The first full schedule of the NCAA Tournament begins on Thursday. The play-in games are in the books, with a highly entertaining double-overtime game between Notre Dame and Rutgers ushering us into the Round of 64.
A word of warning before going too deep into the NCAA Tournament: be patient and don’t unload everything because this is a big event.
I say the same during the Super Bowl. It’s a big deal, but treat it like any other game for betting purposes. Shortlist some games and focus on those. That’s how you have proper bankroll management skills.
— Tennessee Basketball (@Vol_Hoops) March 17, 2022
The first game on my Thursday card is the Longwood Lancers and Tennessee Volunteers. After a 79-58 win over Winthrop in the Big South Tournament, Longwood received an automatic ticket to the NCAA Tournament.
The Big South champs finished the season at 26-6 and ruled the conference. They went into the conference tournament as the No. 1 seed and exited as a winner. Longwood wants to be the next college team to cause havoc in the NCAA Tournament.
Tennessee isn’t interested in Longwood going on a run. The Volunteers received an automatic invite to the NCAA Tournament as well following a 65-50 win in the SEC Championship.
That was an impressive win to cool off a streaking Texas A&M team. The Aggies were playing good basketball, but that loss sent them to the NIT Tournament.
so satisfying ✂️ pic.twitter.com/kgrkrXqeeT
— Tennessee Basketball (@Vol_Hoops) March 14, 2022
They are hot at the right time and could be the start of something special for the No. 3 seed. Tennessee won their seventh straight game with the win.
In a matchup of No. 14 vs. No. 3, the Lancers and Volunteers meet at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament.
Head below for our free Longwood vs. Tennessee prediction on March 17, 2022.
Longwood Lancers vs. Tennessee Volunteers Betting Odds and Team Statistics:
The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:
|Longwood Lancers||+18 (-110)||+1250||Over 132.5 (-110)|
|Tennessee Volunteers||-18 (-110)||-3000||Under 132.5 (-110)|
|Team Data||Longwood Lancers||Tennessee Volunteers|
|Points Per Game||76.1||73.6|
|Points Against Per Game||65.1||63.3|
|Field Goal %||45.4||42.9|
|Three Point %||37.3||35.3|
Longwood vs. Tennessee Prediction:
Longwood has held up well in the Big South this season. They were the best team and deserved their conference championship.
However, Longwood hasn’t had to deal with a defense like Tennessee. In their toughest game of the season, Longwood were chased off the court in a 106-73 loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes.
That was way back in the season opener at Iowa on November 9. Since then, they only had a power conference matchup versus the Georgetown Hoyas.
Not a good Georgetown team, mind you. The Hoyas edged away for a 91-83 win over Longwood. That was only their third loss for the rest of the season.
Longwood is 56th with 76.1 points per game and a 45.4% field goal percentage in 103rd. In three neutral court games in the Big South Tournament, Longwood scored 79 points in each outing.
Tennessee should put up a big enough wall to deter the Longwood offense in this one. It won’t be as easy against an SEC school in their best form right now.
Longwood Lancers vs. Tennessee Volunteers Betting Trends:
- 4-0 ATS in their previous four games
- 4-1 ATS in their previous five games as an underdog
- 6-2 ATS in their previous eight games on a neutral court
- 0-6 overall in their previous six games versus the SEC
- OVER is 5-2 in their previous seven games
- 5-2 ATS in their previous seven games
- 6-2 ATS in their previous eight games versus a team with a winning percentage better than 60%
- 4-1 ATS in their previous five games on a neutral court
- 6-2 ATS in their previous eight games as a betting favorite
- 10-0 overall in thier previous ten gams versus the Big Sky
The Volunteers likely lean on their defense in this one to force Longwood out of this game. This kind of defensive pressure is something that Longwood hasn’t experienced at all.
Even the matchup against Iowa was versus a weak defensive team in the Big Ten. Tennessee is going to be a step up in class. The Vols have conceded 63.3 points per game for 39th in the NCAA.
They are allowing teams to shoot 40.5% from the field for 39th. Conversely, Longwood is 156th with a 42.8% field goal percentage against versus much inferior competition.
Tennessee has allowed 62.6 points per game through their last five attempts with a 37.5% field goal percentage against. In the SEC Tournament, they held Mississippi State to 59 points, Kentucky to 62, and then 50 to Texas A&M. They are locked in right now.
As long as Tennessee doesn’t overlook Longwood, this game should go in their favor. Tennessee is 7th on KenPom, while Longwood is 140th in the NCAA. It may not be a 30-point dismantling, but 18 points is too short for this hot Tennessee squad.