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Valparaiso vs. BYU - 3/29/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

BYU Cougars (26-10) at Valparaiso Crusaders (29-6)

College Basketball: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at 7:00 pm (Madison Square Garden)

The Line: Valparaiso Crusaders -1 -- Over/Under: 147 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The BYU Cougars and Valparaiso Crusaders will face off in the semifinals of the NIT Tournament this Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

The 2-seed BYU Cougars (23-10) punched their ticket to New York after defeating the 4-seed Creighton Bluejays, 88-82, this past Tuesday. BYU used a 12-1 run early in the 2nd half to build up a 67-52 lead and was able to hang on late for the victory. BYU shot 50.9% from the field and 38.1% (8-21) from beyond the arc. The Cougars held the Bluejays to 44.8% shooting from the field and 30.8% (8-21) from three-point range. Leading the way for BYU was Emery who had 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists. On the season, BYU has been led by Kyle Collinsworth (15.2 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 7.5 apg, 1.9 spg), Chase Fischer (18.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.1 spg), and Nick Emery (16.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.4 spg). Offensively, BYU is averaging 84.0 ppg on 46.5% shooting from the field and 38.4% shooting from beyond the arc. The Cougars average 9.0 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.45. Defensively, BYU is allowing their opponents to average 72.8 ppg on 41.5% shooting. The Cougars have a rebound margin of 4.7 and a turnover margin of 1.5.

Valparaiso vs. BYU - 3/29/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The 1-seed Valparaiso Crusaders had little trouble advancing after defeating the 2-seed Saint Mary’s Gaels, 80-44, this past Tuesday.  Valparaiso used an outstanding defensive 2nd half to pull away from the Gaels as they outscored Saint Mary’s in the 2nd half by a 31-13 margin. Valparaiso shot 46.0% from the field and outrebounded Saint Mary’s by a 41-29 margin. The Crusaders held the Gaels to just 33.9% shooting from the field and 26.3% (5-19) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for Valparaiso was Alec Peters who had 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. On the season, the Crusaders have been led by Alec Peters (18.5 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.2 apg), Keith Carter (10.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1.6 spg), and Tevonn Walker (9.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.7 apg). Offensively, Valparaiso is averaging 75.7 ppg on 44.5% shooting from the field and 36.1% shooting from beyond the arc. The Crusaders average 8.0 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.11. Defensively, Valparaiso is holding their opponents to an average of 62.2 ppg on 38.3% shooting. The Crusaders have a rebound margin of 6.4 and a turnover margin of 0.2.

BYU has one of the better offensives in the country lead by triple-double threat Kyle Collinsworth however, haven’t been outstanding on the road this season as they have posted just a 9-8 record away from home this season. Valparaiso has one of the best defenses in the country that ranks in the top 10 in both scoring defense and defensive FG%. Valparaiso is one of the better rebounding teams in the country and as I think their defense will be able to slow down the Cougars offensive, I think the Crusaders will be able to cover this small spread. Take Valparaiso to cover.

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Valparaiso Crusaders -1

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