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Ball State vs. Kent State - 3/8/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Kent State Golden Flashes (16-16) at Ball State Cardinals (19-12)

College Basketball: Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 2:30 pm (Quicken Loans Arena)

The Line: Ball State Cardinals -3 -- Over/Under: 145 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN 3

The Kent State Golden Flashes and Ball State Cardinals will face off at Quicken Loans Arena this Thursday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the MAC Men’s Tournament.

The 5-seed Kent State Golden Flashes improved to 16-16 on the season and advanced out of the 1st round of the MAC Men’s Tournament after defeating the 12-seed Northern Illinois Huskies, 61-59, on Monday night. Kent State led by a 31-25 margin at halftime and was able to secure the victory after a Kevin Zabo lay-up as time expired. Kent State was able to win despite shooting just 37.3% from the field, 26.7% (8-30) from beyond the arc, and 69.2% (9-13) from the FT-line. Leading the way for the Golden Flashes was Kevin Zabo who had 19 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. On the season, Kent State is averaging 73.3 ppg on 42.9% shooting from the field. The Golden Flashes are averaging 7.5 three-pointers per game on 32.6% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Kent State has been led by Jaylin Walker (16.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.1 spg), Kevin Zabo (12.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.1 spg), Adonis De La Rosa (11.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.0 apg), and Jalen Avery (10.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 3.7 apg). Defensively, Kent State is allowing their opponents to average 73.5 ppg on 44.9% shooting from the field. The Golden Flashes have a rebound margin of 0.9 and a turnover margin of 0.1.

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Ball State vs. Kent State - 3/8/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Ball State Cardinals finished their regular season with an overall record of 19-12 and come into the Mac Men’s Tournament as the 4-seed after finishing conference play with a 10-8 record. Ball State showed everyone in the country that they were for real this season after defeating the 9th ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish on the road in early December, however, the Cardinals have struggled as of late and enter the conference tournament riding a 3-game losing streak. Ball State has been solid on both ends of the court this season as the Cardinals currently rank 130th in scoring offense and 95th in defensive FG%. On the season, Ball State is averaging 75.4 ppg on 45.5% shooting from the field. The Cardinals are averaging 7.7 three-pointers per game on 34.0% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Ball State has been led by Tyler Persons (14.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 4.3 apg), Tahjai Teague (11.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.2 spg), Trey Moses (11.3 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 2.1 apg), and Kyle Mallers (9.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.3 apg). Defensively, Ball State is allowing their opponents to average 73.7 ppg on 42.6% shooting from the field. The Cardinals have a rebound margin of 1.4 and a turnover margin of -1.3.

The Golden Flashes are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600 however, are just 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Cardinals are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 Thursday games however, are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall.

Kent State and Ball State split their regular season series as the Golden Flashes won an 88-80 (OT) matchup at home in late January while the Cardinals won by a 87-68 margin at home in early February.

Kent State has won 3 of their last 4 games, however, the Golden Flashes haven’t really excelled on either end of the court this season as the Golden Flashes currently rank just 191st in scoring offense and 206th in scoring defense. Ball State had a tough end to their regular season and have been awful ATS as of late, however, between the fact that I believe that the duo of Tyler Persons and Trey Moses will be too much for the Golden Flashes to handle and that Kent State has only three wins away from home this season, I think Ball State does enough in this one to cover this small spread.

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