Gardner-Webb vs Radford Preview

Gardner-Webb vs Radford Preview
(Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

The Big South Tournament final is missing arguably its best team, and no-doubt its best player as the No.1 seeded Campbell Fighting Camels were eliminated yesterday by the No.4 seed Gardner-Webb Bulldogs, 79-74. That means the nation’s leading scorer, Chris Clemons, will not be playing in an NCAA Tournament game.

All is not lost however, because both of these teams are good enough to make waves in the March Madness bracket.

MFST has covered the Radford Highlanders closely this year, from their three-point victories over Notre Dame and Texas to their advancement in this tourney with a win over Presbyterian. This Radford team is legit and will have a chance to matchup well with many Power Five Conference teams.

Gardner-Webb is just as dangerous, but lacks the experience of Radford. Freshman Jose Perez led the charge in their upset of Campbell dropping 19 points in 38 minutes of game action. This was key as the Bulldogs best player, leading scorer, and senior leader, David Efianayi, managed only six points in 23 minutes as he dealt with foul trouble early and eventually fouled out of the game.

The experience of Radford is difficult to ignore–the team made the NCAA Tournament last season, winning a game in the First Four only to lose to eventual National Champ Villanova in the first round. Don’t think that did not help the team for moments like this in their conference final.

Senior Ed Polite Jr. will be a man among boys in this game–he comes in averaging 13.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game, and has drastically improved his efficiency from last year to this year. He increased his field goal percentage from 47 to 53 percent, his 3-point percentage from 27 to 33 percent, his free throw percentage (which was 52 percent as a freshman) to 74 percent this season, all while turning the ball over at a career-low clip.

Polite will be the man Garder-Webb must keep an eye on, but the team will need to slow down sophomore Carlik Jones who leads the Highlanders in scoring with 15.8 points per game. He impacts the game in many ways–averaging 5.9 assists and 5.2 rebounds, but also is not afraid of the moment. He drilled the game-winning three-pointer last year at the buzzer to send them to the NCAA Tournament and he will look to again today. In the team’s victory over Charleston Southern in the semi-finals, Jones scored 21 points and added 8 rebounds.

Gardner-Webb comes in hot, winners of seven of their past eight games and despite being the betting underdog, they are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 contests.

Prediction

LINE: -7.5 Radford

O/U: 139

Dan’s Bet: +7.5 Gardner-Webb

Score Prediction: Radford 73 Gardner-Webb 68

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Dan Schalk

Dan Schalk is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief for MFST and can be heard weekly on the 'My Fantasy Podcast'. He is likely watching Seinfeld right now, not that there's anything wrong with that.
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https://i1.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Radord-GW.jpg?fit=660%2C330&ssl=1https://i1.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Radord-GW.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Dan SchalkBig SouthNCAABRecent PostsBig South,Big South Tournament,College Basketball,Gardner-Webb Bulldogs,Gardner-Webb vs Radford,Radford HighlandersGardner-Webb vs Radford Preview The Big South Tournament final is missing arguably its best team, and no-doubt its best player as the No.1 seeded Campbell Fighting Camels were eliminated yesterday by the No.4 seed Gardner-Webb Bulldogs, 79-74. That means the nation's leading scorer, Chris Clemons, will not be playing in...