Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers (0-0) vs. North Dakota Fighting Hawks (0-0)
November 9, 2021 8:00 pm EDT
The Line: North Dakota Fighting Hawks +7 / Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers -7; Over/Under: +148
(Get latest betting odds)
The Milwaukee Panthers and the North Dakota Fighting Hawks meet in college basketball action from the Betty Englestad Sioux Center on Tuesday night.
The Milwaukee Panthers come into the 2021-22 season looking to bounce back from a 10-12 season record, including a 7-10 mark in Horizon League conference play, earning the #8 seed. The Panthers took down IUPUI in the first round and upset Wright State in overtime in the conference quarterfinals before falling to eventual conference tournament winner Cleveland State in the semifinals. The Panthers’ biggest loss from last year’s squad is Te’Jon Lucas, but the Panthers still have a pair of double-digit scorers returning in DeAndre Gholston who had 16.8 PPG and 5.2 RPG last year while Josh Thomas is back as well after adding 12.5 PPG and 4 RPG last season. Jordan Lathon transfers in from UTEP after logging 5 PPG, 4.6 RPG and 3.1 APG for the Miners in 2019-20, but the biggest splash may be the recruitment of Pat Baldwin Jr., but it wasn’t much of a recruitment as his father coaches the team. Baldwin Jr. comes in as a 5-star recruit at 6’10” as a point forward. Look for Baldwin Jr. to be mentioned a lot this year and in the running for newcomer of the year. Only time will tell if Baldwin Jr., Gholston, Thomas and co. can keep the Panthers on the uptick in 2021-22.
The North Dakota Fighting Hawks will also be looking to rebound from a 9-17 mark in 2020-21, but did post an 8-8 mark in Summit League play to finish with the #5 seed in the conference tournament. Their stay didn’t last long as the Fighting Hawks were ousted by eventual tournament winners Oral Roberts in the quarterfinals. The Fighting Hawks lose their leading scorer and rebounder from last season in Filip Rebraca, but the Fighting Hawks do bring back friendly faces like Bentiu Panoam who had 9.4 PPG and 2.5 RPG last season as well as Caleb Nero and Ethan Igbanugo who each had 8+ PPG last season. Mitchell Sueker chipped in 7.7 PPG and 4 RPG in North Dakota’s frontcourt, but the biggest addition may end up being D-II transfer Brendan Howard who had 20.3 PPG and 7.1 RPG last season, or JUCO transfer Tsotne Tsartsidze. Only time will tell if the Fighting Hawks are in for another step of regression or if they can turn it around in 2021-22.
Milwaukee is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 7-18 ATS in their last 25 games as a favorite while the over is 9-1 in their last 10 games overall. North Dakota is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a home underdog and 0-6 ATS in their last 6 Thursday games while the over is 10-2 in their last 12 games overall.
I get Milwaukee being favored here as I think Pat Baldwin Jr. has potential to make waves from the get go this season. However, Rome wasn’t built in a day and it’s going to take a bit to build this team back up. One player doesn’t do it on their own. North Dakota isn’t a world-beater by any means but I’m just not at the point where I want to lay three or four buckets with Milwaukee on the road. Give me North Dakota and the points.