LIU Brooklyn vs. James Madison: Game Time, TV Schedule, Spread Info, Predictions
While most people focus on which teams can win the NCAA tournament, it is important for the little guys to get some of the spotlight as well.
Long Island University Brooklyn earned a trip to the dance thanks to winning the Northeast Conference tournament. The Blackbirds will face Colonial tournament champion James Madison.
Both teams struggled at times during the regular season, but they are peaking late in the year and should provide fans with an excellent showing in one of the first games of this year's NCAA tournament.
Where: University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, Ohio
When: Wednesday, March 20, at 6:40 p.m. ET
Live Stream: March Madness On Demand
Betting Line: LIU Brooklyn (-1)
What's At Stake?
While winning an NCAA tournament game is always an honor, the reward for the winner of this one is a matchup with No. 1 seed Indiana.
With Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo and others waiting to play on March 22, a second-round win will not be easy for either team.
Injury Report (via USA Today)
Andrey Semenov (Ankle) Out
F Julian Boyd (Knee) Out
What They're Saying
ESPN's Ian Nolan provided fans with a great preview of LIU Brooklyn, and he makes it seem like this will be a tough team to beat:
LIU is at its best when getting up and down the floor and attacking the rim on run-outs. The Blackbirds are even better when they can grab a long rebound and push the ball. [Jack] Perri's team wants to beat you down the floor and score in transition, whether in the paint or from deep.
On the other hand, James Madison has a tough roster as well, according to Greg Carrocio of ESPN:
With three players averaging 11-plus PPG on the season, JMU has multiple reliable scoring options. You can't make a game plan to take away one guy, as the Dukes can spread the floor and attack the rim with all their athletes.
Both sides have their stars, but it will be interesting to see what happens when the two battle on the court.
LIU Brooklyn Player to Watch: Jason Brickman
There is plenty of talent on this roster, but the most important player is the point guard averaging only 9.6 points per game: Jason Brickman.
The junior led the nation with 8.5 assists per game. He handled the pressures of the fast-paced attack and distributed to his teammates with regularity.
While his name might imply otherwise, he is also a very good shooter, hitting 46.1 percent of his three-point shots on the year. He is certain to have another big game against James Madison.
James Madison Player to Watch: A.J. Davis
At 6'6" with the ability to shoot from the outside, A.J. Davis might be the toughest matchup in this game.
The guard is second on the team with an average of 12.1 points per game, but he has scored at least 20 in five of the last six games. He has been much more aggressive over the past month of the year and it is a big reason that the Dukes reached this level.
If he can make his outside shots, LIU could be in trouble.
Key Matchup: Rayshawn Goins vs. Jamal Olasewere
Jamal Olasewere is LIU's leading scorer and rebounder, and an incredible force down low. He is not very tall at 6'7", but he can use his body extremely well to box out and finish at the rim.
This will be a tough assignment for Rayshawn Goins, the senior forward on James Madison. However, Goins averages 7.4 rebounds per game and should be able to handle his opposition as well as anyone else on the roster.
Prediction: LIU Brooklyn 79, James Madison 68
LIU Brooklyn struggles defensively at times, but this is one of the best offenses in the country. The squad ranks fifth in the nation at 79.5 points per game and 10th in field goal-percentage at 48.4 percent from the floor.
While James Madison has some scorers on the team, the Dukes will not be able to keep up with this high-powered offense.
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