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MVC Championship-Illinois State Redbirds vs. Northern Iowa Panthers - 3/8/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Northern Iowa Panthers (29-3) at Illinois State Redbirds (21-11)

College Basketball: Sunday, March 8, 2015 at 2:05 pm (Scottrade Center)

The Line: Illinois State Redbirds +6.5 -- Over/Under: 116 See the Latest Odds

TV: CBS

The #12 Northern Iowa Panthers tangle with the Illinois State Redbirds in the Missouri Valley championship Sunday.

 The Illinois State Redbirds are an unlikely participant in the Missouri Valley championship as everybody and their brother never expected ISU to defeat Wichita State 65-62 in the semifinals. The Redbirds overcame an eight point first half deficit with a 43-32 second half run with both teams sinking shots at 45% with the Shockers totaling 13 more looks and six more baskets while Illinois State owned a decisive 17-4 edge at the stripe. Daishon Knight led all scorers with 25 points on 10-15 marksmanship followed by Reggie Lynch with eleven points, seven rebounds and five blocks. DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell netted ten points with Paris Lee chipping in with seven points.

MVC Championship-Illinois State Redbirds vs. Northern Iowa Panthers - 3/8/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

 The Northern Iowa Panthers have been almost machinelike this season as their great defense has controlled opponents nearly every time they take the floor which means the offense doesn’t have to worry about lighting up the scoreboard. That was the script in Saturday’s 61-49 victory over Loyola (Chicago) in the MVC semis where the Ramblers shot the ball well enough to hang with the 51% shooting Panthers but not enough when combined with their seven more free throws. Jeremy Morgan and Marvin Singleton gave the UNI offense eleven points apiece with Singleton leading the team with seven rebounds. Seth Tuttle was high man with 13 points and six pulls while Nate Buss and Wyatt Lohaus combined for 16 points.

 The Redbirds are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Sunday games and  5-11 ATS in their last 16 games overall. Illinois State are 5-11 ATS in their last 16 vs. Missouri Valley and  1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win. The Panthers are 7-1-3 ATS in their last 11 games following a ATS win and 8-2-2 ATS in their last 12 games following a S.U. win. Northern Iowa  are 12-3-3 ATS in their last 18 games overall and  12-3-3 ATS in their last 18 vs. Missouri Valley. 

There are a lot of teams out there rooting for Norther Iowa and th Panthers should end Illinois State's run and get the cover as well.

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Northern Iowa Panthers -6.5

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