Valparaiso vs. Green Bay - 3/7/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Green Bay Phoenix (21-12) at Valparaiso Crusaders (26-5)
College Basketball: Monday, March 7, 2016 at 7:00 pm (Joe Louis Arena)
The Line: Valparaiso Crusaders -9 -- Over/Under: 146.5 See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN U
The Green Bay Phoenix and Valparaiso Crusaders will face off in the semifinals of the Horizon League Men’s Championship this Monday night at Joe Louis Arena.
The 4-seed Green Bay Phoenix (21-12) once again was outstanding defensively and used a big run in the 2nd half to defeat the 5-seed Milwaukee Panthers, 70-61, on Sunday afternoon. Green Bay was able to take a 31-25 halftime lead and went on a 12-0 run midway through the 2nd half to secure the victory. Green Bay shot 41.3% from the field and won the turnover battle by a 14-7 margin. The Phoenix held the Panthers to 30.5% shooting from the field and 22.6% (7-31) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for Green Bay was Carrington Love who had 16 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals. On the season, the Phoenix have been led by Carrington Love (17.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.5 apg, 2.7 spg), Charles Cooper (13.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.5 apg), and Jordan Fouse (12.2 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 3.3 apg, 2.2 spg, 1.4 bpg). Offensively, Green Bay is averaging 84.4 ppg on 44.8% shooting from the field and 34.4% shooting from beyond the arc. The Phoenix average 6.9 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.14. Defensively, Green Bay is allowing their opponents to average 80.2 ppg on 45.5% shooting. The Phoenix have a rebound margin of -1.0 and average 10.0 steals per game.
USA TODAY Sports
The Valparaiso Crusaders (26-5) enter post-season play on a five game winning streak and earned the top-seed for the conference tournament finishing the regular season with a 26-5 overall record and 16-2 conference record. Valparaiso was outstanding in conference play this season as outside or Wright State, the Crusaders didn’t lose to any other Horizon League team throughout the season. Leading the way for Valparaiso this season was Alec Peters who had 17.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 1.1 apg. Also contributing for the Crusaders was Keith Carter (9.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1.6 spg), Tevonn Walker (9.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.8 apg), and Darien Walker (8.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.0 apg). Offensively, Valparaiso is averaging 75.3 ppg on 44.4% shooting from the field and 36.4% shooting from beyond the arc. The Crusaders average 8.1 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.09. Defensively, Valparaiso is holding their opponents to average 61.0 ppg on 37.8% shooting. The Crusaders have a rebound margin of 9.8 and average 7.0 steals per game.
The Phoenix are 4-0-1 ATS in thier last 5 games following a straight up win and 5-0-2 ATS in thier last 7 games overall. THe Crusaders are 5-0 ATS in thier last 5 neutral site games however, just 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
Valparaiso was able to win both regular season matchups against Green Bay as the Crusaders won at home by an 85-70 margin and on the road in a close 70-68 battle. Green Bay had one of the highest scoring offensives during the season as they rank 6th in the country in scoring offense however, have been getting it down in the Horizon Tournament as they’ve held both Cleveland State and the Milwaukee Panthers to average of just 57.0 ppg. The Crusaders are one of the best defensive teams in the country as they rank 6th in the country in scoring defense and 3rd in defensive FG%. The Crusaders are the team to beat in the Horizon this season as along with their defense they are one of the best rebounding teams in the country, however, if Green Bay can continue to force turnovers and keep this one a low-scoring battle, I think the Phoenix should be able to cover with the 4-6 points I imagine they will be getting. My pick is really going to depend on the line but at this time, I’m leaning towards taking the Green Bay Phoenix and the points. Please check back for an update when the lines are posted.
Update (12:09 PM EST) - I'm a bit suprised that Green Bay is getting almost double-digit points in this one and as long as they continue to play the defense they've displayed in their last two games, I think the Phoenix will be able to cover with the points.