NIT Quarterfinal Southern Methodist Mustangs vs. California Golden Bears Pick-Odds-Prediction - 3/26/14
California Golden Bears (21-13) at Southern Methodist Mustangs (25-9)
College Basketball: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 10:00 pm (Moody Coliseum)
The Line: Southern Methodist Mustangs -8.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN 2
The California Golden Bears head to Moody Coliseum to take the floor with the SMU Mustangs in NIT quarterfinal action.
If Cal had dreams of going to the Big Dance they were dashed with their 2-5 finish and loss to Colorado in the PAC 12 tournament. However the NIT has been good to them thus far with a pair of double figure wins capped off by a 75-64 victory over visiting Arkansas on Monday. The Razorbacks were hit early and often in a first half that saw them down 15 at the break and they never recovered. The Golden Bears were simply too much at both ends of the floor with 55% shooting while holding the visitors to 32%. Arkansas did force 16 turnovers and grab 16 offensive boards to total 31 more shots but were done in on poor shooting. Jabari Bird led all scorers with 19 points and 8 yanks with Tyrone Wallace adding 16 while David Kravish adding 13 points and 8 pulls.
Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports
Southern Methodist was snubbed by the NCAA selection despite being ranked in the top 25 and that is something you just don't see. Having said that, three straight defeats to end the year and an early boot from the conference playoffs by Houston and I'm not shocked. The Mustangs reched the quarterfinals of the NIT with DD victories over UC Irvine and LSU although their first half versus the Tigers did not look good. SMU trailed 40-35 before dominating the final 20 minutes on the way to an 80-67 decision. The home team sank shots at 58% and LSU countered with 44% accuracy which was a difference of eight baskets. Nic Moore and Nick Russell scored 16 points each with Markus Kennedy netting 13 followed by Keith Frazier and Shawn Williams with 11 points each.
While I wait for the spread, SMU have been fantastic at home but another first half performance versus Cal that is similar to what we saw against LSU and they might be in trouble. I expect something in the 7+ point range...