- After going 15-1 in conference play, Longwood is a +145 favorite to win the Big South Conference Tournament
- The championship game is set for Sunday at noon ET and will be televised by ESPN2
- Below, see the Big South Tournament odds and best bets
After earning its first No. 1 seed in the Big South Tournament since becoming league members in 2012, Longwood is the favorite to win the conference tournament, which runs Wednesday-Sunday (Mar. 2-6) at Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte.
As a +145 pick, Longwood has an implied win probability of 40.82%. #2 seed Winthrop is the second choice +210, giving the Bruins a 32.26% implied probability.
Big South Conference Tournament Odds
|#5 UNC Asheville||+750|
|#7 High Point||+32000|
|#9 North Carolina A&T||+95000|
|#12 Charleston Southern||+50000|
Odds as of February 28th at FanDuel Sportsbook. See SBD’s college basketball odds page for individual game odds.
The top-seeded Longwood Lancers (23-6) and No. 2-seeded Winthrop Eagles (21-8) have byes into Friday’s quarterfinals.
The tournament begins Wednesday with four first-round games: #9 North Carolina A&T (11-19) meets #8 Radford (11-17) at 11:30 am ET,. Then, #10 Charleston Southern (5-24) faces #5 UNC Asheville (16-13) at 2 pm ET. #10 Hampton (9-18) and #7 High Point (13-17) follow at 6 pm ET. First-round play wraps up with #11 Presbyterian (12-19) taking on #6 Campbell (15-12) at 8:30 pm ET in the nightcap. All games will be on ESPN+.
The quarterfinals are set for Friday, followed by the semifinals on Saturday and the championship game on Sunday, which will be televised by ESPN2.
Longwood: From Longshots to Favorites
The little school in Farmville, Virginia has never played in the Big Dance — only making the leap to the Big South a decade ago — and only qualified for postseason play four times in Division II or III. Head coach Griff Aldrich’s team was 12-17 last season, though did finish well and had plenty of talent returning. Still, the Lancers did not get a single first-place vote in its division in the Big South preseason poll.
— Longwood Men's Basketball (@LongwoodMBB) February 28, 2022
Longwood beat Campbell 60-55 in the last game of the regular season on the road Saturday to lock up the tourney’s top spot and has three double-digit scorers: Justin Jill, Isaiah Wilkins and DeShaun Wade.
Longwood was dominant at home this season, going 16-1 with the only blemish on its homecourt being a 64-53 defeat to Western Carolina back on Nov. 21. This group shoots well from beyond the arc, sporting an 18th-best offensive 3-point field goal percentage. The class of the Big South also crash the boards well, owning a No. 40 rating in offensive rebounding percentage.
But Gardner-Webb — not Longwood — is projected to represent the conference as a No. 16 seed in the Midwest in SBD’s March Madness bracket.
Winthrop Biggest Threat to Lancers
The Eagles — who have won the Big South tourney the last two years — have the second shortest odds to win a third straight time at +210. Winthrop finished only one game behind the Lancers in the league standings at 14-2 and have plenty of recent postseason experience to draw from.
Eagles take on the winner of the #7 High Point-#10 Hampton game Friday at 6pm. pic.twitter.com/4Ceh6YVvMu
— Winthrop Athletics (@WUEagles) February 27, 2022
Like Longwood, Winthrop features three players averaging in double-figures. That group is led by junior forward DJ Burns at 15.3 per game. He’s followed by Patrick Good (11.6 ppg) and Cory Hightower (11.5 ppg). Overall, this unit shoots very well from the field, owning the fifth-best offensive effective field goal percentage in the land. The Eagles lost to the Lancers 92-88 on Jan. 29, — the only meeting between the teams this season — and have ripped off eight consecutive victories since.
Others to Watch
No. 3 seed Gardner-Webb (17-12) is the obvious choice here at +500. The Runnin’ Bulldogs are projected to win the tourney in SBD’s model and have been on a nice roll, winning eight of their last 10. The ‘Dogs rank 55th in the country in defensive adjusted efficiency, but did not beat either the Lancers or the Eagles in the regular season.
— Big South Conference (@BigSouthSports) February 28, 2022
At +2400 odds, an even longer shot is No. 6 seed Campbell. Back in October, the Camels got 20 of the 26 first-place votes in the North Division. It’s unlikely Campbell comes alive in this week, but the talent is there.
Fly Like an Eagle
Longwood is a great story, but Winthrop has the know-how to get things done come March Madness. They may wind up with extremely long odds to win March Madness, but at +210 to win the Big South Tournament, they’re the pick for me.
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