1-star: (780) Penn State -2.5 over Mississippi State. 9:30pm ET. Both teams have clearly exceeded expectations getting to the NIT semi-finals as both have pulled a pair of outright upsets on the road to get here. However, I think Penn State is the better team on all fronts including offense (No. 52 vs No. 75) and defense (No. 19 vs No. 31). The Nittany Lions also played the slightly tougher schedule (No. 58 vs No. 61) and Mississippi State played one of the weaker non-conference schedules in the country (No. 345). The biggest advantage here is that Nittany Lions just played three games here in Madison Square Garden in the Big Ten tournament around a month ago and covered all three games. We have the better team in Penn State laying a reasonable number here as Ken Pom has this game power-rated at Penn State -3.53, Sagarin has this game power-rated at Penn State -2.95. And this becomes stronger when you consider those ratings disparities are before you factor in at least a 0.5-1-point edge to Penn State for the crowd and the familiarity with the arena.