There is a little bit of something for everyone on Monday on the college hardwood slate, including a ranked team in action, tournament action from the Big South, and mid-major regular season play. If you were wondering about that ranked team, it’s the No. 15 Virginia Cavaliers hosting the Miami Hurricanes.
The Big South has a couple of tournament matchups, while the Southland Conference is still going through their regular season schedule. Sam Houston State and Houston Baptist both have three games left. Covid-19 has put some teams schedule’s way ahead of others, including entire conferences.
The Southland is busy at the top of the standings, with four teams owning just two losses this season. Stephen F. Austin goes into the new week at 10-2, Sam Houston State and Abilene Christian both 11-2, while Nicholls State sits alone in conference play at 12-2. The Bearkats of Sam Houston State head into Monday night with an overall record of 17-7.
In other words, there isn’t a clear No. 1 in the Southland Conference. This conference is competitive, and tends to churn out some entertaining games, too. If you want an off-the-radar conference tournament to watch, then the Southland can certainly deliver. Sam Houston State is on the road tonight at Houston Baptist following a 86-72 loss versus Abilene Christian last Monday.
Houston Baptist provides a nice opportunity for Sam Houston State to get back on track. However, a matchup on the road can always be tricky when it comes to college basketball. The Huskies head into this contest with a record of 4-16 and 3-9 in the Southland. This is a competitive conference, but HBU has nothing to do with that.
The Huskies are coming off a big blowout loss against McNeese State on Saturday. McNeese State pulled away from Houston Baptist after the opening tip-off. They toyed with HBU for a 85-58 win. I’m not sure how McNeese State was only -3.5 at home, but fortunately I noticed the mistake and cashed that easy winner. Back at home, we’ll see what kind of response the Huskies have. Head below for our free Sam Houston State vs. Houston Baptist pick on March 1, 2021.
Sam Houston State Bearkats vs. Houston Baptist Huskies NCAA Betting Odds:
Sam Houston State vs. Houston Baptist Prediction:
Houston Baptist looked disinterested in playing keep up with McNeese State on the road Saturday. The game got out of hand less than five minutes into the contest. Their defense has been paper thin throughout the season, so no surprise with McNeese State putting up big points early, though. The Huskies are one of the worst defenses in the country. They’ve conceded an average of 81.7 points per game.
There aren’t too many teams in the NCAA that have given up that many points. Their 81.7 points against equates to 340th, while teams are shooting 47.1% against the Huskies for 316th. Failure to rank inside the top-300 by either measure pretty well adds up to one ugly defense. They’ve been able to make small gains at home, but not much or anything to make a difference.
The Huskies are allowing 78 points per game at home, with a golden opportunity for the Bearkats to catch on fire tonight. Note that HBU has conceded at least 83 points in their previous three showings. Sam Houston State statistically ranks as one of the better shooting teams in the NCAA.
The Bearkats have netted an impressive 80.6 points per game for 21st in the nation. If they had some ability defensively, then the Bearkats would be a terrific position in the Southland at the moment. That hasn’t been the case, though, especially on the road where they’ve allowed 77.7 points per game.
They just gave up 86 points to Abilene Christian, and allowed 71 points to a bad Lamar team prior to that outing on February 22. Sam Houston State likely wins, but a backdoor cover is in play on the road. I’d rather side with the OVER in a game that should be high-scoring one way or another.