LMBF Bubble Games to Watch: March 4th
We have our first automatic bid, Murray State put on their dancing shoes beating Belmont in the Ohio Valley championship. Big wins were picked up by Syracuse, Florida, UCLA, and Texas, while Mississippi State and Washington may have seen their bubble burst.
Liberty at Radford 1/12c ESPN
The Flames trailed top-seeded UNC-Asheville by 15 in the 2nd half and came back to win by 5. Scottie James was fantastic with 18 points and 14 rebounds and is the leader of this Liberty squad who likes to play a really slow tempo. Radford has won 6 in a row to get to the Big South championship game, including a road win at Liberty just two weeks ago. The Highlanders also like to play a slow tempo and play a hefty rotation. Radford swept the season series against the Flames.
Illinois State vs Loyola (Chicago) 2/1c CBS
Arch Madness will conclude this afternoon with the winner of Illinois State and Loyola punching their ticket to the NCAA Tournament. Loyola has been the best team in the Valley all season cruising to a 27-5 record including a win over Florida. ISU is coming off a record-setting 2016-17 season which saw their squad, one of the best in school history, fall just short in the Valley Title game against Wichita and miss out on the NCAA Tourney. According to KenPom, Illinois State is the 6th luckiest team in America. In recent history, they have been wildly unlucky in the Championship game of the tourney losing 5 times since 2008.
Lipscomb at Florida Gulf Coast 3/2c ESPN
Both teams like to get up and down the floor and push the ball. The two teams split the season series winning on the road. Lipscomb rides a 7-game winning streak to get to the Atlantic Sun final. It should be a great environment at Alico Arena with the home Eagles favored by 7.5 points. Garrison Matthews is the player to watch for Lipscomb, he averages 21 points per game, while Florida Gulf Coast plays a deep rotation with Brandon Goodwin leading the way.
15 Michigan vs 8 Purdue 4:30/3:30c CBS
The Big Ten tournament concludes with the red-hot Wolverines taking on one of the most well-rounded teams in America. Michigan was my pick to win the Big Ten, they always seem to get hot at the right time and have the look of a top 4 seed in the Tournament. Purdue has handled punches from Cinderella rutger and taken down the replacement Penn State to reach the final at Madison Square Garden. A possible 1-seed is on the line for the Boilermakers, Dakota Mathias is my key to this game. He can be disruptive on defense and sink big shots on the offensive end if he has a big game, Boilers will roll.