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Wednesday, March 20 9:00 P.M. in NIT Tournament
The first round of the NIT will feature a game between TCU and Sam Houston State. The Bearkats suffered a loss to New Orleans in the semifinals of the Southland Tournament. TCU was one of the First Four Out on Selection Sunday. They were knocked out of the Big 12 Tournament by Kansas State. They would have certainly received an at-large bid if they were to win that game. Instead, they will be a one-seed in the NIT taking on Sam Houston State in the first round.
TCU Gets Left Out
The Horned Frogs were a few teams away from an NCAA Tournament bid. Teams like Saint Louis who won their conference tournament most likely were the reason that the Horned Frogs were left out. Their name was displayed on Selection Sunday as one of the final four teams left out. In the Big 12 Tournament, they picked up a win against Oklahoma State. They were then knocked out by the second-seeded Kansas State Wildcats. That was a need that the Horned Frogs needed if they wanted a chance at an at-large bid. Unfortunately for them, they did not receive one, but they will be a favorite to win the NIT as one of the four one-seeds.
— TCU Men’s Basketball Managers (@tcumbbm) March 18, 2019
TCU spent some time in the top-20 this season. They suffered some bad losses near the end that knocked them out. Regardless, they are a talented team that could win this tournament. Desmond Bane was the Horned Frogs leader scoring 15.2 points per game. As a team, they dished out the 15th most assists in the nation. Other than that, they were relatively mediocre. TCU scored 74.1 points per game which was 128th in the nation. Their defense was middle of the pack, both overall and in conference play. This is a game they will be expected to win as the top-seed facing the number eight.
Sam Houston Earns NIT Invite
Sam Houston State will look to continue a strong season in the NIT after getting bounced from their conference tournament. They went into halftime of their semifinal game trailing New Orleans by one-point. In the second half, they were not able to get stops as they allowed 44 points. They were knocked out, but earned an invitation to the NIT as an eight-seed. Sam Houston State shot just 38.3% from the field in this game while knocking down eight three’s. The most incredible stat of the game was that the Bearkats were a perfect 22-22 from the free throw line. Josh Dela was one of three Bearkats to finish in double-figures in the win. He led the way with 20 points.
— Bearkat Basketball (@BearkatsMBB) March 18, 2019
The Bearkats won the Southland regular-season title, but got upset in the conference tournament. They were not able to gain the automatic bid to the big dance so they will have to settle for the next best thing. Cameron Delaney led the Bearkats in scoring this season with 13.3 points per game. They were a team that lived by the three-pointer. They attempted many and shot 36.9% from the field which was 60th in the nation. This is a talented team, but they do not play in a strong conference. Because of this, they will have trouble against TCU who is used to playing high-level opponents in the Big 12.
- Horned Frogs are 9-0 ATS in their last 9 non-conference games
- Under is 5-2 in Horned Frogs last 7 games following an ATS loss
- Under is 5-1 in Horned Frogs last 6 games following a straight up loss
- Bearkats are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games overall
- Under is 5-1 in Bearkats last 6 games following a straight up loss
- Under is 4-1 in Bearkats last 5 non-conference games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
There will not be many trends to supports this pick. That is because Sam Houston State is 20-9 ATS while TCU is 15-18. In this game, throw trends out the window. This is Big 12 vs. Southland. TCU has been playing strong teams all season long. They were a few spots away from an NCAA Tournament berth. Sam Houston State won their conference regular season title, but it is in a weak conference with little competition. They were not able to win their conference tournament, and will struggle in this game as well. Expect TCU to move on quite easily against the Bearkats.
Prediction: TCU -13.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Both of these teams have played more games over this season, but this number is higher than expected. Sam Houston State will struggle to get things going against a team like TCU. They did not play many teams of this caliber. For TCU, they will likely try to slow the game down, and win on defense. This game will not be too exciting. Expect the NIT to pick up in the later rounds. For this one, take TCU and the under if you want to complete a sweep.
Prediction: Under 146