Tennessee vs Louisiana March Madness Betting Line: Volunteers Double-Digit Favorites
Fourth-Seeded Tennessee Volunteers Reeling Heading Into March Madness
Will Loss Of Star Guard Zeigler Make for Short Stay for Tennessee?
Tennessee had a brief stay at the SEC tournament, falling to Missouri in the quarterfinals after topping Ole Miss in the tournament opener. Despite going 5-7 over the last 12 games, the Volunteers still landed a top 16 seed thanks in large part to wins over Kansas and Maryland in non-conference play and a victory over No. 1 overall seed Alabama. The Louisiana vs Tennessee March Madness betting guide does view the Volunteers as the strong favorite.
Louisiana was challenged in both the semifinals and finals in the Sun Belt tournament, but will take a five-game winning streak into the game. Other than a game against Texas, which resulted in a 28-point loss, Louisiana’s non-conference schedule left something to be desired.
Louisiana: Sun Belt Champions Hoping to Shine
Each of the last eight losses in postseason national tournaments have come by single digits and that includes a 10-point loss to Creighton in its most recent NCAA tournament appearance in 2014. Louisiana vs Tennessee March Madness betting guide aren’t favoring that changing when the teams meet on Thursday night.
Arizona transfer Jordan Brown has made himself right at home in his two seasons at Louisiana with five double-doubles in the last six game. In his only game against a team from the Power-5 conferences, Brown had 20 points and six rebounds in a loss to Texas so he could be a handful for Tennessee.
How They Got Here
Louisiana was tested by both Texas State and South Alabama in the final two games in the Sun Belt tournament.
South Alabama jumped out to an early six-point lead in the championship game and led by four points at halftime. Four different players scored as Louisiana erased a seven-point lead to earn a spot into the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2014. Louisiana is a double-digit underdog according to the Louisiana vs Tennessee March Madness betting guide.
Themus Fulks, who had seven points on 2 of 13 shooting in the first two games in the Sun Belt tournament, stepped up in a major way with 23 points in 9 of 13 shooting in the title game. Brown had 13 points and 16 rebounds. The Ragin’ Cajuns are 8-2 when he has a double-double this season. Jackson State transfer Terence Lewis is another player to keep an eye on.
Louisiana is 5-3 against the college basketball betting lines in its last eight games while four of the last five games went over the total.
How Far Will They Go
Louisiana has lost its last four games in the NCAA tournament and this doesn’t have the feel of a team that is going to blow up people’s March Madness brackets.
There isn’t much in the way of quality wins or even quality losses on the schedule for Louisiana.
Tennessee: Hoping to Turn the Tide
According to the favorites to win March Madness, Tennessee was being touted as a national championship contender thanks to some impressive results earlier in the season. However, two losses to Kentucky and others to Florida and Vanderbilt changed the expectation level surrounding this Tennessee team.
The good news is that the Volunteers had to fight their way through a conference schedule full of teams that landed NCAA tournament berths so that could prove beneficial in the NCAAs.
How They Got Here
Tennessee posted wins over Alabama and Arkansas late in the regular season. However, March has been a bit of a grind.
Tennessee allowed Missouri to shoot 53% and hit 10 3-pointers in the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament so that will need to be addressed. It was encouraging to see Jahmai Mashack score 14 points in the loss after going 3 for 11 over the last three games.
Josiah-Jordan James was playing well before a tough outing against Missouri and he will be counted on to take some of the pressure off leading scorer Santiago Vescovi.
Tennessee has covered against the college basketball odds in its just one of its last seven games. Five of Tennessee’s last six games finished over the total and the 136½-point total is a pretty tempting number.
How Far Will They Go
If the seeds hold, a second-round game between Tennessee and Duke could be quite the battle with Purdue likely waiting in the regional semifinals.
It is hard to have too much confidence in this Tennessee team going into the tournament with how the Volunteers are playing.
Handicapping the Game
Tennessee is obviously missing second-leading scorer Zakai Zeigler, who also leads the team in assists and steals. Vescovi can do a little bit of everything, but will be have enough help?
Louisiana went 3-3 over its last six games in February so this is not a squad being viewed as one of the double-digit seeds likely to make a run to the regionals. However, Zeiger’s injury has made Tennessee rather susceptible for an early exit. (Odds change frequently, be sure to check for the most up to date changes.)
The 10½-point line might be a bit of the high side with the way the favored Volunteers are playing.Follow us on Twitter
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