Evansville vs. Indiana State - 3/5/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Indiana State Sycamores (15-16) at Evansville Purple Aces (24-8)
College Basketball: Saturday, March 5, 2016 at 6:00 pm (Scottrade Center)
The Line: Evansville Purple Aces -7 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: CBS Sports Network
The Indiana State Sycamores and Evansville Purple Aces will battle each other in the semifinals of the MVC Men’s Tournament this Saturday night at the Scottrade Center.
The 6-seed Indiana State Sycamores used a strong defensive performed to upset the 3-seed Illinois State Redbirds, 65-57, on Friday night to advance in the MVC Tournament. Indiana State was able to take a 7-point halftime lead after holding Illinois State to just 17 first half points and was able to hold on for the victory after taking a 43-26 lead early in the 2nd half. Indiana State shot 35.1% from the field and won the turnover battle by a 16-13 margin. The Sycamores held the Redbirds to 31.3% shooting from the field and 27.3% (9-33) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for Indiana State was Brenton Scott who had 14 points, 5 rebounds, 5 steals, and 2 assists. On the season, the Sycamores have been led by Devonte Brown (15.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.0 spg), Brenton Scott (14.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.1 spg), and Khristian Smith (10.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.2 spg). Offensively, Indiana State is averaging 68.8 ppg on 39.8% shooting from the field and 31.2% shooting from beyond the arc. The Sycamores average 6.8 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 0.84. Defensively, Indiana State is holding their opponents to an average of 69.9 ppg on 42.0% shooting. The Sycamores have a rebound margin of 1.0 and a turnover margin of -0.7.
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The 2-seed Evansville Purple Aces got strong performances from their stars and was able to defeat the Missouri State Bears, 66-56, on Friday night. Evansville had a 29-25 halftime lead and used an 18-9 midway through the 2nd half to gain some separation and get the win. Evansville shot 40.4% from the field and 33.3% (5-15) from beyond the arc. The Purple Aces held the Bears to 39.3% shooting from the field and won the turnover battle by a 12-8 margin. Leading the way for Evansville was Egidijus Mockevicius who had a double-double with 12 points, 18 rebounds, 1 steal and a block. D.J. Balentine also chipped in with 21 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, and a steal. On the season, the Purple Aces have been led by D.J. Balentine (20.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4.4 apg), Egidijus Mockevicius (16.6 ppg, 14.0 rpg, 2.8 bpg), and Jaylon Brown (10.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.8 apg). Offensively, Evansville is averaging 75.4 ppg on 49.9% shooting from the field and 35.7% shooting from beyond the arc. The Purple Aces average 4.5 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.38. Defensively, Evansville is holding their opponents to an average of 66.7 ppg on 40.9% shooting. The Purple Aces have a rebound margin of 2.9 and a turnover margin of 0.2.
Indiana State and Evansville split their regular season matchup as each team had convincing wins on their home courts. Indiana State was struggling coming into the conference tournament losing 7 of 8 games with their only win coming against the 5-27 Bradley Braves, but used an outstanding defensive effort the get the upset victory over Illinois State. Evansville has the best big man in the conference in Egidijus Mockevicius and is a well-balance team as they rank 58th in the country in scoring defense and 5th in FG%. Indiana State’s biggest problem this season has been their offense as they rank 332nd in the offensive FG% and as I don’t see the Sycamores being able to slow down Evansville as much as they did Illinois State, I like the Purple Aces in this one to win by about 6-8 points. The line has yet to be posted in this one but as long as the line is where I think is going to be, I’m going with Evansville.
Update (1:42 EST): The line was just about where I though it would be at 7-points and I'm going to stick with taking Evansville to cover.