ASUN Conference Tournament Odds: Liberty Big Favorites
Plenty of Longshots in ASUN Conference Tournament
The ASUN Conference Tournament odds have the Liberty Flames as a solid favorite, followed by regular season co-champion Kennesaw State. There’s a huge drop off after Kennesaw State, with the remaining eight teams at odds of +1600 and higher.
Unlike some conference tournaments, teams have to earn their way into the ASUN Conference Tournament. Only the top 10 of the 14 teams have the opportunity to play for the trip to the NCAA Tournament. The ASUN will almost certainly just send the conference champion to the NCAA Tournament. Teams are re-seeded after the quarterfinals. All games will be televised by ESPN+ with the championship game on Sunday, March 5, televised by ESPN2 at 3 p.m. ET.
Liberty Flames (-235)
Liberty is actually the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament but it shouldn’t make any difference. The Flames are the class of the conference. It would be a huge upset for the Flames not to win the tournament. The Sagarin college basketball ratings have Liberty 6.5 points better than Kennesaw State. Ken Pomeroy has the Flames more than 11 points better than the Owls and No. 44 overall in the country.
Liberty finished the season with a 24-7 record and were 15-3 in the conference. The Flames fell apart in the last 5.5 minutes in the lone regular season game at Kennesaw State, allowing the Owls to go on a 22-5 run and take an 88-81 victory to earn the No. 1 seed and home court for a potential championship game. Liberty is the best defensive team in the conference and rated No. 2 in adjusted offensive efficiency.
Kennesaw State Owls (+250)
Kennesaw State has to be given some consideration after knocking off Liberty during the NCAAB regular season. The Owls will be at home if the tournament plays out as planned in the championship game. The Owls have the second-best adjusted defensive efficiency in the conference and are No. 5 offensively. Kennesaw State only lost one time at home this season.
The Owls are a solid 3-point shooting team but struggle from the foul line, which did hurt them several times this season. Defensively, the Owls are good at forcing turnovers and preventing offensive rebounds. Kennesaw State’s defensive field goal percentage isn’t too impressive and it ranks No. 294 in 3-point defense.
Eastern Kentucky Colonels (+1600)
Eastern Kentucky is the No. 3 seed in the ASUN Tournament after posting a 12-6 conference record and the team went 19-12 overall. The Colonels are a better defensive team than they are offensively. Eastern Kentucky doesn’t shoot the ball particularly well, but don’t make many turnovers and can get some offensive rebounds. The Colonels are another ASUN team that is much better at home. Five of Eastern Kentucky’s six conference losses came on the road.
Stetson Hatters (+1600)
The Hatters are the No. 4 seed in the ASUN Tournament and there really isn’t a great difference in the power ratings between Stetson, Eastern Kentucky or Lipscomb, which is why all three teams have ASUN Conference Tournament odds of +1500.
Stetson is the best offensive team in the ASUN and one of the worst defensively, which is why they were 17-12 overall and 12-6 in conference. The Hatters had a tendency to play some close games, having five games go into overtime during the year. The Hatters were an impressive 17-7 against the spread, which is something to remember for your NCAAB picks and parlays during the conference tournaments.
Lipscomb Bisons (+2000)
Lipscomb was 19-12 during the season and 11-7 in conference play and will be the No. 5 seed. The Bisons are a good shooting team but are hurt a little bit in the adjusted efficiency ratings due to a lack of offensive rebounds.
In terms of field goal percentage, Lipscomb is in the top 75 in the country in 2-point field goals, 3-point field goals and free throws. Defensively, the Bisons are slightly better than average. You can’t discount Lipscomb, but it would have to pull off a couple of upsets to reach the championship game.
Projected Championship Matchup
There are several conference where you can pick one of the lower seeds with a bit of confidence. This isn’t one of them, however, as Liberty seems to be a safe bet to advance to the championship game on its side of the bracket.
Kennesaw State doesn’t instill the same amount of confidence but will be at home throughout the tournament. The winner of the Stetson vs. Lipscomb game won’t be a pushover for the Owls, but Kennesaw State will be favored by at least 5 points.
This looks to be a case where the ASUN Conference Tournament odds are going to be correct and it’s difficult to imagine anybody but Liberty and Kennesaw State meeting in the championship game. Expect a different final result this time, as Liberty captures the ASUN Conference Tournament. The Flames could be a decent team to use for a first-round upset in your March Madness contest bracket depending on the draw.Follow us on Twitter
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