Atlantic 10 Tournament Semifinal – vs. (3) Davidson at (2) VCU
- Time: 6 PST – 8 CST – 9 EST
- Place: Stuart C. Siegel Center, Richmond, Va.
TV: CBS Sports Network
This has become a nice Atlantic 10 rivalry since both teams began playing each other when Davidson joined the league in 2014-15. The series is tied at 7-7 as the Wildcats have won four out of the last five including a 65-57 win last weekend.
Luka Brajkovic scored 15 points to lead Davidson over the Rams as VCU shot only 36.5 percent and made only four threes. The Rams were without leading scorer Bones Hyland, who is potentially an A-10 Player of the Year.
The Rams have won eight of thee last 10 games dating back to Jan. 13 as there have been eight postponements covered in that period. Davidson is now 3-2 since being paused due to COVID-19 from Jan. 24-Feb. 19.
Vs. The Spread:
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the Wildcats’ last 5 games
- DC is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games
- The Wildcats are 8-3 SU in their last 11 contests
- The UNDER has been the play in 8 of VCU’s last 11 games
- The UNDER has been the play in 8 of the last 10 Rams-Wildcats meetings
- VCU is 16-4 SU in their last 20 games
Last Time Out:
Davidson advanced to the A-10 semifinals by rolling to a 99-67 win over George Mason yesterday. Kellan Grady led the Wildcats with 32 points as they led the Patriots wire-to-wire. Davidson shot 59.1 percent from the floor as the Wildcats made 17-of-31 threes.
Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland was back from injury with a vengeance as he led the Rams with 30 points to hold off stubborn Dayton, 73-68. The Rams led from wire-to-wire as well and had a 55-37 lead with 8:50 to play, but the Flyers fought back to within 71-66 with 14 seconds remaining.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Davidson||+1 (-105)||+100||O 133½ (-117)|
|Va Commonwealth||-1 (-115)||-120||U 133½ (-103)|
Senior Kellan Grady is on a farewell tour through his fourth A-10 Tournament and his 32-point output could be tough to carry over against a Rams defense that forces 17.3 turnovers per game and allowed only 65.3 per contest. Grady is going to need support from Carter Collins or Hyngjung Lee if his scoring opportunities are not there.
Key Wildcats Stat:
The three-point game is of course the signature of the Wildcats in how they space the floor and always have a plethora of shooters who stick it from deep. As we already pointed out, they made 17-of-31 from distances yesterday, but the Rams held them to 7-of-24 in that 65-57 loss at Davidson.
Luka Brajkovic is one of the more underrated posts int he country with his footwork and post moves. He had 17 points yesterday against George Mason and 14.7 points over his last three. He shoots 53.4 percent from the floor, but you want to put him on the line as for whatever reason, he has made only 61.2 percent of his free throws.
Playing on it’s home court in the Siegel Center has to give the Rams plenty of comfort in what is a game that can take them off any bubble scenario with a win. Add to that a rested Bones Hyland (19.7 ppg, 4.7 apg) and you have the recipe of VCU going out and executing on both ends of the floor to pick up a win and a berth in the championship next Sunday (March 14) against either St. Bonaventure or Saint Louis in Dayton. VCU’s second leading scorer Vince Williams is listed as questionable with a back issue as he left yesterday’s game.
Key Rams Stat:
Davidson only forces 10.2 turnovers per game, so the ability of Hyland, point guard Adrian Baldwin and Jamir Watkins on the perimeter could be insurmountable for SC. Baldwin has had a really solid freshman season as he topped the Rams with 4.3 assists and 3.4 boards on average. Watkins (7.3 ppg) is the third leading scorer as he gets to the rim and knocks down 74.6 percent of his free throws.
The matchup up of VCU’s Freshman shot-blocker Hason Ward on Brajkovic will be an interesting game within the game. Ward blocked 56 shots this season and will need to discipline his game vs. Brajkovic’s post moves. Corey Douglas also checks in with 30 blocks for the Rams.
Winner: VCU (-1) 68, Davidson 63