The Mercer Bears will take on the UNC-Greensboro Spartans on Monday evening for a chance to go to the NCAA Tournament as they play for the Southern Conference Tournament championship. The game is being played at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in Asheville, North Carolina, and is scheduled for a 7:00 PM EST tip-off.
The two teams met twice during the regular season, with the Spartans coming away victorious in both games. UNCG were 13-point winners on their home court before coming away victorious on Mercer’s court just three weeks ago.
Greensboro has defeated both The Citadel and East Tennessee State on their way to the conference finals, while Mercer defeated Samford, Wofford, and Virginia Military Institute on their way to the championship game.
Mercer Bears Betting Preview: The Bears are getting defensive
The Mercer Bears began a new era a couple of seasons ago when they moved on from longtime Coach Bob Hoffman. Hoffman once led Mercer to one of the great upsets in NCAA Tournament history in 2014 when Mercer defeated college basketball blue blood Duke in the first round. Now, Greg Gary has the Bears on the cusp of another appearance, and he’s doing it with defense. Mercer has not allowed more than 61 points in their three SoCon Tournament games.
Sophomore guard Neftali Alvarez is coming off of one of his best games of the season, scoring 23 points against VMI on 9-19 shooting. Alvarez was the second-leading scorer on the Bears over the course of the regular season but has had to pick up the slack in the conference tournament as Ross Cummings has gone just 2-19 from the field in his last two games.
Mercer is just 12-13 against the spread on the season overall but is 9-6 ATS in road/neutral games. They are rolling as of late, being 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall. The Bears’ total has gone over in seven of their 12 true road games this season but under in each of their three neutral site games.
UNC-Greensboro Spartans Betting Preview: Spartans at the gates…again
UNC-G has long been a power in the SoCon under the guidance of Wes Miller but has somehow not made the NCAA Tournament since 2018 simply because they never won the postseason tournament. Once again this season, they have been the best team in the league behind high-scoring guard Isaiah Miller (19 points per game) and have the opportunity to punch their ticket.
The Spartans will not “wow” you with any one part of their play, but as a whole, their play is effective. Miller is obviously their stud on offense, and they hold opponents to just 41% shooting from the field. Miller is also playing arguably his best basketball of the season right now as well, scoring at least 21 points in each of his last four games. He is shooting 43% from deep during that span and over 50% overall from the field.
On the season, the Spartans are 13-4 in road/neutral games straight up and 11-6 against the spread. They are 16-11 ATS overall and 18-6 straight up as the favorite. The total has gone over in 11 of their 17 games away from home.
Bears vs. Spartans Betting Odds & Lines
BetOnline.ag has the spread favoring UNCG by four points to open with the total opening at 140 points.
Free Betting Pick
UNC-Greensboro has the better Coach in Wes Miller and the best player in the game in Isaiah Miller. The Spartans have fallen just short too many times to not get over the hump this season. They cover the four, and the total goes under.
Spooky Express Free Pick: Under 140 Points