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California Golden Bears vs. SMU Mustangs NIT Pick, Odds, Prediction 3/26/14

Southern Methodist Mustangs (25-9) vs. Cal Golden Bears (21-13)

College Basketball: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 10:00 pm (Moody Coliseum)

The Line: Southern Methodist Mustangs -8.5 -- Over/Under: 136 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN2

The Cal Golden Bears and the SMU Mustangs face off on Wednesday in Dallas in a NIT Quarterfinal college basketball matchup.

The Cal Golden Bears didn’t make the NCAA Tournament after losing three of their final five regular season games and then losing to Colorado in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament. Cal started their NIT by knocking off Utah Valley and they followed that up by beating Arkansas by 11 points. Justin Cobbs leads the Bears averaging 15.5 points and 5.8 assists per game. David Kravish is averaging 11.4 points and 7.6 rebounds, Tyrone Wallace is averaging 11.4 points, and Jordan Mathews is averaging 8.6 points. California is averaging 72.6 points and they are shooting 45.6 percent while defensively they are allowing 69.2 points and their opponents are shooting 41.5 percent. Cal finished in a logjam for third place in the Pac-12 and are 6-9 away from home and 1-5 against teams ranked in the top 25.

California Golden Bears vs. SMU Mustangs NIT Pick, Odds, Prediction 3/26/14

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

The SMU Mustangs were the last team out of the NCAA Tournament as their lost to Houston in the AAC Tournament wasn’t something the selection committee could look past. SMU is the top seed in the NIT and they opened with a 14-point win over UC Irvine and then they defeated LSU by 13. Nic Moore leads the Mustangs in scoring averaging 13.6 points per game. Markus Kennedy is averaging 12 points and 6.9 rebounds, Nick Russell is averaging 9.8 points, and Ben Moore is averaging 6.4 points. SMU is averaging 71.5 points and they are shooting 48.5 percent while defensively they are allowing 62.2 points and their opponents are shooting 37.9 percent. SMU looks to be past their disappointment of not making the Big Dance and focused on a trip to New York.

Cal is 2-5 against the spread following a win, 1-5 against the spread in their last six road games, and 1-6-1 against the spread in their last eight games against a team with a winning record. SMU is 10-3 against the spread in their last 13 home games, 10-3 against the spread against a team with a winning record, and 15-6 against the spread in their last 21 games.

The number looks to the high side but Cal just isn’t the same team in the road that they are at home and I look for SMU to win going away.

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SMU Mustangs -8.5

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