Lipscomb vs. Texas
|Date & Time||Thursday April 4, 2019, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
Madison Square Garden
New York, NY
Texas Longhorns -1.5 -- O/U: 143
The Lipscomb Bison and the Texas Longhorns meet in college basketball action in the NIT championship game from Madison Square Garden on Thursday night.
The Lipscomb Bison punched their ticket to the championship game after a 71-64 win over Wichita State in their last outing. Garrison Mathews led the Bison with 34 points on 9 of 22 shooting with 5 threes and an 11 of 12 mark from the foul line while Rob Marberry added 14 points on 7 of 9 shooting as the only other double-digit scorer for the Bison in the win. Eli Pepper had a team-high 15 rebounds while Kenny Cooper added a team-high 10 assists and 3 steals. Mathews leads Lipscomb in scoring with 21.1 points per game while Pepper leads the Bison in rebounding with 7.4 rebounds per game and Cooper leads Lipscomb in assists with 4.5 assists per game this season. As a team, Lipscomb is averaging the 7th-most points per game in D-I, scoring 83.6 points per game on 48.3% shooting from the field, 37.5% from behind the arc and 75.5% from the foul line this season.
The Texas Longhorns booked their spot in the title game after a 58-44 beatdown of TCU in their semifinal matchup. Kerwin Roach II led the way with 22 points on 9 of 14 shooting while Dylan Osetkowski added 11 points with 8 rebounds as the only other Texas player to score in double figures in the win. Jericho Sims added 6 points with 8 rebounds while Courtney Ramey had a team-high 8 assists as well in the victory. Roach II leads Texas in scoring with 14.5 points per game while Osetkowski leads Texas in rebounding with 7.1 rebounds per game and Matt Coleman III leads Texas in assists with 3.3 assists per game this season. As a team, Texas is averaging 70.8 points per game on 43.3% shooting from the field, 34.8% from behind the arc and 69.4% from the foul line this season.
Lipscomb is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall and 22-7-1 ATS in their last 30 non-conference games while the under is 5-2 in their last 7 neutral site games. Texas is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 2-5 ATs in their last 7 games against a team with a winning record while the under is 4-1 in their last 5 neutral site games.
I won't lie, I definitely thought the line was going to be bigger at first glance. With that said, I've doubted Texas a lot this season because I feel more often than not, the Longhorns rely too heavily on their defense to get the job done. The Longhorns have done a decent job from time-to-time proving me wrong, just like they did on Tuesday, stifling TCU. However, Lipscomb has been the surprise of the tournament, and are getting it done offensively, averaging 82.5 points per game throughout the NIT. Texas will probably use their defense again, and to their credit, I wouldn't be surprised if the Longhorns find a way to get the job done, but all in all, the Bison offense has been too good in this tournament to pass up getting points in this spot. I'll take the free points with Lipscomb as the Bison complete the Cinderella story and win the NIT.