The NCAA Tournament’s first game features the #16 LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds (18-16) at the #16 Radford Highlanders (22-12). Tipoff is scheduled for Tuesday, March 13 at 6:40 p.m. E.T. at the University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, OH. Both of these teams will be hoping to secure their first-ever Big Dance win. Our LIU Brooklyn plays Radford 2018 NCAA Tournament pick offers the Highlanders at -4.5. The over/under for this initial NCAA Tournament game ranges from 138 to 139.
LIU Brooklyn earned their berth after finishing fourth in the Northeast Conference with a 10-8 record and beating Wagner, the conference’s top team with a 14-4 mark, in the title match. The final in that upset win was 71-61. The Blackbirds got to the final game by beating the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights 78-77 on March 3. Posting a 12-6 mark, Radford finished second in the Big South Conference. The Highlanders took down the fifth-place Liberty Flames (9-9) 55-52 on March 4 to take the conference title.
The Blackbirds are scoring 78 PPG and are good on 46% of their shots. They’re shooting 36% from the arc and are hitting 70% of their free throws. The Highlanders are averaging 67 PPG. Radford is three points less than the Blackbirds on their field goal completion rate, as they’re connecting on 43%. Radford is good on 35% of their shots from downtown and are connecting on 72% of their free throws. Assists and rebounds are fairly even between these two clubs.
Players to Watch
For the Blackbirds, senior guard Joel Hernandez leads the team with 20.9 PPG. He’s also grabbing 5.9 RPG. Junior forward Zach Coleman is taking down 6.5 RPG. Junior guard Raiquan Clark is grabbing a team-best 7.1 RPG, while putting in 17.4 PPG and connecting on 56% of his shots from the field.
The Randolph frontcourt includes senior center Randy Phillips and junior forward Ed Polite Jr. Polite leads the club with points 13.5 PPG and 7.7 RPG. Phillips is grabbing 5.7 RPG. Freshman guard Carlik Jones is averaging 11.8 PPG, 3.7 RPG, and 3.0 APG.
Our LIU Brooklyn Plays Radford 2018 NCAA Tournament Pick
LIU Brooklyn has the better backcourt, while Radford puts better and more productive front men on the court. The Blackbirds are the better shooting club. If free throws are the difference in this game, then the Birds have the advantage. Our LIU Brooklyn plays Radford 2018 NCAA Tournament pick are the Blackbirds at +4.5. We like the under at 139.0.