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South Dakota State Jackrabbits vs. Denver Pioneers - 3/7/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Denver Pioneers (16-14) at South Dakota State Jackrabbits (23-7)

College Basketball: Monday, March 7, 2016 at 9:30 pm (Denny Sanford PREMIER Center)

The Line: South Dakota State Jackrabbits -10.5 -- Over/Under: 129 See the Latest Odds

TV: MDCO SN; ESPN College Extra

The Denver Pioneers and South Dakota State Jackrabbits will square off in the semifinals of the Summit League Men’s Championship this Monday night at the Denny Sanford Premier Center.

The 6-seed Denver Pioneers (16-14) used a big first half to upset the 3-seed Omaha Mavericks, 78-70, late on the Sunday night. Denver was able to get out to a 44-29 halftime lead and finished the game on a 17-9 run to secure the victory after Omaha fought back to tie at 61-61 with just over five minutes left. Leading the way for Denver was Joe Rosga who had 25 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. On the season, the Pioneers have been led by Joe Rosga (12.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.3 spg), Nate Engesser (11.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.2 apg), and Marcus Byrd (10.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.6 apg). Offensively, Denver is averaging 65.2 ppg on 47.7% shooting from the field and 38.6% shooting from beyond the arc. The Pioneers average 7.7 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.13. Defensively, Denver is holding their opponents to average 65.5 ppg on 45.8% shooting. The Pioneers have a rebound margin of -5.8 and average 6.3 steals per game.  

South Dakota State Jackrabbits vs. Denver Pioneers - 3/7/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The 2-seed South Dakota State Jackrabbits (24-7) used a big second half to overcome a 38-30 halftime deficit and defeat the 7-seed Oral Roberts Golden Eagles, 73-70, this past Saturday. South Dakota State was down for the majority of the 2nd half but used a 10-0 run over the last 2:07 to secure the victory. South Dakota State shot 42.3% from the field and 29.4% (5-17) from beyond the arc. The Jackrabbits allowed the Golden Eagles to shoot 45.8% shooting from the field and 54.5% (6-11) from three-point range. Leading the way for South Dakota State was Mike Daum who had 26 points, 8 rebounds, and an assist in 24 minutes from off the bench. On the season, the Jackrabbits have been led by George Marshall (15.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.6 apg), Mike Daum (15.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg), and Deondre Parks (14.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.6 apg). Offensively, South Dakota State is averaging 77.3 ppg on 45.6% shooting from the field and 36.1% shooting from beyond the arc. The Jackrabbits average 7.5 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 0.96. Defensively, South Dakota State is holding their opponents to an average of 68.5 ppg on 41.6% shooting. The Jackrabbits have a rebound margin of 5.2 and have a turnover margin of 0.3.

THe Pioneers are 4-0 ATS in thier last 4 games following a ATS win and 5-0 ATS in their last 5 vs. Summit League oppoenents. The Jackrabbits are 5-1 ATS in thier last 6 games following a ATS loss and 1-4 ATS in thier last 5 games following a straight up win. 

South Dakota State was able to defeat Denver in both matchups this season as the Jackrabbits won by a 68-59 margin at home and a 67-56 margin at Denver. Denver has been playing some of their best basketball as of late as they’ve won 3 straight games behind a defense that ranks 38th in the country in scoring defense. South Dakota State came into the season as the pre-season favorites for the Summit League Championship and although they weren’t able to the regular season title, the Jackrabbits are as dangerous team as any in the Summit with their backcourt duo of George Marshall and Deondre Parks. Denver was able to slow down the high powered Omaha offense however, it will be a challenge offensively for the Pioneers to put up points against the Jackrabbits defense that ranks in the top-100 in the country in scoring defense and defensive FG%. I’m not sure where the line is going to fall on this one and although I like South Dakota State, I could be swayed to take the Pioneers if their getting enough points. Please check back when the lines are released. 

Update (12:16 PM EST) - Looks like the odds makers put this one about exactly where the regular season matchups were and although South Dakota State is the better team, I like how Denver is playing as of late and don' t think I can pass up on the double-digit points. I'm taking Denver to cover. 

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Denver Pioneers +10.5

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