The Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament is here and we will see the LaSalle Explorers take on the Wichita State Shockers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The game is scheduled for a 10:17 pm (Eastern) start time and will be televised on TBS. Currently the Odds for the game have Wichita State favored by 4 points while the total sits at 135.5.
Analysis: La Salle, which joined VCU's 2011 squad as the only other program to start from such humble beginnings in the tourney and then make it this far, would certainly be the top story among the remaining teams in the event if not for the fact that Florida Gulf Coast is the first No. 15 seed ever to make it this far. The 13th seed, the Explorers toppled Boise State in the first round of the tournament on March 20 by a score of 80-71 in Dayton before moving on to Kansas City. Fatigue hasn’t yet been an issue for the Explorers despite the fact the team had to travel to Kansas City after winning their first outing in Dayton, Ohio. “At this point, you’re too young to be getting tired,” junior guard Tyreek Duren said. “You don’t really have time to get tired at this point. You wake up and win games.” Duren had 19 points against Ole Miss and ranks second on the squad in scoring at 14.5 points. Senior guard Ramon Galloway scored 24 points against the Rebels and averages a team-best 17.4 points. Junior guard Tyrone Garland averages 12.8 points and scored 17 against Ole Miss, including the game-winning basket on a driving shot with two seconds left. Five Explorers have 30 or more steals, led by Galloway (63) and Duren (56).
As for the ninth-seeded Shockers, they like La Salle earned an at-large bid for the tourney and have also scored a pair of upsets in order to move to an even 10-10 in this event over the years. The trip to the round of 16 began with an impressive 73-55 romp over Pittsburgh, and then continued with a 76-70 victory versus top-seeded and top-ranked Gonzaga which by some estimations was not so much of an upset. The Shockers, who played in the shadow of Creighton for much of the regular season in the Missouri Valley Conference yet are still standing after the Bluejays fell to Duke over the weekend in the third round, won the only previous meeting between these two programs back in 2003 during the Paradise Jam, albeit by a narrow 74-71 final. Freshman guard Ron Baker joined Early in having a big game in the slaying of Gonzaga. Both players scored 16 points and made four 3-pointers but Baker’s effort stood out for two reasons – it fell two points shy of his career-best output and it was only his fifth game since returning from a foot injury that sidelined him for 21 games. “Those 21 games were a long 21 games, I’ll just say that,” said Baker, who is averaging 8.3 points in 15 games. Early averages a team-best 13.9 points, senior forward Carl Hall averages 12.6 points and a team-high 6.9 rebounds and senior guard Malcolm Armstead contributes 10.6 points and a team-best four assists.
Pick: Gonna be brief with this one, but I do like the over. The Shockers defense has been tough thus far, but LaSalle's offense has been very good as well and they have the ability to speed this game up. I look for at least 140 points in this one.
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College Basketball Free Picks: LaSalle vs Wichita State Betting
What college basketball bettors need to know about LaSalle Explorers vs Wichita State Shockers on Thursday (3/28/13) - a free pick from Pregame.com's Scott Spreitzer with Marco D'Angelo.