Tonight the Murray State Racers will do battle with the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at the Donald Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the 2nd round of the NIT Tournament. The game has a start time of 9:00 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on ESPN. Current Vegas betting odds have the Golden Hurricane listed as 4 point favorites, while the total is set at 143.
Analysis: The Murray State Racers had won 25 games in a row at one point this year, but still that wasn't enough to get them into the Big Dance. They could have had they won their conference tourney come, but an upset loss to Belmont took care of that. Murray State didn't let the snub affect them in their first round 81-66 win over UTEP. The Racers and now 28-5 on the year overall, including 11-1 on the road. The Racers have gone 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games, but just 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games following a S.U. win. The Racers have been a very good offensive team this year, ranking 9th in scoring (79.2 ppg), 12th in shooting (48.4%), 32nd in 3 point shooting (38.5%) and 145th in FT shooting (69.9%). The defense for this team has not been so good this year as they come in ranked 205th in points allowed (67.7 ppg), 81st in defensive FG% (40.9%) and 167th in 3 point defense (34.0%).
The Tulsa Golden Hurricane finished 2nd in the regular season AAC standings, after leading the conference for much the year. They really didn't well down the stretch as they last 4 of their final 5 games, including a loss to UConn in the AAC Tournament. The Golden Hurricane bounced back from the loss to UConn in a hard fought 70-67 win over William & Mary in the first round of the NIT Tournament. Tulsa is now 23-10 overall and 13-4 at home. Tulsa has gone 8-1 ATS in their last 9 home games vs. a team with a winning road record, but 0-4 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games. The Golden Hurricane have been a below average offensive team this year, ranking 251st in scoring (64.4 ppg), 258th in shooting (42.0%), 233rd in 3 point shooting (33.0%) and 321st in FT shooting (64.7%). Defensively Tulsa has been very good this year, ranking 28th in points allowed (60.0 ppg), 25th in defensive FG% (39.0%) and 106th in 3 point defense (32.9%).
Pick: Just not seeing this game being that high scoring. i know that Murray State is very good on offense and not so good on defense, but Tulsa at home will really slow this game and not let the scoring get out of have. Tulsa home games this year ave averaged just 126.7 ppg this year and just 2 of their home games (In Regulation) all year have scored more than tonight's total. Both of those games were back in December and since then their last 11 home games have averaged just 122 ppg, with just one of those games putting up more than 131 points. This team will not be sped up at at home on offense, while on defense that have allowed just 58.8 ppg on their home court for the year. Murray State has been good on offense this year, but also remember that they are playing in a very defensive depraved conference, so their offensive numbers are a bit tainted. Defensively they have not been all that good this year, but Tulsa is an offensively challenged team that really plays at a slow pace. Tulsa home games have been very low scoring this year and even with the new shot clock rules I just can't see them playing a game in the 140s at this venue.
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NCAA Basketball: Who Can Win it All?
Teddy Covers and Steve Fezzik from Pregame.com discuss who they feel will win it all in the NCAA Tournament, while throwing in some teams that have a chance to make a deep run in the tournament.