longwood is going to throw at them. They have the 12th-highest turnover rate, were second in the SEC in defensive rebounding and defend the arc incredibly well.
This is going to be a massive wake-up call for the Lancers.
Also, Longwood’s travel got delayed; it wasn’t due to arrive in Indy until 10 p.m. ET Tuesday night, which throws off its schedule a little bit, especially having to play a 2:45 p.m. ET game on Thursday.
I actually think there is some value on under 132.5 points. While Longwood plays a decent amount in transition, it’s just 235th in adjusted tempo. Meanwhile, Tennessee plays at a very average tempo.
Tennessee’s defense should be able to suffocate the Lancers.
Another thing in support of our Under 132.5 play is the ShotQualityBets.com model making the total based on over 40 ShotQuality variables. For 10% off ShotQualityBets’ March Madness Package, here’s promo code: ACTION.
Pick: Under 132.5 (Play to 131)
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