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Longwood looks to unload against Tennessee

The Lancers and Volunteers will play on Thursday afternoon, tipping at 2:45 EST on CBS

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 04 Big South Tournament - Longwood v North Carolina A&T Photo by David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Where to Watch

Location: Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana

Tip Time: 2:45 p.m. EST

Television/Streaming: CBS/March Madness Live

DraftKings Betting Line: Tennessee -18, O/U 133

America’s favorite team will play in its first NCAA Tournament game this Thursday afternoon … The Longwood Lancers.

If you haven’t heard head coach Griff Aldrich’s story just yet, it is well worth your time.

After gaining a law degree from the University of Virginia, Aldrich left to join an oil and energy firm full-time. From there, he moved to England and lived there for four years. He then moved to Houston where he was a managing partner in private equity. He and his family would live in Houston’s third ward and that’s where his love for coaching flourished.

Aldrich would join his college teammate, Ryan Odom, as an assistant at UMBC and the rest is history. After his team pulled off the largest upset in college basketball history, he took the head coaching job at Longwood and has been there since 2018.

Now, it had taken a while to build back up this program, but he did so, and this season was impressive. Include the conference tournament, the Lancers won 18 of its 19 Big South games and except for a few matchups against North Carolina A&T, the Lancers breezed to the conference tournament title.

They’re led by 3-point shooting which is the fifth-best in the country. Both DeShaun Wade and Isaiah Wilkins average over 10 points per game while shooting above 50% from the field.

Neither is the team’s leading scorer as Justice Hill averages 14.2 points per game, shooting 42.2% from the field. He also dishes the ball out quite well at an assist rate of 28.

This team can force turnovers and they know how to win games. They seem to force one every five possessions and have won 19 of its last 20 games. They’ll look to make it 20 of 21 against the might Volunteers from the SEC on Thursday afternoon.

Prediction

Although it has been a beautifully historic season for the Lancers, I think it will end on Thursday. The Volunteers just have so many players around the court who can shoot the ball and they’re one of the best defensively as well. I say that Tennessee wins this game by a score of 72-54.