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NEC Championship Game preview: No. 2 Bryant vs. No. 4 Mount St. Mary’s

We go over how you can watch Tuesday’s Northeastern Conference title game, as well has how you should be against the spread.

Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers guard Julian Norfleet (23) dribbles while being guarded by Robert Morris Colonials guard Kavon Stewart (3) during the second half of the Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers 88-71 win over the Robert Morris Colonials in the NEC Championship Game at the Charles L. Sewall Center in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. Photo by Justin Berl/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Northeastern Conference Tournament is nearly over, and two teams will face off to compete for an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on Wednesday. Mount Saint Mary’s is set to face off against Bryant for the first time this year. The NEC Tournament is just four teams, and these two both won their semifinal to get here.

Mount Saint Mary’s (11-10, 9-7) finished third in the conference at the end of the regular season and knocked off top-seeded Wagner 66-60 last Saturday in the first round en route to the title game. It won’t be easy to win on the road this time around as the opposition is a perfect 10-0 at home. The Mountaineers have depended on diminutive point guards in the past, and 5’8” Damian Chong Qui could power them to victory. He leads Mount Saint Mary’s in points at 14.9 per game with 5.5 assists per outing as well.

Bryant (15-5, 10-4) has won five straight games since dropping back-to-back tilts against Fairleigh Dickinson. The Bulldogs’ offense is led by Peter Kiss, who has notched 10 games with at least 20 points this season. He also leads Bryant in steals per game. The home team starts four guards, so Mount Saint Mary’s could use that to gain an advantage in the post.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch No. 2 seed Bryant vs. No. 4 seed Mount St. Mary’s on Tuesday, March 9 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2. You can watch it via live stream at WatchESPN.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Bryant -5.5
Point Total: 132.5
Money line: Mount St. Mary’s +200, Bryant -245

Notes

  • Mount Saint Mary’s is one of the nation’s best teams when defending the long ball and has held opponents to just 30% from beyond the arc.
  • Bryant has been extremely dominant at home, winning by an average of 16.1 points at the Chace Athletic Center.
  • The Mount has the slowest tempo in college basketball outside of Virginia at just 62.2 possessions per game, while Bryant will attempt to speed up things with an average of 73.6 possessions, good for 14th-fastest in Division I.

The Best Bet

The Bulldogs have one of the highest-scoring offenses in the country and rank fifth in points per game. Their high-octane offense paired with a home-court advantage makes it hard to bet against the favorites. Bryant swept top-seeded Wagner, so picking the home team to cover the spread seems like a no-brainer.

The Pick: Bryant -5.5

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