St. Bonaventure vs VCU Road To March Madness

St. Bonaventure vs VCU Road To March Madness | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

While neither team is ranked in the AP Top 25 currently, easily the biggest game around college basketball on Friday is from the Atlantic 10 Conference as the two league leaders, St. Bonaventure and VCU, face off. The Rams will be favored on the NCAAB odds – both these schools should be in the NCAA Tournament and capable of winning a couple of games.

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

  • When: Friday, 5 PM ET
  • Where: Stuart C. Siegel Center, Richmond
  • TV: ESPN2
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: TBA (VCU will be favored)

Last Meeting

The teams met at St. Bonaventure on Jan. 20 and the Bonnies rolled 70-54. It was a tale of two halves. The Rams took a 15-point lead into the break, but shot 19 percent (5-of-26) in the second as the Bonnies outscored VCU 45-14. The Rams led 43-29 with 18:56 remaining, but watched as St. Bonaventure embarked on a 16-0 run, punctuated by back-to-back alley-oop dunks by Osun Ossunniyi. VCU never fully recovered. VCU leads the all-time series with St. Bonaventure 6-5

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

The Bonnies beat visiting LaSalle on Tuesday, 86-73. The victory maintained Bona’s first-place standing in the Atlantic 10 with a record of 10-2 overall and 8-2 in conference play.

The Explorers came out rolling, hitting four of their first five three-point attempts to build a 22-13 advantage. The Explorers led for the first 8:46 of game time, but the Bonnies rallied back before intermission. In the second half, the Bonnies 15-for-24 from the field, including 5-for-6 from beyond the arc. When all was said and done, the Bonnies shot nearly 61 percent overall (28-46) and 64 percent from long range (9-14). The teams were equal in rebounding, 29-29, but the Bonnies owned a 36-22 advantage with points in the paint.

Five players scored in double figures, led by Jalen Adaway’s 20 points for St. Bonaventure. Kyle Lofton had 18 points and eight assists; Osun Osunniyi chipped in with 17 points, eight rebounds and three blocks; Jaren Holmes finished with 15 points and Dominick Welch posted 10. The last time the Bonnies had five players finish in double-figure scoring was last season’s home finale vs. Saint Joseph’s in March 2020.

Lofton moved to 35th in career scoring with 1,120 points, passing Sam Stith ’60 (1,112), Rob Samuels ’85 (1,112), Patricio Prato ’03 (1,110) and Paul Hoffman ’72 (1,103) on the Bonnies all-time scoring list.

“We did a better job on the ball screen stuff; we played better,” Coach Mark Schmidt said. “Our defense, we kept them under 40 percent shooting and that’s one of our goals. We didn’t rebound in the first half, but we did a better job in the second half. We answered their runs and dealt with adversity.”

Why Bet on VCU? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Rams (14-4) won their fourth in a row Tuesday, 76-67 at Dayton. The Rams improve to 2-0 against the Flyers on the season. VCU defeated also Dayton 66-43 on Jan. 23.

On Tuesday, junior forward Vince Williams and sophomore guard Bones Hyland poured in 19 points apiece to lead VCU. Williams hit 7-of-14 from the field, including 5-of-8 from 3-point range on the way to a career-high scoring night. Hyland had 14 of his 19 in the second half as VCU held off the Flyers. He was 3-of-5 from 3-point range and played all 40 minutes in the contest. Senior forward Levi Stockard III and freshman guard Ace Baldwin added 10 points each. Baldwin added three assists and a pair of steals.

Hason Ward got another start for the black and gold, his third consecutive. He blocked a game-high two shots and led the Rams with four assists in the win. Hyland became the first VCU player since JeQuan Lewis at Liberty on Nov. 15, 2016 to play all 40 minutes in a game. VCU was without the services of starting forward Corey Douglas, who is nursing an ankle injury

VCU committed a season-low eight turnovers, while forcing 16 Dayton miscues. The Rams outscored the Flyers 29-8 off turnovers VCU shot 50 percent (27-of-54) from the field in the game, including 52 percent (12-of-23) from the 3-point line. VCU also finished 10-of-11 at the charity stripe.

VCU and the Bonnies are both 7-2 in league play, but St. Bonaventure currently holds a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Rams via their home win against the black and gold earlier this season.

Expert Prediction

  • VCU 69, St. Bonaventure 65
 
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