NCAA basketball on Tuesday night and it is the Finals of the Summit League. In this matchup we will see the IPFW Mastodons take on the North Dakota State Bison at Sioux Falls Arena in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The game has a start time of 9:00 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on ESPN. Vegas odds have the Bison listed as 8 point favorites, while the total sits at 143.5.
Analysis: North Dakota State came in as the number 1 seed in the Summit tournament, with a 13-2 conference record and a 25-6 mark overall. The Bison are ranked 43rd in the nation in scoring at 76.9 ppg, while ranking 1st in the nation in FG%, hitting 51.2% of their shots. They also hit 36.8% from long range (80th) and 74.6% from the charity stripe (25th). The offense is led by Taylor Braun, who is one of 4 players that average in double figures for the Bison, putting up 18.3 ppg. Braun also leads the team in assists (148) and rebounding (5.4 rpg), while also hitting 43.3% from long range. The Bison also play good defense as they rank 64th in the nation in points allowed (65.6 ppg) and 125th in defensive FG% (42.6%). They do struggle vs the 3 point shot, allowing teams to hit 36.8% from long range, which is 292nd in the nation.
The IPFW Mastodons come in as the number 2 seed in the tournament. They are 25-9 overall and 12-4 within the Summit League. The Mastodons got here by beating INDPU and South Dakota State. The Mastodons are solid on offense as they average 76.5 ppg to rank 48th in the nation. They also rank 10th in FG% (49.1%) and 16th in 3 point shooting (39.5%). The offense is led by Luis Jacobo, who averages 14.7 ppg, while the only other player to average in double figures for the Mastodons is Steve Forbes, who averages 12.2 ppg. Joe Reed leads the team in rebounding at 5.4 rpg, while hitting 56.6% of his shots for 8.2 ppg. The defense is not too good, as they allow 69.6 ppg (159th) on 45.6% shooting (269th).
Pick: Both of these teams have been playing excellent defense of late, so I will be looking at the Under here. IPFW has allowed 60 points or less in 4 of their last 5 games, while NDSU has allowed 57.3 ppg in their last 8 games. Both defenses have played very well on neutral site games this year as the Mastodons have allowed just 58.2 ppg in their 4 neutral site games, while the Bison have allowed just 59 ppg in their two games on neutral courts. Both offenses do score in the mid 70's but it will be hard for them to get there in this one vs these tough defensive teams. Also we not that this is a finals games, which should have a slower pace to it. 3 of the last 4 in this series has put up just 127 points or less and the under is 7-2 in NDSU's last 9 vs the Summit league and 11-4 in their last 15 neutral site games. I feel this will be a tightly contested game with both teams walking the ball up the court for much of the 2nd half, while the first half should be a bit lower scoring thanks to tightness. Lower 130's at best here.
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