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Mercer vs. Tennessee NCAA Tourney Betting Predictions & Preview

Bears vs Volunteers Gambling Lines

The 14th-seeded Mercer Bears will look to continue their improbable run through the NCAA Tournament when they take on an 11th-seeded Tennessee Volunteers team that looks to continue an improbable run of their own in Raleigh on Sunday. [ad-4468020]

2014 NCAA Tournament Free Picks
Midwest Region – 3rd Round
14 Mercer Bears (27-8) vs. 11 Tennessee Volunteers (23-12)
Date: Sunday, March 23, 2014
Time: 6:10 PM ET
Venue: PNC Arena
City: Raleigh, North Carolina
O/U Odds: 129
Spread: Tennessee -7.5

Matchup Stats | ATS Insider Preview

Mercer is coming off a shocking win over Duke on Friday, while Tennessee already has two wins under their belts after picking up a victory in the First Four.

Mercer’s upset of Duke was the biggest surprise to come out of the 32 Round of 64 games on Thursday and Friday. The team shot 55.6 percent from the field and limited Duke to just 35.5 percent shooting from the floor. Jakob Gollon in particular gave the Blue Devils fits.

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He presented a mismatch in the paint, and so the Bears fed him the ball down low at every opportunity.

He responded with a team-high 20 points on 5-of-9 shooting, getting the free-throw line nine times and knocking down each of those shots. A typically good rebounding team, the Bears allowed the Blue Devils to pull down 16 offensive boards, a product of Duke frequent shots from the perimeter.
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Still, in the end, the team came away with a 78-71 win in a surprise upset.

Tennessee’s road to the round of 32 has been a little longer. The team needed to get past Iowa in overtime in the First Four, then drew a good Massachusetts team in the second round. The Volunteers ended up having little trouble with the Minutemen, dispatching of them in quick order, claiming an 86-67 decision on Friday.

Forward Jarnell Stokes had a career game, posting 26 points on 7-of-11 shooting, knocking down 12 of 13 shots from the charity strip, and adding 14 rebounds. Fellow forward Jeronne Maymon had 11 points and 11 rebounds in the game for a double-double of his own.

Guard Jordan McRae had 21 points on 8-of16 shooting in the win, filling out his stat line with two assists, two steals, a rebound, and a block.

Tennessee is the better team and should get the win, but they don’t have any business giving away this many points in advance of their third game in six days, particularly against a Mercer team that’s riding high off a surprise upset of Duke.

Additionally, while Tennessee likes to slow the pace of their games to a near crawl, Mercer has the ability to force the issue, which could lead to more points than expected ion this one.

The Bears are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games against teams with a winning percentage above .600.

The over is 8-2 in the Bears’ last 10 games overall, and 5-0 in their last five non-conference games.

The play: Mercer +7.5

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