Missouri State vs. Bradley
|Date & Time||Friday March 8, 2019, 3:35 PM (EST)|
St. Louis, MO
Missouri State Bears -1 -- O/U: 125.5
The Bradley Braves and the Missouri State Bears meet in a Missouri Valley Conference quarterfinal matchup in college basketball action from the Enterprise Center on Friday afternoon.
The Bradley Braves enter the tournament as the #5 seed, finishing with a 16-14 overall record, including 9-9 in conference play to finish in a 3-way tie for 5th with Northern Iowa and Illinois State, winning out on the 5th seed due to a tiebreaker. Bradley had a strong start to the season, including wins over SMU and Penn State on a neutral floor as well as some tough losses to New Mexico, Georgia Southern and IUPUI. Conference play was rough to start for the Braves, going 0-5 and 3-7 before winning 6 of their last 8 games to finish the regular season. Darrell Brown leads Bradley in scoring and assists with 15 points and 3.1 assists per game while Elijah Childs is 2nd in scoring with 12.2 points per game as well as tops in rebounding with 7.8 boards per game this season. As a team, Bradley is averaging 67.5 points per game on 43.8% shooting from the field, 36.9% from behind the arc and 68.5% from the foul line this season.
The Missouri State Bears come into this year’s tournament as the #4 seed, finishing with a 17-14 overall record, including 10-8 in MVC conference play, losing out on the #3 seed due to a double tiebreaker with Southern Illinois, missing the #3 seed due to a lower RPI ranking. Missouri State started 3-0, but lost 7 of their next 8 with losses to Nebraska, Murray State and Oregon State mixed in with a neutral floor loss to USC. Consistency was hard to find out of the gate for Missouri State, starting 0-2, getting to 2-2 before falling back to 2-4. The Bears would rattle off a string of 7 wins in their next 8 games before losing 3 of 4 down the stretch to finish in the 4-spot. Tulio Da Silva led the Bears in scoring with 14.7 points per game in 26 games, while Jarred Dixon and Keandre Cook each had 13 points per game, with Cook leading the Bears with 4.2 rebounds per game. Josh Webster also led Missouri State in assists with 5.2 assists per game this season. As a team, Missouri State is averaging 69.3 points per game on 45.3% shooting from the field, 34.6% from behind the arc and 69.3% from the foul line this season.
Bradley is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS loss while the over is 4-1 in their last 5 games against a team with a winning record. Missouri State is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall and 8-21 ATS in their last 29 games against a team with a winning record while the under is 12-4 in their last 16 conference games. Bradley is 4-9-1 ATS in the last 14 meetings between these two teams.
The 4-5 matchup in any tournament is hard to call because the teams are usually evenly matched as they are here. However, Bradley has had issues ATS in this matchup, and while Missouri State has struggled against their number in their own right as of late, this game is essentially a pick ‘em, and since the Bears won both meetings in the regular season, I’ll lay the point with the Bears to complete the true sweep and knock Bradley out of the conference tournament here.