Southern Methodist Mustangs vs. Clemson Tigers NIT Semifinal Pick-Odds-Prediction 4/1/14
Clemson Tigers (23-12) at Southern Methodist Mustangs (26-9)
College Basketball: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Madison Square Garden)
The Line: Southern Methodist Mustangs -2 -- Over/Under: 118 See the Latest Odds
The 3 seed Clemson Tigers face the top seeded SMU Mustangs in NIT final 4 action from the Garden Tuesday night at 7PM on ESPN2.
Clemson us 23-12 on the year and enters the semifinals after roughly a week off after getting past Belmont 73-68 on March 25th. The Tigers rode the hot hand of K.J. McDaniels who had a big second half on his way to 16 points, 6 boards and 3 assists. DeMarcus Harrison added 16 as well and the Tigers shot is just a nod under 50% from the floor and 80% at the line. Clemson was able to somewhat limit the Belmont three point arsenal -- Belmont was able to knock down 12 3’s, but threw up 32 attempts for the game. The Tigers had the edge in the paint, finishing with 7 team blocks on the game.
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SMU rolls into NYC after narrowly escaping Cal at home last week 67-65. This game was close from the jump and the Mustangs needed a Nic Moore 3 with 6 seconds left to seal the win and advance to the semis. Markus Kennedy led all players with 19 points and 10 rebounds on a very efficient 8-10 shooting night. Moore added 11, as well as the key basket, but struggled from the floor all game long. SMU had a +13 edge on the boards and forced 6 steals on the night as well. SMU finished 44% from the floor and was an efficient 13-18 at the free throw line. They will need better play from their guards against Clemson.
Both of these teams are playing quality ball coming into this one and while the Tigers are the more athletic team on the wings, the Mustangs have a much better post game. I like the SMU bigs to be the difference here as they ride another double double from Markus Kennedy into the championship game Thursday night with the cover.