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IPFW vs. North Dakota State - 3/6/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

North Dakota State Bison (19-12) at IPFW Mastodons (24-8)

College Basketball: Monday, March 7, 2016 at 7:00 pm (Denny Sanford PREMIER Center)

The Line: IPFW Mastodons -2.5 -- Over/Under: 136.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: MDCO SN; ESPN College Extra

The North Dakota State Bison and IPFW Mastodons will face off in the semifinals of the Summit League Men’s Championship this Monday night at the Denny Sanford Premier Center.

The North Dakota State Bison (19-12) used a strong defensive effort and a big 2nd half to defeat the 4-seed IUPUI Jaguars, 60-45, on Sunday night. North Dakota State led by a 23-22 at halftime and outscored the Jaguars by a 34-15 margin over the final 15 minutes of the game to secure the victory. North Dakota State shot 34.5% from the field and outrebounded IUPUI by a 43-36 margin. The Bison were outstanding defensively as they held the Jaguars to 29.4% shooting from the field and 8.3% (1-12) shooting from beyond the arc. Leading the way for North Dakota State was Dexter Werner who had a double-double with 18 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, and a steal. On the season, the Bison have been led by Paul Miller (15.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.8 apg), A.J. Jacobson (13.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.6 apg), and Kory Brown (10.9 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.4 spg). Offensively, North Dakota State is averaging 69.4 ppg on 44.7% shooting from the field and 34.0% shooting from beyond the arc. The Bison average 6.6 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.03. Defensively, North Dakota State is holding their opponents to an average of 65.0 ppg on 42.8% shooting. The Bison have a rebound margin of 1.4 and average 6.1 steals per game.

IPFW vs. North Dakota State - 3/6/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The top-seeded IPFW Mastodons (24-8) was outstanding on the offensive end and had little trouble getting one-step closer to a NCAA Tournament bid by defeating the South Dakota Coyotes, 86-70, this past Saturday. IPFW was able to get out to a 39-33 halftime lead and led by double-digits for the majority of the 2nd half in the win. IPFW shot 50.8% from the field and 38.7% (12-31) from beyond the arc. The Mastodons held the Coyotes to 38.7% shooting from the field and outrebounded South Dakota by a 41-31 margin. Leading the way for IPFW was John Konchar who had a double-double with 16 points, 16 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 steals. On the season, the Mastodons have been led by Max Landis (18.9 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 3.7 apg), John Konchar (12.9 ppg, 9.1 rpg, .7 apg, 1.8 spg), and Joe Reed (10.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.2 apg). Offensively, IPFW is averaging 80.6 ppg on 46.9% shooting from the field and 41.5% shooting from beyond the arc. The Mastodons average 10.4 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.25. Defensively, IPFW is allowing their opponents to average 76.2 ppg on 45.7% shooting. The Mastodons have a rebound margin of 2.2 and a turnover margin of -1.0.

The Bison are 21-8 ATS in their last 29 neutral site games and 2-5 ATS in thier last 7 games overall. The Mastodons are 4-1 ATS in thier last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600 and 43-16-2 ATS in thier last 61 games overall.

North Dakota State and IPFW split their regular season series as North Dakota State blew out IPFW at home by a 62-46 margin while IPFW won a closer 79-74 battle in early January. North Dakota State struggled a bit offensively throughout the season but have an outstanding defense that ranks 28th in the country in scoring defense. IPFW was outstanding on the offensive end during the season and can do major damage from beyond the arc as they rank 6th in the country in both 3P FG% and three-pointers made per game. IPFW did a great job of earning the top-seed in the conference tournament even after losing their top scorer, Mo Evans, for the season due to academic issues. I’m interested to see where this line is however, as North Dakota State has shown that their defense can cause the Mastodons trouble and as the Bison are a bit more experienced when it comes to post-season play, I’m initially leaning towards North Dakota State as I imagine they will be a getting a point or two. Please check back for updates when the line is posted. 

Update (12:20 PM EST) - The line was posted about where I thought it was going to be and I'm going to stack with taking North Dakota State to cover with the small points. 

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North Dakota State Bison +2.5

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