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Wichita State Shockers vs. Furman Paladins
NCAAB: Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 7:00 PM EST
In the first round of the NIT Furman is the 3rd seed in their bracket host 6th seed Wichita State.
Wichita State ended the season well winning six games in a row and narrowly losing to a ranked Cincinnati team in the semifinals of the AAC tournament. The Shockers are a pretty balanced team and they had averaged 76.8 ppg in four straight games before only scoring 63 points in their loss to Cincinnati. Wichita State finished the regular season 19-14 and 10-8 in AAC play.
The road to Madison Square Garden… pic.twitter.com/IDBd3QU5k3
— Wichita State MBB (@GoShockersMBB) March 18, 2019
Furman won 25 games this season and finished in 3rd place in the Southern Conference going 13-5. They had won three in a row before losing in the semifinals of the conference tournament where they only scored 62 points. On the season, the Paladins were legit on both sides of the ball and have a defense that ranks tied for 43rd in the nation in points allowed.
This is the first ever meeting between these teams.
Good defense, bad offense
In their last game in the semis of the AAC tournament, Wichita State lost to Cincinnati 66-63 where they played solid D, but failed to get it done on offense. They held Cincy to 39.1% shooting, but they only shot 35.8% from the floor and it did not help that they gave up 18 offensive rebounds. Markis McDuffie led the Shockers with 18 points, but was only 4/12 from the floor and Samajae Haynes-Jones had 17 points as the only other player for the team to go for double figures. These two players are the main ones that Furman has to worry about, as they are the only players for State that are averaging over 9 ppg.
McDuffie (18.3 ppg) leads the team in scoring and he has been up and down in the last few games and in the game, before the loss to Cincy he blew up for 34 points. Haynes-Jones (12.1 ppg) had only scored eight points in two straight games before going for 17 points in the last game. On the season, Wichita State is 4-7 on the road.
Giving too many 2nd chances
Furman lost to UNC Greensboro 66-62 in the semis of the Southern Conference tournament in their last game where they gave up way too many 2nd chances. They shot a better FG% (47.1% to 41.4%), but they gave up 16 offensive rebounds while only grabbing six. Matt Rafferty led the Paladins with 17 points and Jordan Lyons had 15 points, but they were only a combined 11/29 from the floor.
“I love fact that Belmont’s in. But I’m lost as to why Greensboro and/or us are not in the field.”
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) March 18, 2019
Rafferty (17.2 ppg 9.1 ppg) leads the team in both scoring and while only totaling 29 points in his last two games he has a double-double in three of his last four games. Lyons ranks 2nd on the team averaging 16.1 ppg and he went for 25 points in the game before the loss to UNC Greensboro. Rafferty has to be solid on the boards in this game between two teams that had issues giving up too many offensive rebounds in their last games.
The Furman Paladins are:
The Wichita State Shockers are:
- 6-1 ATS in their last 7 road games
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall
- 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600
- 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games following an ATS win
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
While Furman has been a solid bet on the season so has Wichita State, who are from a much tougher conference. The Shockers were under .500 on the road this season, but they have covered the spread in six of their last seven road games. Look for that trend to continue in this NIT matchup, as Wichita State will get the W and cover the spread.
Prediction: PICK: Wichita State
Full-Game Total Pick
While Wichita State has an Over record of 4-1-1 in their last six road games Furman has an Under record of 5-2 in their last seven non-conference games. The last trend is the one that will continue, as in their last games neither team scored over 63 points. Both teams have solid defenses and this game will not be a shootout, so for this first round NIT matchup the Under is THE way to go.
Prediction: PICK: Under