The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders are taking on the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday. The game is scheduled for a 4:00 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on TNT. The college basketball odds for the game have this one listed as a PICK EM.
College Basketball Odds
Interestingly enough, this 5-12 matchup has a tight line because Middle Tennessee State won as a 15 seed last season, knocking off Michigan State. There will be a lot of hype surrounding this team because of that win last year, but note that the Blue Raiders once again piled up a 30-4 record, during that span they have won 20 of the last 21 games overall.
Middle Tennessee plays defense, allowing just over 63 points a game to opponents. They aren’t a great offensive club, but they do have three rock-solid scorers led by JaCorey Williams and his 17.3 points per game. Both Giddy Potts and Reggie Upshaw average in double figures as well, but they are the main (and only, really) options offensively.
Minnesota is coming off a Big Ten tournament semifinal loss to Michigan from last week. They have four starters that average double digits and Nate Mason (15.5) was a First Team All-Big Ten selection this season. He also hands out five assists per game as the Gophers will look to avoid the upset here.
The ability to block shots is going to be key here for the Golden Gophers. Minnesota leads the country in blocked shots per game at 6.8 and Reggie Lynch is the leader there. Middle Tennessee could have some trouble inside with the Gophers looking to block everything in sight, so they’ll have to work the ball around the perimeter well.
Minnesota was just 8-23 last year, now they are 24-9. It’s the single greatest turnaround in NCAA history, but they are really up against it here with a hungry, experience 12 seed.
Free Pick: Middle Tennessee
Mid Tenn St. Vs. Minnesota (Betting NCAA Basketball)
Experience matters and injuries might plaque one team today. handicapped by Pro Bettor Brad Powers - with Dave Essler from the Pregame.com Studios in Las Vegas. Get his NCAA College Basketball Free Pick: Mid Tenn St. Vs. Minnesota.
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