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NCAA Basketball Picks Nebraska Cornhuskers vs Baylor Bears

NCAA basketball on Friday afternoon and we will see the Baylor Bears take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament, which is being played at the At&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The game has a start time of 12:40 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on TruTv. Vegas odds have the Bears listed as 3.5 point favorites, while the total sits at 131.5.

Stat Pack:  The Nebraska Cornhusers have been one of the pleasant surprises in college basketball this year and they were rewarded with an at-large bid to the Big Dance. For the year, the Huskers went 19-12 overall, but they were just 4-11 in all games away from home. The Huskers are a rather weak offensive team, as they come in ranked 275th in scoring (67.0 ppg) and 256th in shooting (42.7%). They are decent from the FT line, hitting 71.9% of their freebies, which is (104th). Terran Pettaway leads the offense with 18 ppg, while Shavon Shields leads the team in rebounding (5.8 rpg) and is also the only other player on the team that averages in double figures at 12.7 ppg. At the defensive end of the floor the Huskers are very solid as they come in allowing just 64.9 ppg (53rd) on 42% shooting (97th).

The Baylor Bears come into this game at 24-11 on the year. They got to the finals of the Big 12 Tournament, but bowed out to Iowa State 74-65. Still their showing this year was enough to give them an at-large to the Big Dance. The Baylor offense averages 75.2 ppg (66th) on 45.6% shooting (103th). The Bears excel from deep, hitting 39.0% from long range, which is 28th in the nation, but they don’t hit free throws well, hitting just 67.2% from the line, which is 264th in the nation. Corey Jefferson leads the team in scoring at 13.5 ppg, while also leading in rebounding at 8.4 rpg. Kenny Cherry leads in assists (5.0), while scoring 11.4 ppg. The best long range threat on the team is Brady Helsip (11.7 ppg), who hits 47.3% of his long range shots. On defense the Bears are pretty average as they allow 68.4 ppg on 42.4% shooting, but they are a good rebounding team as they haul in 38.7 rpg, which ranks 26th in the nation. 

Pick: I will go with the Under in this one. The Baylor Bears are not the fast paced uptempo team that most think they are. They push it when they can, but not all the time and Nebraska is not a team that gives others a chance to push tempo all that much. The Huskers are a team that plays great defense as they have allowed just 64.9 ppg on 42% shooting for the year, while on offense they are very patient with a slow paced attack that averages 67 ppg on 42.7% shooting. The Bears have also played good defense this year, allowing just 68.4 ppg on 42.4% shooting. I feel that Nebraska will get the bears to play at their pace and Baylor is not all that uncomfortable playing that way. Both teams play solid defense and just 1 team can score. Look for this one to be played in the lower 120's.

    

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