The Illinois State Redbirds and the Valparaiso Crusaders meet Saturday in college basketball action from Athletics-Recreation Center. Illinois State is 10-16 on the year so far. The Redbirds lost to Bradley in their last game. As for Valparaiso, they’re 10-16 as well following a loss to Indiana State on Wednesday. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
Illinois State Redbirds
The Redbirds had a choppy start to the season, going 8-10 over their first 18 games. Illinois State has gone 2-6 since then, falling to Southern Illinois, Northern Iowa, Valparaiso, Bradley, Belmont and Bradley again in that time.
In the Bradley rematch on Wednesday, the Redbirds were drilled 41-21 in the first half. Illinois State got better in the second with 40 more points but still lost 79-61. Malachi Poindexter topped the team with 15 points and four rebounds.
Over on the Valparaiso side, they managed a rough 6-12 run over their first 18 games. The Crusaders are 4-4 in the eight games since with wins over Evansville, Illinois State, UIC and Evansville again.
Matched up against Indiana State on Wednesday, the Crusaders were down 46-39 going into the second half. Valparaiso fell further behind on a 38-23 second half and lost 84-62. Ben Krikke was the top team scorer with 22 points.
ANDREW’S FREE PICK
I’ll take a stab on Illinois State here. You could probably make a case either way, though; it should be a good matchup. The Redbirds are coming off a rough loss to a good Bradley team, but they haven’t been playing too badly over this 2-3 stretch. Illinois State has hit 68 or more points in four of those five outings. The last time these teams met back on January 21, Illinois State took an embarrassing home loss 71-51. I like the Redbirds to bounce back and get a little revenge on a cover in this one. You wouldn’t be crazy for taking Valparaiso, though.