The Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers and Bryant Bulldogs meet in the second-round of the Northeast Conference Tournament on Tuesday night at Bryant. Note that the Northeast Tournament does not play at a neutral site. They use seeding to determine where the home games will be played. Mount St. Mary’s defied the odds and went on the road to beat top seeded Wagner on Saturday. The aggressive defense of the Mountaineers played to perfection, as they frustrated Wagner into a 66-60 final score.
Nana Opoku and Damian Chong Qui combined for 14 points each to lead Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers to an upset. They must go on the road for back-to-back games in the Northeast Tournament following the win over Wagner. The key for the Mountaineers is to not get too comfortable. After an upset, it could be easy to get too complacent and get overly confident. It’s good to be confident, but too much confidence can be a mental roadblock.
Mount St. Mary’s doesn’t have the privilege of getting a weak opponent after knocking off the No. 1 seed in the tournament. They have to stay on the road and make an appearance in Rhode Island at the Chace Athletic Center. Bryant can shoot the heck out of the ball, and if the Mountaineers don’t bring the same defense, this game could get away from them. Bryant has to brace themselves for a tough defense on Tuesday night.
If Mount St. Mary’s is going to pull off another upset, it’s going to happen with their defense. Bryant can score at will, but they can’t go into Tuesday night with the expectation that plenty of free looks are going to be there. The Bulldogs are the No. 2 seed following a productive season with a record of 15-5 and 10-4 in the conference. They have been unbeatable at home, so the fact this tournament isn’t on a neutral site is a big bonus for the Bulldogs. Bryant is coming off a 85-55 win over No. 3 Sacred Heart on Saturday in the first-round. Head below for our free Mount St. Mary’s vs. Bryant pick on March 9, 2021.
Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers vs. Bryant Bulldogs Northeast Conference Tournament Betting Odds:
Mount St. Mary’s vs. Bryant Prediction:
Bryant goes into the second-round with a perfect record of 10-0 at home. This is the first time that Mount St. Mary’s and Bryant are playing in the 2020-21 campaign. They did not have a regular season meeting, though the Bulldogs did face the team that the Mountaineers just upset on Saturday.
Bryant won both of their games against top seeded Wagner by a score of 74-62 and 81-75 at home. Wagner has a fairly efficient defense like Mount St. Mary’s, but Bryant split through them fairly easily. Overall, the Bulldogs were one of the hottest scoring teams in the NCAA.
They have scored an average of 84.6 points per game for fifth in the nation. Bryant collects plenty of rebounds and second chance opportunities. They are 14th in the NCAA in the rebounding department. The offense has been dangerous on the road and home this season. The venue hasn’t made that much of an impact.
However, defensively the Bulldogs have been noticeably better in that regard at home. Bryant allowed 75.9 points per game for 298th in the NCAA. When they’re home at the Chace Athletic Center, Bryant conceded 67.7 points per game. The real struggle for Mount St. Mary’s this season has been finding points. They’re a 11-10 team because of the offense holding them back. The Mountaineers are 332nd in the NCAA with 63.2 points per game.
While the defense is strong, holding teams to just 62.2 points per game, the Bulldogs can pile up points on any team in the Northeast Conference. Expect Bryant to pull away, and Mount St. Mary’s unable to match their high-octane offense. Look for the Mountaineers to keep the game close with their defense early, but Bryant should be able to advance to the next round with a 72-60 or 73-64 win on Tuesday night.