It’s conference tournament time. So like I’ve done the last few years I will be making picks for every conference title game. I’ll put these in separate blogs opposed to any preview or full on blog just so it’s easier to find. Let’s have an 8 days.
No. 1 Belmont vs No. 2 Murray State (Evansville) – 8pm E*PN2
Conference Championship Record: 0-0
So we got one of the early tournament finals we all wanted. Ja Morant vs Belmont. In case you missed it this is how Murray State ended up in the finals:
Late last night Morant just took over the game late (with some questionable officiating for sure) against Jacksonville State. Less than 10 seconds to go he drew this and-1 to eventually win the game. And in case this is the first time you’ve clicked on a blog of mine, Ja Morant can also do this:
So, yeah, Ja Morant is a ton of fun to watch. He’s also just a goddamn good and smart basketball player. That said and he’ll dominate a ton of the talk during the game, Belmont is the better team. They have a guy in Dylan Widner who is a likely 2nd round NBA pick and can really stretch the floor. There is a question here though as starting big guy Nick Muszynski was hurt during the game yesterday – caught on TV screaming in pain. We’ll see how limited he is today.
They played only once during the regular season with Belmont winning at Murray State. Remember though Morant did roll his ankle less than 2 minutes into the game and was never fully 100%.
For all the talk about Morant – Belmont’s offense is the real joy to watch. Not a surprise under Rick Byrd and his sweater. Belmont runs a spread motion offense and they get into that set fast. They want to play quick, look for a cut and then a pop. They are 58th in the country in 3PA/FGA and 35th in the country in 3pt%. This is the game. Murray is an excellent 3pt defensive team. Murray wants to press a bit, force you into feeling uncomfortable and defend the hell out of the 3pt line.
Pick: Belmont -2