Tonight the NIT Tournament moves to the Final's and I will have a Free Pick in the game between the Stanford Cardinal and the Miami Hurricanes, which will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York. The game has a start time of 9:00 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on ESPN. Current Vegas betting odds have the Cardinal listed as 1.5 point favorites, while the total is set at 134.5.
Analysis: The Stanford Cardinal had not played all that well down the stretch losing 4 of their final 5 games, but they have really played well in the NIT Tournament and are now in the Finals after dispatching of Old Dominion on Tuesday night. For the year the Cardinal is now 23-13 overall, including 7-10 in all games away from home. Stanford has gone 7-1 ATS in their last 8 non-conference games, but just 10-26 ATS in their last 36 Thursday games. The Cardinal have been a very good offensive team this year, as they come in ranked 54th in scoring (72.5 ppg), 163rd in shooting (43.7%), 40th in 3 point shooting (38.2%) and 53rd in FT shooting (72.7%). Defensively the Cardinal has been not that good this year, ranking 197th in points allowed (67.4 ppg), 151st in defensive FG% (42.5%) and 313th in 3 point defense (37.4%).
The Miami Hurricanes finished 6th in the ACC this year and they come in having won 7 of their last 8 games overall. The Canes got to the NIT finals with wins over NC Central, Alabama, Richmond and Temple and are now 25-12 on the year, which includes a 5-2 mark in neutral site games. Miami has gone 4-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games, but just 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 Thursday games. The Canes have been a rather average offensive team this year, ranking 149th in scoring (68.3 ppg), 204th in shooting (43.0%), 108th in 3 point shooting (35.8%) and 22nd in FT shooting (74.7%). The defense for this team has been solid this year, ranking 87th in points allowed (63.2 ppg), 131st in defensive FG% (42.3%) and 91st in 3 point defense (32.6%).
Pick: I had the over last night in the Loyola/ UL Monroe game and it nearly cashed. it should have cashed by I got it at 125 and I got a push out of it. Tonight I will go with the Over as well. I know there have been adjustments to the lines because of the new shot clock rules, but i feel that if this were a regular season game with the old shot clock rules the line would be very similar to this one. The Cardinal has been a less than average defensive squad all year, especially away from home where they have allowed 76.2 ppg on the year and they have allowed 67.8 ppg in neutral site games and 68.8 ppg in their last 5 games overall. For the Canes they have been a solid defensive team this year, but they have allowed 65 ppg in their last 5 games and 67.1 ppg on the road. Both teams are solid from long range and both teams can hit their FTs which should come in handy down the stretch. It won't be easy but I do see those late FTs putting this one over the total.
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Teddy Covers & Steve Fezzik Preview The Final 4
Teddy Covers and Steve Fezzik from Pregame.com give a full preview of the upcoming Final 4 in the NCAA Tournament, which will take place on Saturday (04/04/15)