The 12th-ranked Wichita State Shockers are on the road today when they take on the 18th-ranked Northern Iowa Panthers in Missouri Valley Conference hoops. The game is scheduled for a 4:00 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on ESPN2. Currently the Betting Odds for the game have the Shockers favored on the road to pick up this win.
Wichita State and Northern Iowa are going to battle it out for the Missouri Valley Conference with today being the first of two regular season meetings between the two. Both defend the basketball well, win tons of games and never fully get enough credit. This year both teams have found themselves ranked inside the Top 25 and taking center stage on national television.
The Shockers have been the mid-major that has created some waves in recent years, making the Final Four in 2013. Northern Iowa has been in that mid-major discussion for some time as well and today they'll face the Shockers in the first matchup of ranked MVC opponents since the 1982 season. Northern Iowa will also be looking to stop the Wichita State run in the conference, which has grown to 27 straight games over their opponents after going 18-0 last season. UNI has already lost this year to Evansville, another pretty solid MVC squad.
Leading the way for UNI is senior forward Seth Tuttle, the only player averaging double figures for the Panthers on the season. UNI comes in averaging just under 65 points a game, but they shoot a very good 47.7 percent from the floor. The defense allows just 54.7 points per game, which ranks sixth-best in the country.
Wichita State might have the best backcourt in America with Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet. While they are often talked about the duo certainly deserves it, even if they do play in the MVC. Baker pours in 16 points, adding four rebounds and better than two assists per game while VanVleet hands out 5.5 assists with 11 points per game and four rebounds. Both guys are all over the floor and can do some damage.
Look for a great game here between two teams not nearly as highlighted as they should be. This has the makings of a great one.
Free Pick: Wichita State 61, Northern Iowa 58
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