Northern Kentucky at Texas Tech
|Date & Time||Friday March 22, 2019, 1:30 PM (EDT)|
Bank of Oklahoma Center
Texas Tech Red Raiders -13.5 -- Over/Under: 137
The 14-seed Northern Kentucky Norse and 3-seed Texas Tech Red Raiders will square off at the Bank of Oklahoma Center this Friday afternoon in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament.
The 14-seed Northern Kentucky Norse finished their regular season with an overall record of 26-8 (13-5 Horizon) and reached their 2nd NCAA Tournament over their past three seasons as earning the automatic-bid as the Horizon League champions. Northern Kentucky couldn’t pull off victories agianst UCF & Cincinnati in their non-conference schedule, however, was able to pile up wins this season behind a balanced attack in which currently ranks T-38th in scoring offense & 106th in scoring defense. Northern Kentucky earned the 2-seed in the Horizon Tournament and after a dramatic victory against Oakland in the Semifinals, the Norse were able to take care of business in the Finals after defeated the 1-seed Wright State Raiders by a 77-66 margin.
On the season, Northern Kentucky is averaging 79.1 ppg on 48.1% shooting from the field. The Norse are averaging 8.9 three-pointers per game on 36.6% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Northern Kentucky has been led by Drew McDonald (19.1 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 2.9 apg), Tyler Sharpe (14.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.5 spg), Jalen Tate (14.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.1 spg), and Dantez Walton (11.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.7 apg).
On the season, Northern Kentucky is allowing their opponents to average 68.8 ppg on 41.7% shooting from the field. The Norse have a rebound margin of 4.4 and a turnover margin of 0.9.
The 3-seed Texas Tech Red Raiders have to be disappointed with their showing in the Big-12 Tournament, however, there is no denying that the Red Raiders who finished their season with a 26-6 (14-4 Big-12) is one of the best teams in all of College Basketball and have plenty of talent to make a deep run. Texas State, behind one of the best defenses in the country, picked up quality wins this year against Kansas, Kansas State, and Iowa State. Texas Tech came into the Big-12 Championship as the 2-seed and was riding an impressive 9-game winning streak however, the Red Raiders didn’t make it out of the Quarterfinals after being upset by the 10-seed West Virginia Mountaineers by a 79-74 margin.
On the season, Texas Tech is averaging 73.1 ppg on 47.2% shooting from the field. The Red Raiders are averaging 7.3 three-pointers per game on 36.8% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Texas Tech has been led by Jarrett Culver (18.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.4 spg), Davide Moretti (11.6 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.2 spg), Matt Mooney (10.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.7 spg), and Tariq Owens (8.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.4 bpg).
Defensively, Texas Tech is holding their opponents to an average of 59.3 ppg on 36.8% shooting from the field. The Red Raiders had a rebound margin of 2.2 and a turnover margin of 3.3.
The Norse are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 neutral site games, however, are just 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games overall. The Red Raiders are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
Northern Kentucky is a solid team, however, this is a team that wasn’t that impressive on the road this season as they Norse lost 7 of their 8 games away from home. Texas Tech had a shocking loss to West Virginia, however, this is a team that if they can continue to get the offensive production we saw at the end of the season, will be a tough team to beat as they are one of the best defensive teams in the country, currently ranking 4th in scoring defense & 2nd in defensive FG%. Northern Kentucky has a great player in Drew McDonald, however, as I just don’t see the Norse having much success on the offensive end agianst the Red Raiders defense, I’m taking Texas Tech to cover this large spread. Good Luck!