The Old Dominion Monarchs (25-6, 16-3 CUSA) and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (23-9, 15-4 CUSA) battle in the Conference USA Conference Tourney at Ford Center at The Star. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. ET on Friday, March 9, 2018, and it can be seen on CBS Sports Network.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. Old Dominion Monarchs Free Preview
The Hilltoppers easily got past the UAB Blazers in their last game, 98-70. With 19 points and 10 rebounds, Justin Johnson played well for Western Kentucky. Western Kentucky played a perfect game. They had an absurdly low turnover percentage of 7.7 (better than their season average of 15.2) and a free throw rate of 0.306 (above their season average of 0.287). For those same stats, UAB put up marks of 15.6 and 0.169, respectively.
In the Monarchs’ last game, they topped the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, 62-58. With 22 points on 6-for-13 shooting, B.J. Stith was the game’s high scorer. Old Dominion dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had a phenomenal free throw rate of 0.327 (above their season average of 0.227) and an effective field goal percentage of 0.469 (below their season average of 0.512). For those same stats, Louisiana Tech put up marks of 0.033 and 0.459, respectively.
Western Kentucky could struggle to create turnovers. Old Dominion ranks 23rd in the NCAA at avoiding errors (turnover percentage of 15.6 percent), while Western Kentucky forces the 138th-most turnovers (19.4 percent). Additionally, the Hilltoppers rank 33rd in offensive efficiency (113.8), while the Monarchs rank 11th in defensive efficiency (94.5).
Lamonte Bearden has been exceptional over the last five games for Western Kentucky, averaging 14.4 points, 3.4 assists and 1.8 steals per game.
These two teams have already met twice this season, with the Hilltoppers winning both. Johnson put up 19 points and 11 rebounds in the most recent game, in which the Hilltoppers defeated the Monarchs 88-66. The Hilltoppers dominated nearly every stat category in the game. They had a free throw rate of 0.220 and a turnover percentage of 10.7. The Monarchs recorded marks of 0.047 and 14.2, respectively, for those same stats.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. Old Dominion Monarchs Betting Prediction
College Basketball Prediction: SU Winner – Western Kentucky, ATS Winner – Western Kentucky, O/U – Under
- The Monarchs are 10th in the nation with 4.6 steals allowed per game while the Hilltoppers are 45th with 5.3 steals allowed per game.
- Old Dominion averages 38.0 rebounds per game, which ranks 60th in the NCAA. Western Kentucky ranks 77th in rebounds allowed per game (33.3).
- Old Dominion averages 15.2 assists per game, which ranks 69th in the NCAA. Western Kentucky ranks 180th in assists allowed per game (14.0).
- The Monarchs rank 206th in three pointers attempted per game (20.2) while the Hilltoppers rank 297th (15.3).
- Old Dominion ranks 49th in blocks per game (4.3) while Western Kentucky ranks 113th in blocks allowed per game (3.4).
- The Monarchs’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 3.6, down from 11.1 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Hilltoppers have scored an average of 83.2 points per game (3.8 above their season average) and allowed an average of 74.8 points per game (3.9 above their season average).