Vegas Odds: New Mexico -9
Why Montana will win: Anthony Johnson has the ability to absolutely go off and the Big Sky final was the most recent stage on which the junior displayed that ability. The Grizzlies will also be successful in slowing down the forward tandem of Darington Hobson and Roman Martinez.
Grizzly to Watch: G Anthony Johnson - 20 ppg, 3 rpg, 3 apg
This is an obvious one. If Johnson
struggles to score then by extension his teammates likely will also. But if the
Lobos allow him to get going this will be a tougher game than anticipated.
Why New Mexico will win: Hobson and Martinez will be too much for Montana to handle, especially on the offensive boards, and Dairese Gary will win the matchup with Johnson in the backcourt. Simply put, Steve Alford’s team will have an answer for every thing that Wayne Tinkle throws their way and then some.
Lobo to Watch: F Darington Hobson - 16 ppg, 9 rpg, 5 apg
The much-traveled superstar leads the
Lobos in points, rebounds and assists; whatever New Mexico does in the
tournament will likely be a reflection of what Hobson has done. He’s a very
tough matchup given his height and length, along with the versatile skill set.
How it will go down: This one will be on “upset alert” into the second half but in the end the Lobos will simply be too much for Montana. Hobson and Gary combine to score 40 points while New Mexico’s defense limits Anthony Johnson’s good looks. Lobos pull away in the end.
Betting Pick: New Mexico -9
Real Pick: New Mexico