Wright State vs. UIC - 3/5/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Illinois-Chicago Flames (5-24) at Wright State Raiders (19-12)
College Basketball: Saturday, March 5, 2016 at 5:00 pm (Joe Louis Arena)
The Line: Wright State Raiders -12 -- Over/Under: 132 See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN 3
The UIC Flames and Wright State Raiders will face off in the 1st round of the Horizon League Men’s Championship at Joe Louis Arena this Saturday night.
The UIC Flames had a tough first season under head coach Steve McClain and will enter the conference tournament as the 10-seed after compiling a 3-15 conference record and 5-24 overall record. UIC struggled in almost every aspect of the game throughout the season however, started to play well better towards the end of the season winning 3 of 4 games at one point which included a win against Wright State. On the season, UIC have been led by Dikembe Dixson who is averaging 19.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1.9 apg, and 1.1 spg. Also chipping in for the Flames was Tai Odiase (9.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.2 bpg), Najeal Young (6.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg), and Lance Whitaker (5.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.3 apg). Offensively, UIC is averaging 68.1 ppg on 39.3% shooting from the field and 31.1% shooting from beyond the arc. The Flames average 4.5 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 0.79. Defensively, UIC is allowing their opponents to average 78.3 ppg on 42.8% shooting from the field. The Flames have a rebound margin of 1.0 and a turnover margin of -3.1.
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The Wright State Raiders have had an up and down year and finished the season with a 19-12 overall record and a 13-5 conference record that earned the 3-seed in the conference tournament. Wright State was on the team in the Horizon to beat the Valparaiso Crusaders, which they did twice, but also had a some surprisingly close games against the worst teams in the conference in Northern Kentucky and Cleveland State. On the season, Wright State was led by JT Yoho (12.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.5 apg) and Mark Alstork (12.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.6 apg). Also contributing for the Raiders was Joe Thomasson (9.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.3 apg), and Grant Benzinger (8.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg). Offensively, Wright State is averaging 68.2 ppg on 44.8% shooting from the field and 36.9% shooting from beyond the arc. The Raiders average 7.2 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.17. Defensively, Wright State is holding their opponents to an average of 66.3 ppg on 42.6% shooting. The Raiders have a rebound margin of -3.8 and a turnover margin of 2.0.
The Flames are 7-1-1 ATS in their last 9 games overall and 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record. The Raiders are 9-23 ATS in their last 32 games vs. Horizon League opponents and 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS loss.
UIC and Wright State split their regular season series as the Flames pulled off a 64-59 upset at home in early February while the Raiders defeated UIC by an 80-66 margin in late January. UIC struggled on both sides of the ball throughout the season as they ranked just 278th in scoring offensive and 312th in scoring defense however, behind the play of Dikembe Dixson and Tai Odiase, was very competitive over the last few weeks of the regular season. Wright State has an outstanding defense that ranks 50th in the country in scoring defensive but can at times struggle offensively as they rank just 277th in scoring offense. Wright State has the talent to win the Horizon League however, are tough to trust due to their inconsistent offense and as the Flames have the size in Dixson and Odiase that can cause the Raiders trouble, I’m taking UIC to cover with the points.