#9 St. Bonaventure vs #8 LSU NCAA Tournament Round 1

#9 St. Bonaventure vs #8 LSU NCAA Tournament Round 1 | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on March 18, 2021

Not many schools this season won their regular-season and conference tournament, but St. Bonaventure did in the Atlantic 10. The Bonnies are a No. 9 seed when they open NCAA Tournament play Saturday against No. 8 seed LSU, the SEC Tournament runner-up and a short favorite on the NCAAB odds.

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

  • When: Saturday, 1:45 PM ET
  • Where: Assembly Hall, Bloomington, Ind.
  • TV: TNT
  • Stream: https://www.ncaa.com/march-madness-live
  • Radio: Tunein.com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: LSU -1.5 (total 144.5)

Last Meeting

This will be the first-ever meeting between the Bonnies of the Atlantic 10 Conference and the Tigers of the SEC.

Why Bet on St. Bonaventure? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Mark Schmidt’s Atlantic 10 title-winning squad had the most efficient offense (38% clip from the 3-point line) and the most efficient defense (45% inside the arc allowed) in Atlantic 10 play. He also has two of America’s best players. When Kyle Lofton (14.2 PPG, 5.5 APG) and Osun Osunniyi (10.3 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 2.8 BPG) have been on the floor together this season, the Bonnies (16-4) have made 40% of their 3-point attempts versus 34% without them.

Osunniyi, Lofton and Jalen Adaway were all honored for their efforts during Bona’s Atlantic 10 Tournament championship run.  Osunniyi topped the list by earning Most Outstanding Player honors. Osunniyi was dominant throughout Bona’s tournament run, averaging 13.3 points and 10.3 rebounds. His 13 blocks during the tourney were just two off the Atlantic 10 record of 15.

Already an Atlantic 10 First Team All-Conference pick for the second straight year, Lofton averaged 15.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists in the tournament. Adaway continued an active streak of six straight games scoring in double figures with three such efforts in the Atlantic 10 Tournament, averaging 13.0 points and 6.0 rebounds.

During the season, the Bonnies built an impressive NCAA Tournament resume by going 11-4 against Quadrant 1, 2 and 3 opponents, including a 6-3 mark against Quad 1 and 2 teams.

It’s the eighth NCAA Tournament appearance for St. Bonaventure and first since 2018 when it beat UCLA in the First Four before losing to in the first round.

Why Bet on LSU? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Arkansas had won nine in a row before suffering a 79-71 loss to LSU in the SEC tournament semifinals last Saturday. The Tigers used the same formula that makes them a threat to advance to the second weekend. Cam Thomas scored 21 points — his 20th game with 20 or more points this season — and his team forced 16 turnovers, a sign of an improving defense.

LSU (18-9) finished third in the SEC regular-season standings and lost in the final seconds to an excellent Alabama team for the SEC Tournament title. It was the Tigers’ first time in the final since 1993. No. 1 in offensive efficiency in SEC play per KenPom, LSU can put up big numbers, and if it’s respectable on defense throughout the NCAA Tournament, it can be a team that can compete with the best squads in the field.

The Tigers advanced to play in the NCAA Tournament for the 23rd time in program history and the second straight tournament. LSU’s seeding came as a surprise to many as most experts and analysts projected LSU to land between the No. 5 and No. 7 seed lines.  Though the Tigers were ranked higher in the NET ratings (No. 28) than each of the No. 7 seeds in the tournament, the Tigers received a No. 8 seed.

St. Bonaventure is a familiar foe for LSU Head Coach Will Wade who faced the Bonnies annually during his time coaching at VCU.

“I have a lot of respect for just how good they are,” Wade said. “They’ve got a top 40 offense, a top 20 defense. They’re 17th in the country in defensive efficiency and defense. They’ve got some good guard play, they’ve got a shot-blocker, a big 6-10 kid down there (Osun Osunniyi) – a good small-ball ‘4,’ a good shooting guard, a good point guard in (Kyle Lofton).

The winner of this game will play No. 1 seed Michigan, barring a historic upset from either Mount St. Marty’s or Texas Southern.

Game Trends

  • Bonnies are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 neutral site games.
  • Bonnies are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
  • Bonnies are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS win.
  • Tigers are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite.
  • Tigers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games as a favorite.
  • Tigers are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 NCAA Tournament games as a favorite.

Expert Prediction

  • LSU 74, St. Bonaventure 72

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