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Temple Owls vs. Wichita State Shockers
NCAAB: Friday, March 15, 2019, FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee, 9:00 PM ET
The Temple Owls and the Wichita State Shockers will lock horns in the American Athletic Conference Basketball Championship Quarterfinals at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. This will be their second head-to-head duel of the season, and the Owls have beaten the Shockers 85-81 in overtime as 1-point road favorites.
The Owls are searching for their fourth win in a row
The Temple Owls (23-8; 13-5 Conf.) have finished the regular season as a No. 3 seed in the AAC. They have won three consecutive games including a 67-62 home victory over the UCF Knights in the season finale. The Owls played some tough defense, limiting the Knights on 36.4% shooting from the field and forcing 18 turnovers, while they made 44.2% of their field goals. The Owls have won eight of their last ten games overall, covering the spread on six occasions, while they are 5-3 straight up and ATS in the last eight contests away from home.
Temple enters the matchup with Wichita State as a No. 50 at the NCAA NET Rankings and a No. 67 at the latest KenPom rankings. The Owls are scoring 108.9 points per 100 possessions (88th in the country), allowing 98.9 points in a return (81st in the country). The senior guard Shizz Alston Jr. is leading the way for Temple, averaging 19.7 points and 5.1 assists per game while making 40.8% of his field goals. The junior wing Quinton Rose is posting 16.5 points per contest on 41.2% shooting from the field to go with 3.7 rebounds and 2.5 dimes, while the sophomore guard Nate Pierre-Louis is adding 13.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per outing.
The Shockers had an easy job in the first round
The Wichita State Shockers (17-13; 10-8 Conf.) easily outlasted the East Carolina Pirates 73-57 in yesterday’s first round of the AAC championship tournament. The Shockers satisfied the odds, playing as 11-point favorites and controlling the game against the hapless Pirates. The Shockers shot just 38.1% from the field and 20.0% from beyond the arc, but they grabbed 18 offensive rebounds and turned the ball over just eight times. Jaime Echenique led the Shockers with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Asbjorn Midtgaard did a great job off the bench with 10 points and seven boards. Wichita State recorded its fifth consecutive victory, while the Shockers are 3-2 ATS in that span.
Markis McDuffie had 15 points as coach Gregg Marshall guided @GoShockersMBB to a first round victory at the @AirForceReserve #AmericanHoops Championship with a victory over ECU. The @American_DN's @Halioughton caught up with the pair to discuss the win. pic.twitter.com/QkJYx8zbxA
— American MBB (@American_MBB) March 15, 2019
Wichita State enters the clash with Temple as a No. 90 at the NCAA NET Rankings and a No. 102 at the latest KenPom rankings. The Shockers are tallying 105.5 points per 100 possessions (150th in the country), conceding 98.7 points in a return (78th in the country). The senior wing Markis McDuffie is leading the Shockers this season, averaging 17.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game while hitting 41.0% of his field goals. The senior PG Samajae Haynes-Jones is posting 12.2 points and 2.7 dimes per outing, while the junior forward Jaime Echenique is adding 8.8 points and 5.9 boards per game.
Wichita State Shockers:
- 2-8 ATS in the last ten games in March
- Over is 5-0 in five encounters with Temple
- 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS in the last seven games overall
- 5-0 ATS in five meetings with Wichita State
- Over is 8-4 in the last 12 outings as favorites
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Both Temple and Wichita State have been playing in a good form lately, so this should be the most interesting matchup of the AAC quarterfinals. Their regular-season clash has been a real thriller that was decided in overtime after the Shockers’ 13-point lead at halftime. I expect to see another tight battle, but the Owls seem like a better team with more offensive weapons than the Shockers, so I’m backing them to win the game and cover along the way. Also, Temple has covered in all its five encounters with Wichita State.
Prediction: Temple Owls -1.5 (-110)
Full-Game Total Pick
This is a tricky matchup to take the total, as both teams execute well on both sides of the ball. Also, neither of these sides play at a very fast or a very slow pace. The Shockers are averaging 67.9 possessions per 40 minutes (159th in the country), while the Owls are recording 68.8 possessions per 40 minutes (115th in the country). Still, this is far away from a proper down-tempo basketball, so I’m backing the over, while all five H2H duels were finished in the over.
Prediction: Over 140.0 points (-110)
Full-Game Prop Bet
Interestingly, three of five H2H matchups between Temple and Wichita State went in overtime, and all five were decided by eight or fewer points. This one should have a similar scenario, so I’m backing the lowest winning margin, looking for a really tight outcome.
Prediction: Winning Margin: Any Team by 1-5 points (+130)
Half-Time Side Pick
The Owls had a lead at halftime in their last five games overall, while the Shockers had a lead at halftime in four of their last five outings, trailing only to UConn by five points. This one could easily go either way, but I’m taking the Shockers to cover, as they were leading at halftime in three of their last four meetings with the Owls including a 13-point lead in the only H2H duel this season.
Prediction: Wichita State Shockers +0.5 (-110)