The two top seeds in the Southland Tournament will compete for a spot in the field of 68 when the Nicholls State Colonels and Abilene Christian Wildcats get together for the title game on Saturday, March 13th.
Both teams earned byes to the semifinal round, and Nicholls earned an 88-76 victory over Northwestern State on Friday. Senior guard Kevin Johnson scored a game-high 23 points on 7 of 12 shooting from the floor. He also knocked down four 3-pointers in the win.
In Abilene Christian’s lone tournament game, the Wildcats handled Lamar 93-71, led by Kolton Kohl’s 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting with six rebounds. Airion Simmons went for 16 points off the bench in just 12 minutes of play.
Let’s take a look at all the action from the Leonard E. Merrell Center in Katy, Texas.
No. 1 Nicholls vs. No. 2 Abilene Christian, 8:30 p.m. ESPN2
Point Spread: Abilene -6.5
Point Total: 140
Nicholls has won 16 of their last 17 games, and they’re the underdog because Abilene forces more turnovers per 100 possessions than any other team in Division I (26.9). These teams didn’t meet during the regular season, but the ability to get stops is what’s making the spread this high.
Both teams have played well against top competition this year, but we think the power ratings for the Wildcats are a bit inflated thanks to pounding on the 50-worst teams in America, many of which reside in the Southland. We’ll take the points.
The pick: Nicholls State +6.5
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