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Valparaiso Crusaders vs. George Washington Colonials - 3/31/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

George Washington Colonials (27-10) at Valparaiso Crusaders (30-6)

College Basketball: Thursday, March 31, 2016 at 7:00 pm (Madison Square Garden)

The Line: Valparaiso Crusaders -2 -- See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The Valparaiso Crusaders will play the George Washington Colonials in the NIT Championship Game on Thursday.

The George Washington Colonials are 27-10 (11-7) and are coming off of wins against Hofstra by a score of 82-80, Monmouth by a score of 87-71, Florida by a score of 82-77, and San Diego State by a score of 65-46 in their first 4 games of the tournament. Tyler Cavanaugh led George Washington with 20 points and 11 rebounds against San Diego State. George Washington out rebounded San Diego State by a total of 41-40 and was able to add 17 assists in their win. George Washington has won 5 of their last 6 games, with their only loss coming against St. Joe’s in the A-10 Tournament. George Washington is averaging 75.6 points per game while giving up 68.7 points per game. George Washington is also averaging 38.1 rebounds per game and 14 assists per game. Tyler Cavanaugh is averaging 16.8 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game for George Washington. Patricio Garino is averaging 14.2 points per game and 4.3 rebounds per game for the Colonials. George Washington is shooting 75.1% on free throws, 36.9% on three-pointers, and 44.7% on all field goal attempts.

Valparaiso Crusaders vs. George Washington Colonials - 3/31/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Valparaiso Crusaders are 30-6 (16-2) and are coming off of wins against Texas Southern by a score of 84-73, Florida State by a score of 81-69, Saint Mary’s by a score of 60-44, and BYU by a score of 72-70 in their first 4 games of the tournament. Alec Peters led Valparaiso with 15 points and 9 rebounds against BYU. Valparaiso was out rebounded by BYU by a total of 45-42, but was able to add 18 assists in their win. Valparaiso has won 9 of their last 10 games, with their only loss coming against Green Bay in the Horizon Tournament. Valparaiso is averaging 75.6 points per game while giving up 62.4 points per game. Valparaiso is also averaging 41.7 rebounds per game and 14.2 assists per game. Alec Peter is averaging 18.5 points per game and 8.4 rebounds per game for Valparaiso. Keith Carter is averaging 10.3 points per game and 4.4 assists per game for the Crusaders. Valparaiso is shooting 72.5% on free throws, 36.1% on three-pointers, and 44.5% on all field goal attempts.

George Washington is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games. The over is 6-1 in George Washington’s last 7 games. Valparaiso is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games. The over is 4-1 in the last 5 games following an ATS loss for Valparaiso.

Valparaiso comes into this game playing very strong basketball, and just missed out on being in the NCAA Tournament. Both teams are similar in points scored, but Valparaiso is the better defensive team. Valparaiso also has the rebounding advantage in this matchup. This should be a very good game, but I think Valparaiso is the better team. 

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Valparaiso Crusaders -2

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