Mississippi St. Bulldogs vs. Massachusetts Minutemen
The Mississippi State Bulldogs and the UMass Minutemen meet on Tuesday in the first round of the NIT. The Bulldogs are -7.5 point favorites over the Minutemen with an over/under point total set at 150.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs looked like a sure thing to be in the NCAA Tournament a month ago but they went on to lose six of their last eight games and find themselves in the NIT. MSU is 13-3 out of conference this year, 15-3 at home, and they played the 83rd ranked schedule in the nation. Dee Bost averages 15.6 points and 5.3 assists, Arnett Moultrie averages 15.8 points and 10.6 rebounds, and Rodney Hood averages 10.3 points and 4.7 rebounds. As a team the Bulldogs are averaging 71.3 points and they are shooting 45.5 percent while defensively they are allowing 66.7 points and their opponents shoot 43.4 percent. While it’s always nice to play in the post season this is a huge disappointment for Mississippi State.
The UMass Minutemen looked like a team with a chance to make the NCAA Tournament but they lost in the A-10 Tournament Semi-Finals to eventual champ St. Bonaventure and they end up with a trip to Starkville. UMass is 13-4 in out of conference games, 4-7 on the road this season, and they played the 125th ranked schedule in the nation this year. Chaz Williams is averaging 16.4 points and 6.4 assists, Raphiael Putney is averaging 10.3 points and 5.7 rebounds, and Jesse Morgan is averaging 10.2 points. As a team the Minutemen are averaging 76.8 points and they are shooting 43.3 percent while defensively they are allowing 71.9 points and their opponents are shooting 40.9 percent. UMass had a stretch where they lost four of five in mid-February and that was their eventual undoing.
Mississippi State is 10-3 against the spread following a double digit home loss, 3-9 against the spread in their last 12 games overall, and 1-5 against the spread following a loss. UMass is 6-1 against the spread following a game which they didn’t cover, 7-2 against the spread following a loss, and 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games against the SEC.
As I have been saying about Mississippi State for quite some time is that they shouldn’t be favored against anyone, so the points look like the way to go here.
Massachusetts Minutemen +7.5 Mississippi St. Bulldogs