The Northern Iowa Panthers are on the road today in Missouri Valley College Basketball action when they take on the Wichita State Shockers. The game is scheduled for a 2:00 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on ESPN. Currently the College Basketball Betting Odds for the game have the Shockers listed as a road favorite to get the win.
Both Northern Iowa and Wichita State have been beating up on everyone this season, finding their way into the Top 12 nationally. Northern Iowa is ranked 10th overall while Wichita State comes in 11th in the country, certainly high praise for these mid-major programs. And while neither team has really gotten to play on national television consistently this year, the country gets a chance to watch them play each other in this one.
With both the Panthers and Shockers sitting at 16-1 in conference play, this game will decide the Missouri Valley Conference title. Today's game will be the final one for both teams as they enter the conference tournament next week and both are locks for the NCAA Tournament. But winning that conference championship is certainly a goal for both and Wichita State gets an edge being at home.
UNI comes in having won 16 straight games, last losing to Evansville on January 1. Wichita State has peeled off seven straight wins, last losing to Northern Iowa on January 31. That game saw the Panthers have a huge first half that allowed them to control the game in the final 20 minutes. UNI shot 60 percent from the floor in that game as Seth Tuttle poured in a career-high 29 points.
Wichita State has some in-season revenge going in this one. The Shockers are 14-0 on the season in home games, but UNI is very good on the road, sporting a record of 9-2. Defense will be key as both clubs allow opponents to score less than 56 points per game. Wichita State's backcourt will prove to be too much though as Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker both have nice games.
Free Pick: Wichita State 70, Northern Iowa 60
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