Wichita St. Shockers vs. Washington St. Cougars
The Wichita St. Shockers are 2-points favorites over Washington St. in the semi-finals of the NIT tournament.Â The total for the game is set at 142.Â The game is played at the worlds most famous arena, Madison Square Garden in New York City. Both teams were undoubtedly disappointed in not reaching the NCAA Tournament, though neither has played as if it was unhappy to be part of the NIT’s 32-team field.Â Some of that could be due to the Cougars and Shockers playing five of six games on their home courts.
Washington St. is 22-12 overall and 18-14 against the spread.Â They have been at home for all three of its tournament games, improving their home record to 11-4 on the season. The Cougars finished the regular season 9-9 in the Pac-10 standings, winning six of there nine home games in conference play. Seeded second in the NIT, Washington St. opened with wins and covers against Long Beach State, 85-74 and Oklahoma State 74-64. The Cougars reached the NIT Final Four with a 69-66 win in overtime versus Northwestern last Wednesday.Â Favored by four, they built a 14-point lead in the first half only to let the cushion dwindle away to nothing at the end of the second half. The Cougars only managed five points in overtime, but that was enough to eke out the win over the Northwestern who went cold on the offensive end with just one field goal in overtime. Klay Thompson scored four of Washington State’s OT points, leading the Cougars in scoring with 17. Klay Thompson tops the Cougars in scoring with a 22.0 per game average. The junior guard is right on that in the tournament with 21.0 points per game.
Wichita St. is 27-8 overall and 16-14 against the spread.Â They fell short of the NCAA Tournament when the Shockers lost the Missouri Valley Championship to Indiana State.Â The Shockers opened NIT play with an easy 76-49 romp at home versus Nebraska while laying six points.Â The Shockers then headed to Blacksburg to meet 1-seed Virginia Tech, returning to Wichita with a 79-76 overtime win as 5-point road underdogs. Back home Wichita State clinched a trip to New York City with last Wednesday’s 82-75 triumph against Charleston as 8-point home favorites.
The winner of this game will square off in the NIT Final on Thursday against the victor of the Alabama, Colorado contest.Â I expect Washington St. to be that team to play in the championship game on Thursday.Â The best player on the floor will be Klay Thompson, and should lead Washington St. to victory.Â Also, the fact that they have played a tougher schedule throughout the year will help them.Â Ill take the 2-points and grab the Cougars in this matchup.
Washington St. Cougars +2 Wichita St. Shockers
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