Illinois State vs. Central Florida - 3/20/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Central Florida Knights (22-11) at Illinois State Redbirds (28-6)
College Basketball: Monday, March 20, 2017 at 7:00 pm (Redbird Arena)
The Line: Illinois State Redbirds -4 -- Over/Under: 126 See the Latest Odds
On Monday evening in NIT college basketball tournament action from Redbird Arena, we’ve got a matchup between the UCF Knights and the Illinois State Redbirds.
UCF enters this game with a 22-11 record overall. The Knights had a six-game winning streak going before a loss to SMU on March 11, but bounced back with a first-round tournament win over Colorado on Wednesday.
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Heading the offense for UCF this season is BJ Taylor, with 17.5 PPG, 4.1 RPG and 3.6 APG to his credit. Also in double-digits for the Knights are Matt Williams (15.0 PPG; 4.3 RPG) and Tacko Fall (11.1 PPPG; 9.5 RPG).
Over on the Illinois State side, they’re sitting at 28-6 on the season. The Redbirds had an eight-game winning streak snapped by Wichita State on March 5, then after being shunned by the selection committee they bagged a win over UC Irvine in their first-round NIT game.
Tops in offense for Illinois State are Deontae Hawkins (14.0 PPG: 6.6 RPG) and Paris Lee (13.1 PPG; 5.1 APG). Also in double-digits for the Redbirds is MiKyle McIntosh (12.7 PPG; 5.7 RPG), while Phil Fayne (9.2 PPG; 6.4 RPG) is close.
UCF is 5-2 ATS in their last seven Monday games, and 2-5 ATS in their last seven road games. UCF is also 1-4 ATS in their last five games following an ATS win, and 1-4 ATS in their last five non-conference games.
Meanwhile, Illinois State is 5-1 ATS in their last six non-conference games, and 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall. Illinois State is also 3-7 ATS in their last 10 home games, and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight-up win.
This should be a pretty good matchup overall, as both these teams definitely have some talent. Illinois State seems a notch above here, though, as the Redbirds easily could have found their way into the NCAA Tournament. With a quartet of capable scorers and three players with at least 5.7 RPG, I think the Redbirds can take this relatively easily. Give me Illinois State.