Thursday is almost here. We just need to get through one more day of meaningless NIT, CBI and CIT action, in addition to the two final First Four games in Dayton:
- N.C. Central vs. Texas Southern -5.5 (6:40 p.m. ET on TRUtv)
- Syracuse vs. Arizona State -1.5 (9:10 p.m. ET on TRUtv)
I’ll spare rehashing the myriad reasons why Syracuse didn’t deserve an NCAA Tournament bid. However, that should certainly provide the Orange with bulletin board material, and we’ve routinely seen the perceived “should be in the NIT” team win in Dayton. I’ll also spare rehashing the egregious decision by the committee to pit the two HBCU participants against each other in the First Four for the first time ever. Let’s just get straight to the matchups in what should actually be two fairly interesting schematic battles.
Follow me on twitter at @jorcubsdan for in-game commentary, injury updates, and second-half recommendations. I pulled all lines from 5Dimes at the time of publication.
North Carolina Central vs. Texas Southern -5.5 | O/U: 146.5
6:40 p.m. ET on TruTV
First, both NCC coach LeVelle Moton and TSU coach Mike Davis are excellent. This marks Davis’ eighth tournament appearance and the third for Moton. The two are also very good friends and know each other’s tendencies on the court.
Offensively, Texas Southern is playing at an incredibly high level. The Tigers are riding a seven-game win streak in which they’ve scored 1.27 points per possession. After a slew of injuries and suspensions, Davis finally has his full roster in place.