Bradley Braves vs. Wichita State Shockers Pick-Odds-Prediction 2/25/14
Wichita State Shockers (29-0) at Bradley Braves (12-17)
College Basketball: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 9:00 pm (Carver Arena)
The Line: Bradley Braves +12 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN 2
Storyline: With just two games remaining, Wichita State looks for one last surge towards an unblemished campaign when it takes the road to square off with Bradley Tuesday.
The Breakdown: With just Bradley and Missouri State left on the slate, the Shockers appear destined to become the first Division I school since St. Joseph’s in 2003-04 to finish a regular season undefeated. However, Wichita State’s 72-50 trouncing of Bradley Jan. 14 was far more convincing than its Jan. 11 three-point overtime victory at Missouri State. The Shockers became the first D I team reach 29-0 since Illinois in 2004-05 after pummeling Drake 83-54 Saturday behind a stellar 52.5 percent from the floor to the Bulldogs’ 41.9 percent. Wichita State also finished with a 33-26 advantage on the boards and forced a whopping 20 turnovers. Junior G Tekele Cotton scored a game-high 21 points to go along with 7 steals, sophomore G Fred VanVleet had 15 points and 6 assists, and junior F Darius Carter added 15 points off the bench. On the season, the Shockers are averaging 75.8 ppg on 45.4 percent shooting. Senior F Cleanthony Early leads the team with 15.8 ppg, followed by sophomore G Rob Baker at 13.0 ppg.
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports
Meanwhile, Bradley improved to 7-9 for 7th place in the MVC after topping Loyola (ILL) 55-38 Saturday. The Braves connected on 19 of 50 from the field and 3 of 8 from outside the arc to the Ramblers’ 13 of 49 from the floor and 1 of 18 from distance. Bradley conceded a 42-38 rebounding advantage, but forced 23 turnovers. Senior G Walt Lemon Jr. had a game-high 16 points and 5 steals, sophomore G Omari Grier scored 8 points, and senior F Tyshon Pickett added 8 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists. Through 29 games, the Braves are averaging 63.8 ppg on 42.0 percent shooting. Lemon leads the team with 17.7 ppg, followed by Pickett at 11.7 ppg.
Rick’s Pick: The line in this matchup is currently set at -12 for Wichita State. The Shockers’ 22-point victory over Bradley six weeks ago won’t matter much here. The finish line is well within reach for the Shockers and whether or not they should be number one is a debate that’s likely to be heard ad nauseum for at least another week. As for the here and now, look for Wichita State to come out with a chip on their shoulder, as if they’ve been slighted, and cover the spread.
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