One of Thursday’s most intriguing games in the NCAA Tournament features the 7 seed Wofford Terriers and the 10 seed Seton Hall Pirates. The winner will likely face Kentucky in the Round of 32. The game is in Jacksonville with Wofford favored by 2.5 points.
Seton Hall has quietly become one of the hottest teams in the country in March. A few weeks ago, their bubble was about to burst, but the Pirates won four in a row down the stretch, including two wins over Marquette and one over Villanova. Seton Hall then fell two points short in a heart-breaker against Villanova in the finals of the Big East Tournament, but that loss may not slow down their late-season momentum.
Of course, Wofford has been one of the most intriguing teams in the country all season. After all, not too many Southern Conference teams earn a 7 seed. The Terriers lost just four games all season, all of which came against teams in the tournament. They were undefeated in conference play and head into the tournament on a 20-game winning streak.
The Big Dog
Leading the Terriers is senior guard Fletcher Magee, who will be playing this weekend in his home state of Florida. Magee averaged over 20 points per game this season, which is actually down a little from last season. He can light it up from the outside, making 43% of his 3-point shots, but he also gets to the free-throw line with great regularity and shoots over 90% from the charity stripe.
However, Wofford is far from a one-man team, which is why many believe they’re dangerous. Nathan Hoover is a lethal sharpshooter who averages over 13 points per game and shoots better than 45% from the perimeter. Storm Murphy and Tray Hollowell give the Terriers two more players who shoot over 40% from 3-point range. Finally, 6’8’’ power forward Cameron Jackson gives Wofford some muscle and inside scoring.
Miles To Go
Seton Hall’s late-season renaissance was led by junior guard Myles Powell. On the season, he averaged close to 23 points per game, but he stepped up even more late in the season when his team’s tournament bubble was about to burst. He’s scored over 30 points in three of his last six games while shooting close to 40% from 3-point range during that span. He’s capable of having a big game against Wofford and could will Seton Hall to victory.
Of course, it’d be nice if the Pirates could give him a little bit of help. Seton Hall has several other players who are capable scorers, but no one who comes to close to matching Powell’s consistency. The Pirates, as a whole, are a poor shooting team. They will need to play strong defense and use their size to beat up Wofford on the boards because Powell may not have the help around him to win a high-scoring contest.
Bark and Bite
Wofford may not have played a tough schedule, but they did average 83 points per game this season. If they can get anywhere near that mark, which is a distinct possibility, Seton Hall will struggle to keep up. Bet on Wofford to win and cover the 2.5-point spread against the Pirates.