South Region: Colgate vs Tennessee Prediction
Colgate vs Tennessee Preview
The No.2 seed Tennessee Volunteers (29-5) were hopeful for a No.1 seed but they were dropped down a notch and have to face a very underrated No.15 Colgate Raiders (24-10) champions of the Patriot League.
Colgate does bring an 11-game winning streak into the NCAA Tournament. However, they have lost to all the elite competition they have faced this season–losing to Syracuse, South Florida, Penn State and Pittsburgh in its four games against high-major competition. Each of those was a double-digit defeat.
Rapolas Ivanauskas, a 6-foot-10 junior forward, paces the Raiders–he was named Patriot League Player of Year after he averaged 16.4 points and 7.9 rebounds. He’s a threat from anywhere on the court, hitting 52.3 percent of his field-goal attempts, including a 43.4 percent mark from 3-point range.
The Raiders do have other pieces should Ivanauskas struggle against the front line of Tennessee. Jordan Burns and Will Rayman average 15.8 points and 13.1 points, respectively. They were second-team all-conference selections.
Realistically, Tennessee should have no trouble advancing to the Round of 32–but they will still need their players to show up and play hard in order to come away with the victory. For the Vols, it all starts and ends with Grant Williams. The junior forward led the team with 19 points and 7.6 rebounds per game–Colgate does have the size to matchup with UT, but they lack the physicality and overall talent.
Starting in the second round, Tennessee will start to face a stiffer challenge–if they do win they will play the winner of No.7 Cincinnati and No. 10 Iowa.
LINE: -17.5 Tennessee
Dan’s Bet: -17.5 Tennessee
Bracket Pick: Tennessee
Score Prediction: Tennessee 80 Colgate 60