NIT Basketball Matchup at a Glance
- Where: Redbird Arena in Normal, IL
- Date & Time: March 20, 2017 at 7:00 PM EST
- Point Spread: Illinois State -5 (WagerWeb)
- Total: 127.5 (WagerWeb)
- Quick Pick: Bet Illinois State -5 (Knup)
It’s the second round of the National Invitational Tournament on Monday, as the Central Florida Knights travel to Normal Illinois, to take on the Illinois State Redbirds. The winner of this game will advance to the Round of 8 in the tournament. The Central Florida Knights are a 4 seed in the tournament, and finished 4th in the AAC. The Knights are 22-11 on the season.
The Illinois State Redbirds are the top seed in the tournament after being left out of the big dance. The Redbirds tied with Wichita State for the Missouri Valley Conference regular season title. The Redbirds lost to the Shockers in the conference tournament title game. Illinois State comes into the game with a 28-6 record, after being UC-Irvine last week. The Illinois State Redbirds are -5 at WagerWeb.
Redbirds Solid on Defense
The Illinois State Redbirds are one of the best teams in the country defensively. Dan Muller’s team is allowing opponents to score just 61.3 points per game. The Redbirds are also scoring just shy of 70 points per game. The top scorer for Illinois State this season has been Deontae Hawkins, with 14 per game.
The Redbirds have just six losses all season. Illinois State lost in the regular season to Wichita State, and then in the Valley title game. The Redbirds may get a chance to host state rival Illinois if they can come away with a win in this game, and the Illini down Boise State.
Knights Looking to Spring Upset
The Central Florida Knights are in the NIT while the Big Dance is going on. This is a program that has never won a NCAA Tournament game. The Knights won 22 regular season games, and the top reason was their defense. Central Florida allowed 61 points per game, which was fifth best in the country.
The top scorer for Central Florida this season was guard B.J. Taylor. He scored 17.5 points per game, and dished out 3.5 assists per game. Big man Tacko Fall is is one of the top shooters in the country. Fall made nearly 73% of his shots during the regular season, standing at 7’6.
Redbirds Win at Home
This should be a great NIT game. Both of these teams can really guard the basketball. Scoring in this game will not be an easy task. The Illinois State Redbirds are on a mission, feeling they should be in the NCAA Tournament. Look for the crowd at Illinois State to help feed the Redbirds.
The Illinois State Redbirds should win this game. The Redbirds are favorites, and if they shoot the ball well enough, they will win. The final bet for this game on Monday night at Redbird Arena is to bet the favorite. At WagerWeb, take the Illinois State Redbirds -5 over the Central Florida Knights.