VCU vs St. Bonaventure Atlantic 10 Final

VCU vs St. Bonaventure Atlantic 10 Final | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on March 12, 2021

Not many conference tournament championship games are chalk, but that’s the case Sunday in the Atlantic 10 final as top-seeded St. Bonaventure faces No. 2 VCU – the winner gets an automatic NCAA Tournament berth, but the loser will get an at-large bid. The Bonnies will be short favorites on the NCAAB odds.

How to Bet VCU vs. St. Bonaventure NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

Last Meeting

The teams split in the regular season. The most recent meeting was on Feb. 12 at VCU and the Rams won 67-64. St. Bonaventure whittled what had been a 12-point VCU second-half lead to just two, but VCU converted 5-of-6 free throws in the final minute to hold on for the win. VCU outrebounded the St. Bonaventure 43-34, including a 19-10 advantage on the offensive side of the ball. The Rams outscored the Bonnies 18-11 off turnovers and 16-10 on second-chance opportunities. Bones Hyland led VCU with 22 points. Jalen Adaway led the Bonnies with 23 points

Why Bet on VCU?

The Rams (19-6) advanced with a 64-52 win over Davidson last Saturday. VCU shot 31 percent (9-of-29) while the Wildcats shot just 17 percent (5-of-30) in the first half but the Rams led 24-17 and really weren’t threatened after the break. VCU shot 64 percent in the second half.

Hason Ward led the Rams with four blocks and VCU held the Wildcats to just 30 percent (17-for-57) shooting in the game Davidson was just 9-of-27 from 3-point range, including 3-of-14 in the first half.

Bones Hyland led the Rams in scoring with 12 points. The sophomore also put up four assists, and grabbed five rebounds. VCU freshman guard Ace Baldwin dished out seven assists to go with seven points and four boards. Freshman guard Jamir Watkins provided a spark for the Rams off the bench pouring in 10 points, two assists and five rebounds.

VCU advanced to its sixth A-10 Championship Game (of eight possible) since it joined the league in 2012. It is the first time since 2017 that the Rams will compete for the A-10 crown.

Hyland was named A-10 Player of the Year this past week. The 6-foot-4 combo guard is averaging a league-best 19.4 points per game, as well as 4.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.0 steals per game. His 2.9 three-point field goals per game also leads the conference. He scored 30 more points on three occasions this season, and his three double-doubles lead the team. Hyland has scored in double figures in 22 of 23 contests this year.

Hyland was the first Ram to win a conference Player of the Year honor since Eric Maynor captured back-to-back awards in the CAA in 2008 and 2009. Hyland was the first VCU sophomore to win league Player of the Year since Calvin Duncan claimed the Sun Belt Conference’s top honor in 1982-83.

Junior forward Vince Williams Jr. (Third Team), Ward (All-Defensive Team) and Baldwin (All-Rookie Team) also earned postseason honors from the A-10. Ward ranks ninth nationally in block percentage (12.4). The 6-9 forward has also provided 16 steals, and is averaging 6.5 points and 5.2 rebounds, while shooting .580 from the floor.

Why Bet on St. Bonaventure?

The Bonnies (15-4) beat Saint Louis 71-53 last Saturday to advance. Jalen Adaway led all scorers with 17 points, adding seven rebounds. Kyle Lofton added a double-double of 12 points, 10 rebounds along with six assists; Jaren Holmes produced 15 points and seven boards and Osun Osunniyi was again dominating on defense with seven blocks to go along with eight points.

Osunniyi had six blocks in the first half alone and tied his career high with seven total. He was just one off the program A-10 Tournament record of eight swats set by Andrew Nicholson in the 2012 Atlantic 10 Championship Game.

Bonaventure owned a 35-27 margin on the glass and a 34-20 advantage in the paint after the Billikens had produced two of the just six times the Bonnies had been outscored in the painted area during the past two seasons. St. Bonaventure finished the game shooting 47 percent from the floor and hit 12 of 14 free throw attempts. Already ranked No. 28 in the NCAA NET rankings, the Bonnies improved to 5-3 against Quadrant 1 and 2 teams by defeating Saint Louis, which was ranked No. 36 in the latest NET.

Osunniyi has been named the A-10 Defensive Player of the Year and All-Conference while Lofton again earned First Team All-Conference status. Osunniyi led the league in blocks per game (2.8) and his 54 swats were second total in the league despite playing 19 games. leader. He became just the third player in program history to earn selection to the league’s All-Defensive Team three times, joining Marques Green (2002-04) and Caswell Cyrus (1998-2000).

Osunniyi also ranked second in rebounding (9.3 rpg) and on the offensive end was third in field goal percentage (56.2 percent) while averaging 10.3 points per game and also handing out 46 assists, second-most on the team.

As for Lofton, along with leading the team in scoring (14.2 ppg), he ranked third in the A-10 in assists (5.4 apg), fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.08) and led the conference in minutes for the second consecutive year (38.3 mpg). He recently moved into seventh-place all-time in program history for assists (417) and is 31st in career scoring (1,197 points)

Expert Prediction

  • Bonaventure 66, VCU 63

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