NIT Championship Southern Methodist Mustangs vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers Pick-Odds-Prediction - 4/3/14
Minnesota Golden Gophers (24-13) at Southern Methodist Mustangs (27-9)
College Basketball: Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Madison Square Garden)
The Line: Southern Methodist Mustangs -3 -- Over/Under: 134 See the Latest Odds
The Southern Methodist Methodist Mustangs tangle with the Minnesota Golden Gophers for the NIT championship.
Minnesota had been solid through three victories to reach the NIT semis on Tuesday to face Florida State but they were fortunate to escape with a 67-64 overtime victory. The Golden Gophers were looking unbeatable in the first half with a 30-20 lead before foul trouble, offensive woes and poor decision making almost cost them. FSU hit a three at the end of regulation and nearly hit one at the end of OT with the Golden Gophers not fouling in both cases that in all likelyhood would have secured the win. With both teams hitting at 39% Minnesota won on their 9-20 effort on threes and the Seminoles lost it on their 4-18 effort from distance. Deandre Mathieu and Austin Hollins each tossed in 17 points with Andre Hollins and Maurice Walker adding 13 and nine points.
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Southern Methodist was probably one of the last teams to be left out of the Big Dance with a loss to Houston in the AAC tourney probably the nail in their coffin. The Mustangs have reached the NIT title game although they have trouble putting together a full 40 minutes of basketball. SMU hasn't been the model of consistency in the first half of their four tournament wins and that trend continued in a 65-59 victory over Clemson in the semifinals. The Mustangs trailed by 12 after 20 minutes but outscored the Tigers by 18 in the second behind 47% from the field while holding Clemson to 40% which equated to a decisive three more field goals. Markus Kennedy pumped in a game high 21 points and snagged nine rebounds followed by Nic Moore with 13 and Nick Russell with ten points.
If Minnesota plays another second half like we saw against Florida State and SMU plays a second half that we saw versus Clemson the Mustangs will win by plenty. I really don't know what we'll see here but if SMU plays a full game they will get the job done in my view...