Wichita State Shockers vs. George Washington Colonials - 12/25/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
George Washington Colonials (8-3) at Wichita State Shockers (10-1)
College Basketball: Thursday, December 25, 2014 at 9:00 pm (Stan Sheriff Center)
The Line: Wichita State Shockers -7.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN 2
The George Washington Colonials and Wichita State Shockers will face off in the Championship game of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic this Thursday night.
The George Washington Colonials improved to 8-3 on the season with a 53-50 victory over the Colorado Buffaloes this past Tuesday. The Colonials were down by five points late in the game, but used a strong defensive effort in the closing minutes to come out with the victory. Although Kevin Larsen struggled on the offensive end for George Washington, he came up big with a huge block on the potential game –tying three pointer by the Buffaloes in the closing seconds. Leading the way for the Colonials was Joe McDonald who had 14 points and 6 rebounds. George Washington is ranked 27th in the RPI standings and has the 88th ranked SOS. On the season the Colonials have been led by Patricio Garino (14.3 ppg on 54.6% FG%, 4.8 rpg), Kethan Savage (12.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.5 apg), and Kevin Larson (11.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg). George Washington is averaging 70.2 ppg (ranked 135th) on 45.7% shooting (ranked 86th). The Colonials do most of their damage in the paint or in transition as they are only averaging 3.9 three-pointers per game (ranked 336th). Defensively, George Washington is holding their opponents to 57.9 ppg (ranked 26th) on 39.4% shooting (ranked 80th).
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The Wichita State Shockers improved to 10-1 on the season with a thrilling 80-79 overtime win over the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors this past Tuesday. The Shockers struggled from the field hitting only 39.7% (23-58) of their shots from the field and just 25.0% (6-24) of their three-pointers. Leading the way for the Shockers was Fred VanVleet who had 13 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals. Wichita State’s leading scorer, Ron Baker, has really struggled in the Diamond Head Classic as he is just 9-29 (31.0%) from the field and 4-16 (25.0%) from long-range in the first two games of the tournament. Wichita State is ranked 6th in the RPI Standings and has played the 20th ranked SOS. The Shockers only loss on the season came against the 14th ranked Utah Utes in Utah. On the season, the Shockers have been led by Ron Baker (17.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.1 apg), Darius Carter (12.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg), and Fred VanVleet (11.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 5.4 apg, 2.3 spg). Offensively, Wichita State is averaging 76.2 ppg (ranked 43rd) on 45.5% shooting (ranked 98th). The Shockers protect the ball well as they are only averaging 10.6 turnovers per game (ranked 18th). Defensively, Wichita State is allowing 60.3 ppg (ranked 59th) on 42.4% shooting (ranked 176th).
The Colonials are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record and just 1-5 AS in their last 6 games following a ATS win. The Shockers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games against Atlantic 10 opponents and 16-5 ATS in their last 21 neutral site games.
George Washington is one of my favorite under the radar teams this year as they can get it done on both ends of the court. I think this will be a pretty close game, however, I don’t see Wichita State continuing to struggle on the offensive end as they have in Hawaii. This is a tough one to call, but I’m going to roll with the Shockers as they are the better team and the line is reasonable.