UNC Wilmington vs. Northern Colorado CBI Odds & Picks: Do Seahawks Have Tired Legs? (Tuesday, March 22)
Photo by Tommy Martino/University of Montana via Getty Images. Pictured: Steve Smiley (Northern Colorado)
- UNC Wilmington and Northern Colorado face off in the CBI semifinals in Daytona Beach, Florida.
- The Seahawks made an epic 17-point second half comeback against Drake yesterday, but may have tired legs in today's affair.
- Kyle Remillard dives into the game and breaks down why he's backing the underdog Bears.
UNC Wilmington vs. Northern Colorado Odds
|UNC Wilmington Odds|
-110o / -110u
|Northern Colorado Odds|
-110o / -110u
The CBI semifinals kick off Tuesday night when UNC Wilmington matches up against Northern Colorado.
UNC Wilmington looked like it had its bags packed for the offseason yesterday, as it trailed Drake 41-24 at halftime. The Seahawks erased a 22-point second-half deficit to keep their season alive, though. They took their first lead of the game with 4.3 seconds to play on a Jaylen Sims layup.
UNCW erased a 22-point win to take down Drake and move to the CBI Semifinals!pic.twitter.com/TdbeGxgZ0g
— Action Network Colleges (@ActionColleges) March 21, 2022
That victory comes just 24 hours after a 93-78 victory over VMI that was played at a blistering pace.
The Seahawks match up against Northern Colorado — which handled UNC Asheville’s press in impressive fashion — in the semis. The Bears pulled away from Asheville late for an 87-84 victory in what was a back-and-forth affair all game long.
Northern Colorado plays at a fast tempo that ranks among the top-50 in the country. That could be a pivotal factor given UNC Wilmington has played two high-paced affairs.
UNC Wilmington finished off its season winning 22 of its final 26 matchups. It suffered a four-point loss to Delaware in the CAA Tournament, which ended its chances at an NCAA Tournament bid.
But the group has continued to find a way to win close games, highlighted by yesterday’s comeback victory.
Much of that success has been directly related to the play of Sims. The 6-foot-6 senior guard is averaging 16 points and six rebounds a contest. Sims is converting on 36% from downtown, but just 38% on his overall field goal attempts.
The Seahawks play good fundamental basketball rarely turning it over.
Defensively, the group is strong at limiting 3-point attempts, but when teams do get a look, they convert at a 36% clip. That will be pivotal in this matchup, as Northern Colorado has a plethora of shooters.
The program is reliant on the production of its starting lineup, as it ranks outside the top-300 in bench minutes. Head coach Takayo Siddle may need to rethink that strategy after playing two up-and-down games in the last two days.
Northern Colorado enters the CBI having finished 22-15 on the season. The Bears come from the Big Sky Conference, and their playing style highlights that.
The Big Sky had some of the premier offenses at the mid-major level this season.
Northern Colorado had the highest offensive efficiency ranking when matching up against conference foes. In those matchups, the group held the top-ranked 2-point field goal (59%) and 3-point field goal (39%) offenses.
The Bears’ offense is electric and averaged 78 points per game, good for 21st in the country. Steve Smiley’s group takes 46% of its shot attempts from behind the arc, and for good reason, as it converts at the 12th-highest clip in the nation.
Five players have attempted over 100 3-pointers on the season. All five of those players average between nine and 22 points per game.
The top-three scorers — Daylen Kountz, Matt Johnson II and Dru Kuxhausen — have combined to hit 242-of-571 (42%) from behind the arc this season.
Now, they match up against a UNC Wilmington defense that has allowed opponents to convert at the 315th-highest rate in the country from 3-point territory.
UNC Wilmington vs. Northern Colorado Betting Pick
UNC Wilmington is surely going to be feeling the affects of yesterday’s dramatic come-from-behind victory. After playing in a 77-possession game in which both teams pressed the entire 40 minutes on Sunday, the Seahawks left everything they had on the court in the second half yesterday.
That spells trouble for UNC Wilmington, which now must play a Northern Colorado team that plays at a blistering pace.
Northern Colorado boasted one of the top offenses in the Big Sky. It has a triple threat of 3-point shooters who all convert over 42% from downtown. The offense is just as efficient at scoring inside the arc, shooting 56% on 2-point attempts (11th nationally).
The Bears have too many offensive weapons, and the tired legs of UNC Wilmington will prevent it from making another miracle second-half comeback.