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South Dakota State Jackrabbits vs. Texas Longhorns
Where and when: National Invitational Tournament, Frank C. Erwin, Jr., Special Events Center, Austin, Texas, Tuesday, 9 pm EST
The South Dakota State Jackrabbits will travel to the Frank C Erwin Jr Special Events Center in Austin, Texas, for Tuesday night showdown versus the Texas Longhorns in the opening round of the National Invitational Tournament beginning at 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The Longhorns ended their regular season on a disastrous note in losing three straight with their most recent being a loss to the Kansas Jayhawks in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament. The Longhorns were able to tie the Jayhawks at the break, however, could not maintain their focus and intensity in the second half as Kansas outscored them 39-28 during this time en route to the victory.
On the other hand, the South Dakota State Jackrabbits ended the season winning eight of their last 10 outings. However, they were stifled on offense by a motivated Western Illinois Leathernecks squad as they went down by ten at the break. And despite 29 points from David Jenkins along with 19 from Tevin King, the Jackrabbits could not rally in the second half despite shooting 47% from the floor.
Coach Smart believes his team good enough to make the cut
“If you’re going to evaluate teams based on the quality of their wins we definitely, I think deserve strong consideration,” Coach Shakka Smart said after Thursday’s loss to Kansas in the Big 12 tournament. Nonetheless, the Longhorns were not able to make the cut as they struggled coming down the stretch. In fact, the Texas Longhorns have failed to reach the 60-point mark in their last three outings leading up to this matchup versus the Jackrabbits.
Their defense, on the other hand, which allows 67 points per game on 41% shooting per outing, has remained solid during this time. Nonetheless, with an inconsistent offense that puts up 70 points per game on a mere 43% shooting per game, the wins have been far and few in between for Texas throughout the season.
Six feet nine inch forward in Dylan Osetkowski leads the team with 10 points along with 7 rebounds per game is he shoots 42% from the floor. Matt Coleman III also averages 10 points per game for the Longhorns, yet has been up and down on the season in shooting less than 40%.
And while the Longhorns have continued their offensive struggles throughout the duration of the season as pointed out, they will find solace in the fact that they are 12-6 at the Frank Erwin Center this season. In fact, they have won three of their last five games at home as their offense is averaging 74 points per game during this time. On the other hand, the defense has remained to be the tip of the spear for the team in allowing 67 points during their most recent five-game home stretch.
Jackrabbits continue to tear it up on offense this year
The South Dakota State Jackrabbits were on fire on the offensive end to complete their season as they scored 80 or more points in all but two of their last 10 outings of the season. They are currently averaging 85 points per game on 50% shooting from the floor as Mike Daum continues to lead the team with 25 points per game. He went 5-10 from the floor versus the Leathernecks of Western Illinois while chipping in 16 points in addition to pulling down 11 rebounds. Finally, for the season, Daum is averaging a double-double with 26 points along with 12 rebounds and has recorded a double-double in all but two of the last ten games for South Dakota State.
Six ft two inch guard in Jenkins is also averaging 20 points per game for the Jackrabbits on 48% shooting from the perimeter along with 46% from three-point range on the season. Also, the Jackrabbits are certainly a dangerous team from three-point range in making good on 41% as a team, thus ranking them fourth in the nation. The Longhorns, on the other hand, are allowing 37% shooting from three-point range on a nightly basis to opponents on the season.
Furthermore, Tevin King (9 ppg) has also been a huge lift to his team in dishing out 138 assists on the year as the Jackrabbits rank as one of the most dangerous scoring teams in the nation.
Coach T.J. Otzelberger has made the postseason in each of his three years at South Dakota state. The coach admitted that they were not in their “usual offensive flow” in a three-point loss versus the Leathernecks. However, the coach pointed out that they will “not make any excuses for the loss and will look to perform much better” in this matchup versus the Longhorns in the opening round of the NIT.
Under is 7-1 in TEX last 8 Tue. games
SDST is 16-5-1 ATS in their last 22 Tue. games.
Over is 54-21 in SDST last 75 road games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
While South Dakota State is a dangerous team, one should look for the Longhorns to show and prove in this first-round National Invitational Tournament matchup. Also, they are performing at home where they have played much better throughout the season. With that being said, look for the Longhorns to push the pace throughout the contest while allowing their defense to limit offensive opportunities for the Jackrabbits en route to what will be a huge, defensive-minded victory.
Prediction: Pick: Texas Longhorns -420
Full-Game Total Pick
I will back the under during this contest as the Longhorns will come out with fire and intensity on the defensive end in which to neutralize a high-scoring offense for the Jackrabbits. Of course, Texas has struggled all season and will go through its fair share of lulls throughout this contest. However, expect the total to not surpass its set limit in this contest as this will be a very competitive, yet low-scoring affair.
Prediction: Pick: Under 153
Full-Game Prop Bet
While the Longhorns will certainly get a run for their money versus the Jackrabbits, they will indeed pull out a slim victory in this contest. Nonetheless, look for the visitors to remain in this contest throughout its duration as they will rely on their ability to shoot the ball with efficiency at pivotal points in the game.
Prediction: Pick: South Dakota State Jackrabbits +8.5
Half-Time Side Pick
Look for the South Dakota State Jackrabbits to keep pace with the Longhorns in this contest as the first half comes to a close. Nonetheless, look for Texas to take a slim lead at the break due to their ability to hit some big buckets down the stretch in what will be an exciting half of basketball.
Prediction: Pick: South Dakota State Jackrabbits +4.5
Half-Time Total Bet
And while I happen to believe that the Jackrabbits and their explosive offense will certainly put some points on the board in this game, look for them to struggle a bit more than usual as Texas will certainly be looking to put in an outstanding performance versus one of the most dangerous offenses in the nation. In all, look for the under to be the strong play at the half in this showdown.
Prediction: Pick: Under 72
Half-Time Prop Prediction
Texas will run into their fair share of issues when battling an offensive-minded squad in South Dakota State on Tuesday night. Nonetheless, look for them to grind out a small lead for themselves as the first half comes to a close thanks to their ability to hit some huge buckets while relying on their defense to slow down the offense for the visitors.
Prediction: Pick: Texas Longhorns -260