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Wright State Raiders vs. Clemson Tigers
Where and when: National Invitational Tournament, Littlejohn Coliseum, Clemson, South Carolina, Tuesday, 7 pm EST
The Wright State Raiders will travel to Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, South Carolina, to face the Clemson Tigers in the opening round of the National Invitational Tournament on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The Clemson Tigers did not finish the season strong in the ACC as they were bounced in the quarterfinals by the NC State Wolfpack. In fact, the Tigers went up at the half by a 42-26 score, only to score just 16 points in the second half in addition to allowing 33 points to the Wolfpack en route to the defeat.
On the other hand, the Wright State Raiders ended their Horizon Conference slate as the second-seeded team, just behind the Northern Kentucky Norse. After picking up two straight wins in the first two rounds, however, Wright State fell by 11 points to the Norse as they shot miserable from the field at 37%, including just 27% from long range. On the other hand, their defense allowed over 50% shooting to Northern Kentucky as they could not cut into a 10-point halftime deficit.
Tigers must refocus versus Wright State
Coach Brad Brownell has had to deal with questions surrounding overall team focus all season for the Tigers. Brownell stated the importance of ensuring that the team remains “revved up and focused” for what is to come within the National Invitational Tournament, beginning with the Wright State Raiders.
Nonetheless, while Clemson will be sure to bring their defense into this contest, their offense has been the primary concern for Tigers fans throughout the season. For the year, they averaged a tad under 70 points per game on 45% shooting. However, they ended the season losing five of their last nine games to where they reached the 65 point plateau in just three of these outings.
Leading scorer on the season in Marquis Reed ( 19 ppg) struggled versus the NC State Wolfpack in going 5-18 from the floor. Yet, he led the team with 16 points while also grabbing 10 rebounds in the contest as he recorded his second straight double-double. The only other double-digit scorer for Clemson on this night was Aamir Sims who ended with 11 points in defeat.
Elijah Thomas ( 13 ppg, 9 rebs) has been a force on both ends of the court for the Tigers all season long as he is currently shooting 60% from the floor on a nightly basis. Finally, Sheldon Mitchell is averaging 12 points per game for Clemson and has really contributed to the success of the team throughout the year.
Raiders look to continue season success with confidence-building win over Clemson
Billy Wampler leads the Raiders in their matchup versus Northern Kentucky with 16 points while Cole Gentry along with Mark Hughes also chipped in 15 points apiece in the loss. As pointed out, a cold start to the game along with an inability to prevent consistent looks at the basket for the Norse throughout the first half ultimately was the catalyst in Wright State losing the Horizon League championship game.
There is certainly a huge angle in this contest with Wright State and the Clemson Tigers in that now head coach for the Tigers in Brownell was the coach for the Raiders during the 2006 – 2010 seasons as he racked up a record of 84 – 45 during this time. Since he has been with Clemson, Brownell has obtained a record of 168 – 126.
The Raiders will head south to play the Clemson Tigers on Tuesday evening in the opening round of the #NIT
— WrightStateMBB (@WSU_MBB) March 18, 2019
Nonetheless, look for the Raiders to certainly be motivated and confident entering this matchup as they are winners of eight of their last 10 games, overall. London Love is the leading scorer on the season for the Raiders with 15 points per game. Yet, Love struggled versus Northern Kentucky in finishing with just nine points along with six rebounds. On the other hand, Billy Wampler along with Cole Gentry have certainly increased their offensive production recently as they are averaging 13 and 11 points per game for Wright State on the year.
- CLEM is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 home games.
- WRST is 4-12 ATS in their last 16 Tue. games.
- WRST is 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
While I happen to believe that this will be a low-scoring, defensive-minded match up amongst these two teams, I strongly believe that the Wright State Raiders are due for a huge win to begin the National Invitational Tournament. In fact, they will be matching up versus a Clemson Tigers team that continues to struggle on the offensive end. With that being said, look for a Wright State to hit some big buckets down the stretch in which to pull away from the Tigers late in what will be a very competitive game throughout.
Prediction: Pick: Wright State Raiders +750
Full-Game Total Pick
Look for the under to be to play in this contest due to both defenses that will be coming to the floor on this night. In all, one can certainly expect for each of the inconsistent offenses for Wright State along with Clemson to struggle. So, the total will not be surpassed in this opening round NIT matchup due to outstanding play from both defenses.
Prediction: Pick: Under 131
Full-Game Prop Bet
While I certainly have respect for the overall defensive prowess for the Tigers, I cannot back them in this opening round NIT matchup versus what has been a dangerous Wright State Raiders squad on Tuesday night. It is for this reason that one should look for the visitors to control the pace of this game while also pushing the ball in which to gain easy baskets in transition over a solid Clemson Tigers squad en route to the victory.
Prediction: Pick: Wright State Raiders +13.5
Half-Time Side Pick
While Clemson may indeed enter the break with a slim lead advantage over the Raiders, look for the visitors to remain in this game throughout the first half. In all, the Raiders will keep this game competitive due to their ability to push the ball on offense while confusing an inconsistent offense for Clemson early on.
Prediction: Pick: Wright State Raiders +7.5
Half-Time Total Bet
Look for the under to be the play in this contest at the half as one will certainly witness a highly competitive matchup amongst these two teams. And while both will put points on the board early, look for the defenses to shine in this contest as the under will indeed be the strong play at the half.
Prediction: Pick: Under 61.5
Half-Time Prop Prediction
The Tigers will find a way to battle back from a small deficit early on in which to take a slim lead at the break. Again, Wright State will not be far behind as they will certainly establish themselves defensively as the game wears on.
Prediction: Pick: Clemson Tigers -500