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Where: Redbird Arena, Normal, Illinois
COLLEGE BASKETBALL – Monday, March 20th – NIT TOURNAMENT – SECOND ROUND
|Team / Live in game Betting at||Spread||Money Line||Total|
|615 –Central Florida Knights||+4½ -110||+180||Ov 128 -110|
|616 –Illinois State Redbirds||-4½ -110||-210||Un 128 -110|
The Central Florida Knights and the Illinois State Redbirds will both be trying to pick up a win on Monday when they battle at Redbird Arena.
ABOUT UCF (22-11): B.J. Taylor is one of the better offensive players still participating in the NIT, but the Knights are at their best when he is one of many scorers for the team – not just the dominant one. In UCF’s loss to SMU in the American Athletic Conference tournament, Taylor and Nick Banyard combined for 36 of the team’s 59 points, taking 26 of the squad’s 49 field-goal shots and 15 of its 26 3-point attempts. But in the win over Colorado – and if the team is going to be successful going forward – Taylor was one of four players to score in double figures, not allowing the opposing defense to focus on one or two players in order to shut down the Knights’ offense.
ABOUT ILLINOIS STATE (28-6): It may be the case with many teams, but when Illinois State is hitting its shots from beyond the arc, it is nearly unbeatable. After falling to Wichita State in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament title game while going 6-of-28 on 3-pointers, the Redbirds were focused on getting things started in their NIT opener against UC Irvine – with Hawkins hitting a trio of 3-pointers before the game was five minutes old. Illinois State finished 13-of-25 from beyond the arc, led by Hawkins’ career-best 6-of-6 effort, and ran away from the Anteaters – showing the kind of offensive aggressiveness coach Dan Muller has been wanting from his seniors.
UCF looks to advance another round in the NIT when it travels to face top-seeded Illinois State in a second-round contest Monday. The Knights are No. 1 in the nation in field-goal percentage defense, holding teams to 36.4 percent shooting, but the Redbirds are almost as good, ranking fifth at 37.8 percent.
UCF coach Johnny Dawkins has one of the top defensive big men in the country on his roster in the 7-6 Tacko Fall, who averages 2.5 blocks to go along with his 11.1 points and 9.5 rebounds. The Knights never had won a game in either the NCAA Tournament or NIT before defeating Colorado at home in the opening round. Illinois State still feels it has something to prove after being one of the last teams left out of the NCAA Tournament, so it is playing with more of a purpose than many squads in the NIT. While the Redbirds are tough defensively, they also are explosive on offense, with Deontae Hawkins (14 points, 69 3-pointers) and Paris Lee (13.1, 78) capable of breaking open a game with their outside shooting.
Last time out for Illinois State, they were a 85-71 winner as they battled Anteaters at home. They covered in the match as a -10-point favorite.
Last time out for Central Florida, they were a 79-74 winner as they battled Buffaloes at home. They covered in the match as a -3.5-point favorite.
Team record: 22-11 SU,15-13 ATS
Central Florida is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
Central Florida is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Central Florida’s last 6 games
Team record: 28-6 SU,18-15 ATS
Illinois State is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
Illinois State is 21-2 SU in its last 23 games
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Illinois State’s last 12 games
MARCH MADNESS BETTING TIPS
1. UCF is fourth in the nation in rebounds at 41 per game and sixth in rebounding margin at plus-8.5.
2. Illinois State ranks eighth in the country with 61.3 points allowed per game.
3. The winner of this contest will take on the victor of the second-round matchup between Illinois and Boise State.
Vegas Coverage pick and prediction:
Picks: Illinois State Redbirds will cover the spread at -4.5 and the game will stay under 128 points, according to scamdicappers.com
|Central Florida is 3-6 SU in its last 9 games on the road|
|Central Florida is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games on the road|
|The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Illinois State’s last 12 games|
|Illinois State is 21-2 SU in its last 23 games|
|Illinois State is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games at home|
|The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Illinois State’s last 8 games at home|
|Illinois State is 13-1 SU in its last 14 games at home|
|Central Florida’s Overall Scoring vs Illinois State’s Overall Defense||67.6||296||61.3||8|
|Central Florida’s Away Scoring vs Illinois State’s Home Defense||62.5||323||61.4||25|
|Central Florida’s Road Rebounds vs Illinois State’s Home Rebounds Allowed||37.0||69||36.1||251|
|Illinois State’s Overall Scoring vs Central Florida’s Overall Defense||69.3||266||61.0||5|
|Illinois State’s Home Scoring vs Central Florida’s Road Defense||69.7||298||65.7||21|
|Illinois State’s Home Rebounds vs Central Florida’s Road Rebounds Allowed||38.5||87||33.3||53|
|TOP 3/BOTTOM 3|
|Central Florida is second best in the league in field goal percentage against allowing 36.4.|
|No trends to report|