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South Dakota State vs. Western Illinois - 3/9/19 Summit League Quarterfinal College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Western Illinois vs. South Dakota State
Date & Time Saturday March 9, 2019, 7:00 PM (EST)
Location
Denny Sanford Premier Center
Sioux Falls, SD
The Line
South Dakota State -14 -- O/U: 151.5
TV Channel
ESPN+
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Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

The Western Illinois Leathernecks and the South Dakota State Jackrabbits meet in Summit League tournament quarterfinal action from the Denny Sanford Premier Center on Saturday evening.

The Western Illinois Leathernecks enter this tournament as the #8 seed and the last team in after finishing the year with a 4-12 conference record as part of their 9-20 overall mark this season. Western Illinois gave themselves a couple of tough road tests early on, with losses to Creighton and Nebraska while owning just two wins over D-I schools before the conference portion of their schedule started. The Leathernecks started just 1-5, and looked like they may be turning a corner after battling back to 3-5 but proceeded to lose 7 of their last 8 games to finish barely inside the tournament field. Kobe Webster led the Leathernecks in scoring and assists with 16.7 points and 3.3 assists per game while C.J. Duff and Isaac Johnson each had 11.1 points per game. Brandon Gilbeck led Western Illinois in rebounding with 8.2 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Western Illinois is averaging 70.6 points per game on 43.8% shooting from the field, 38.4% from behind the arc and 73.8% from the foul line this season.

The South Dakota State Jackrabbits enter the tournament as the conference regular season champion and top seed after finishing with a 24-7 overall record, including a 14-2 mark in conference play. The Jackrabbits had some tough losses to Nevada, Memphis and Tulane while also picking up some solid wins over UTSA, Colorado State and Northern Iowa. South Dakota State split their first two games before winning 13 of 14 down the stretch to secure top spot and the conference regular season championship. Mike Daum led the Jackrabbits in scoring and rebounding by averaging a double-double per game with 25.6 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. David Jenkins came 2nd in scoring with 19.4 points per game and Skyler Flatten added 15.8 points per game to finish 3rd in team scoring while Tevin King led the Jackrabbits in assists with 4.4 assists per game this season. As a team, South Dakota State is averaging the 5th-most points per game in D-I, averaging 85.2 points per game while shooting the 3rd-best field goal percentage in the nation, hitting at a 50.5% clip from the field, 41.4% from 3-point range (4th best in the country) and 78.1% from the foul line (5th best) this season.

Western Illinois is 5-15-1 ATS in their last 21 games overall and 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 conference games while the under is 9-3 in their last 12 neutral site games. South Dakota State is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games and 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall while the over is 5-2 in their last 7 games following a win. Western Illinois is 1-5 ATS in the last 6 meetings between these two teams.

I’d like to give Western Illinois a shot here as it’s hard to beat the same team in a span of a week and beat them 3 times in one season in most cases, but the fact is that Western Illinois is simply outmatched here. The Jackrabbits won the two regular season meetings by an average of 31 points per game and while South Dakota State wasn’t great ATS down the stretch, I just don’t see the Leathernecks keeping up here, so I’ll lay the points with the Jackrabbits in this spot.

Pick:
South Dakota State -14

Chris has been a sports fan from when he was old enough to pick up a basketball and was a standout offensive lineman throughout high school and college. Chris uses that same instinct, determination and drive to analyze trends and statistics to find and produce winners on a consistent basis. Chris has been writing for Sports Chat Place since 2016 and covers a wide array of sports from college and pro football, college basketball, hockey and baseball.

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