Tonight on truTV the coverage of the first round of the NCAA Tournament continues with the Vermont Catamounts (23-11, 13-3) taking on the Lamar Cardinals (23-11, 11-5). The betting odds for the college basketball pick is from Oddsmaker sportsbook.
Lamar comes into this all important game riding a six game winning streak. Their most recent win, which earned them their tournament birth, was a 70-49 thrashing of McNeese St. in the Southland Conference championship game. The Cardinals dominated the entire game after a slow start and had a commanding 33-21 lead at the half.
The turning point that put the game away for the Cardinals was a 9-0 run that ended with a Mike James layup with 5:25 left in the second half. For all intensive purposes this is the stretch that solidified Lamar’s berth in the field of 68. James led the Cardinals with 26 points while Devon Lamb chipped in with 12 points.
Vermont made their way into the tournament via an upset in the America East Conference championship game. The Catamounts stunned top seed Stony Brook on Saturday for a 51-43 victory. The game served as the rubber match of the season series between the two that saw the Catamounts take a 2-0 lead and never relinquish that lead once throughout the entire game. Vermont was led by sharp shooting senior Matt Glass and a great defensive effort that only yielded Stony Brook to shoot 29.3% from the field.
The three pointer as a whole continued to be a weapon as it has for the Catamounts all season as 21 of their 51 points came by way of the trey.
Vermont played a tough non-conference schedule that featured a close loss to South Florida a tournament team, but also featured a blowout loss to another tournament team in St. Louis. The Catamounts lost to St. Louis by a score of 62-43 back in early December.
Lamar played an even tougher non-conference schedule and played some of the nations elite teams. They were blown out by more than 20 points in tilts vs. Kentucky, Ohio St., and Louisville. Although the Catamounts may have a similar record to the Cardinals, there is little debate that the Cardinals did so against a much tougher schedule. Because of this battle tested experience we feel a slight edge has to be given to Lamar to win a close one here vs. the Catamounts to bet at the best sportsbook.