Valparaiso at Indiana State
|Date & Time||Thursday March 7, 2019, 7:00 PM (EST)|
St. Louis, MO
Indiana State Sycamores -2.5 -- O/U: 132.5
The Indiana State Sycamores and the Valparaiso Crusaders meet in a first round Missouri Valley first round tournament matchup in college basketball action on Thursday night from the Enterprise Center.
The Valparaiso Crusaders come into the game as the #9-seed with a 14-17 overall record, including a 7-11 mark in MVC play, losing out on the #8 seed only because of a tiebreaker with Indiana State. The Crusaders gave themselves some stiff competition out of the gate, with wins over George Washington and UNLV as well as losses to Western Kentucky, Wake Forest, West Virginia and Texas A&M to name a few. The Crusaders started conference play on a high note, winning their first 4 and going 5-1 before scuffling down the stretch, losing 10 of their final 12 games to finish near the bottom of the conference standings. Derrik Smits led the Crusaders with 12.5 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, while Javon Freeman comes into the game as Valpo’s only other active double-digit scorer, averaging 10.9 points per game this season. Deion Lavender leads the Crusaders in assists with 3.9 assists per game this season. As a team, Valparaiso is averaging 66.9 points per game on 45.3% shooting from the field, 32% from behind the arc and 69.2% from the foul line this season.
The Indiana State Sycamores enter the tournament with the #8 seed after finishing the year with a 15-15 overall record, including 7-11 in conference play but earning the aforementioned tiebreak victory over Valparaiso to secure the higher seed. The Sycamores gave themselves a tough non-conference portion, with games against Western Kentucky, North Texas, UNLV and Colorado while also playing TCU twice. Conference play was a mixed bag of results for the Sycamores, as Indiana State failed to start a winning streak during conference play, following each victory with a loss up until the end of the regular season. Tyreke Key led the Sycamores in scoring with 17.3 points per game while Jordan Barnes came 2nd in scoring with 14.7 points per game while also leading the Sycamores with averages of 4.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game this season. As a team, Indiana State is averaging 69.7 points per game on 44.3% shooting from the field, 36.9% from behind the arc and 72.9% from the foul line this season.
Valparaiso is 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a loss while the under is 20-8 in their last 28 conference games. Indiana State is 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 neutral site games and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games following a win while the over is 17-7-1 in their last 25 games following a win.
Valparaiso and a free bucket is tempting considering anything can happen once the conference tournament rolls around and there’s bound to be an upset in the first round. However, Indiana State swept the Crusaders this season, and I just simply trust the Sycamores here more than I do Valpo, so I’ll lay the bucket as Indiana State advances in this one.