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Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. St. Mary's Gaels NIT Pick, Odds, Prediction 3/23/14

St. Mary's Gaels (23-11) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (21-13)

College Basketball: Sunday, March 23, 2014 at 3:00 pm (Williams Arena)

The Line: Minnesota Golden Gophers -5.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Saint Mary’s Gaels face off on Sunday in a second round NIT matchup.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers finished in seventh place in the Big Ten this season but missed out on the NCAA Tournament and wind up in this spot. Minnesota knocked off High Point on Tuesday to raise their home record to 16-3 this season. Andre Hollins leads the Gophers averaging 14.1 points per game. Deandre Mathieu is averaging 11.9 points, Austin Hollins is averaging 11.5 points and 5.2 rebounds, and Malik Smith is averaging 7.7 points. Minnesota is averaging 71.7 points and they are shooting 44.7 percent while defensively they are allowing 68.2 points and their opponents are shooting 42.6 percent. Minnesota is 13-3 in non-conference games this season.

Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. St. Mary's Gaels NIT Pick, Odds, Prediction 3/23/14

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Mary’s Gaels have been regulars in the NCAA Tournament but they fell short of making the field this year. Saint Mary’s looked like they were going to make an early exit from this tournament as well but they rallied form down big to beat Utah going away. Brad Waldow leads the Gaels averaging 15.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. Stephen Holt is averaging 14.9 points, James Walker III is averaging 9.8 points, and Kerry Carter is averaging 9.5 points. St. Mary’s is averaging 72 points and they are shooting 45.2 percent while defensively they are allowing 65.6 points and their opponents are shooting 44.8 percent. Saint Mary’s is 12-4 in non-conference games.

Minnesota is 3-9-1 against the spread following a win, 1-5 against the spread against a team with a winning record, and 0-3-1 against the spread in their last four non-conference games. St. Mary’s os 2-5 against the spread in their last seven road games, 1-8 against the spread against a team with a winning record, and 0-7 against the spread following a game that they covered the point spread.

Minnesota is just the stronger team here and I like them to cover at home.

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Minnesota Golden Gophers -6

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