The Missouri Valley Conference Finals take place on Saturday afternoon and we will see the Indiana State Sycamores take on the Wichita State Shockers at the Scottrade Center in St Louis, Missouri. The game has a start time of 2:00 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on CBS. Vegas odds have the Shockers listed as 14 point favorites, while the total has yet to be set.
Stat Pack: The Indiana State Sycamores got here by beating Loyola-Illinois and Southern Illinois. They are now 23-9 overall and 14-6 in the MVC. The Sycamore average 70.0 ppg on 44.6% shooting. Jake Odum leads the team in scoring at 13.3 ppg, while Manny Arop and Kristian Smith are both tied for second on the team in scoring at 10.7 ppg. Arop leads the team in rebounding (4.6 rpg) while Odum leads the team in assists (142). On defense the Sycamores have been very solid this year allowing just 67.3 ppg on 43.5% shooting.
As for Wichita State they come in still unbeaten on the year at 33-0 SU, while also posting a 23-6-1 ATS mark. Wichita State gote here by beating Evansville and Missouri State. The Shockers have averaged 75.2 ppg (69th) on 45.9% shooting (86th). Cleanthony Early (16.0 ppg) and Ron Baker (13.1 ppg) lead the offense, while Fred VanVleet leads the team in assist (173) and Early leads the team in rebounding (5.9 rpg). This is a good rebounding team as they rank 22nd in the nation, grabbing 38.8 rpg. On defense they are very stour, allowing just 59.3 ppg (9th) on 39.2% shooting overall (14th) and 30.7% shooting from long range (30th).
Pick: The two meetings between these teams this year produced just 123 and 116 points. Actually the last 5 meeting between the teams have put no more than 128 points on the board, with those 5 games averaging 122 ppg. The Shockers are locked in defensively right now, as they have allowed just 49.6 ppg in their last 5 games, while Indiana State has allowed just 60.5 ppg in their two tourney games and they have allowed 62 or less in 6 of their last 9 games. Offensively, the Sycamores are not a strong team and they really play a slow down style of ball. The Sycamores have averaged 70 ppg overall this year, but just 64.5 ppg in their last 10 games and they scored just 58 & 48 points in the two meetings vs the Shockers this year. Wichita State is an average offensive team and they have scored less than 70 points in 3 of their last 4 games. The Shockers do not run up an down the floor, so overall all it should be a slow paced game. I can't see more than 55 points from the Sycamores in this one and that mean that Wichita State will have to score at least 78 to have this game go over. I don't expect that either. I will call for a 69-55 final.
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