Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders vs Old Dominion Monarchs – NCAAM February 26

Middle Tennessee State (5-13, 3-9) at Old Dominion (12-6, 8-4)

  • Time: 4PM PST | 6PM CST | 7PM EST
  • Location: Chartway Arena, Norfolk, VA
  • TV: ESPN+

Opening Tip

It’s been a monumental rebuild at MTSU where Coach Nick McDevitt is working on making the Blue Raiders an entity again. They are 2-8 over their last 10 games and 13th in CUSA. The weekend’s back-to-back with ODU is a big step in MTSU making it to the 12-team CUSA Tournament in two weeks.

The Monarchs have won seven out of their last 10 and have climbed into a third-place tie with Louisiana Tech, UAB and Marshall. It is likely that two of these teams can finish in third and fourth and get the double-bye in the CUSA Tournament.

The Blue Raiders hold a 9-2 lead in the series as ODU’s two wins came in each of the last two meetings. The Monarchs are 7-1 at home this season while the Blue Raiders are 0-5 on the road.

Vs. The Spread

MTSU:

  • The Blue Raiders are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games
  • The total has been OVER in 4 of MTSU’s last 5 games
  • The Blue Raiders are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games

Old Dominion:

  • The Monarchs are 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games
  • The OVER has been the play in 4 of ODU’s last 6 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the last 5 ODU- MTSU matchups

Last Time Out

Middle Tennessee State fell at Marshall, 96-85, last Saturday as the Blue Raiders netted a season-high 44 points in the first half. Jalen Jordan has a season-high 25 points for MTSU and Jordan Davis and DeAndre Dishman had 17 points each.

ODU picked up a split at UAB with a 65-58 win on Saturday. The Monarchs answered a 76-69 lost to the Blazers on Friday sparked by a 16-point, five-rebound effort from Xavier Green. The key s for the Monarchs were knocking down 18-of-21 free throws and out rebounding the Blazers, 42-34.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
MTSU +10 (-110) +430 O 134.5 (-110)
Old Dominion -10 (-110) -550 U 134.5 (-110)

Advantage, MTSU

Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders Logo 101x101The Blue Raiders’ offensive efficiency rating of 317th in NCAA D-1 play is the biggest reason for the struggles this season. They have to be efficient against Old Dominion’s defense although this is not one of the Monarchs’ better defenses in the Jeff Jones era. MTSU shoots only 39.8 percent from the floor on the season.

Jordan Davis (11.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg) is the team’s leading scorer after Dontrell Shuler (12.5 ppg, 2.9 apg) has been out for the last three games. Jalen Jorden (8.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg) is questionable as he is in concussion protocol. If the Blue Raiders can’t speed the game up consistently before ODU sets it’s defense, scoring will be a tough task.

Key Blue Raiders Stat:

Washington has been in a tough place defensively all season, but the Huskies have risen up in their last six Pac-12 games. The gave up 82.8 points over the first 12 league games, but have held the last six schools to 70.5 points per game. The Huskies held their last four opponents to 22-of-76 from three point range.

X-Factor:

Jo’Vontae Millner-Criss (7.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg) comes off a 16-point effort against Marshall where he was 6-of-10 from the field. He can be a scoring threat as well as he is second on the team with 53 made field goals.

Advantage, ODU

Old Dominion Monarchs LogoThe Monarchs have gotten better as the season has unfolded in winning 10 out of their last 13 games as this can be seen with their offensive production throughout their last four games in winning three out of four. They have shot 49.3 percent from the floor over those although leading scorer Malik Curry has struggled in going 6-of-24 from the field over his last three games as Kalu Ezikpe has given Jones big minutes in the middle as he has averaged 12 points per game and made 16-of-23 field goals.

Key Monarchs Stat:

Xavier Green has been playing at a much higher level in his last three games after going 1-of-13 from the field in the second game against Marshall and the first game against Charlotte on Feb. 6 and Feb. 10. Green averaged 12.3 points per game over his last three as he made 13 of 25 field goals.

X-Factor:

Marshall scored 99 points in the paint last week in the two Thundering Herd wins so look for ODU to try to get downhill off the dribble and find Ezikpe in the middle early. If that happens with consistency, the Monarchs will not have to search as much for the three as they make only 4.9 made triples per game and shoot 28.3 percent from distance.

Winner: ODU (-10) 69, MTSU 58

The Bets
Old Dominion -10
-110
Old Dominion Monarchs
-550
UNDER 134.5
-110
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.