College Basketball NIT Championship: Iowa Hawkeyes vs Baylor Bears
2013 NIT Championship
#3 Iowa Hawkeyes vs #2 Baylor Bears
Thursday, April 4, 2013, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Madison Square Garden – New York City, New York
Opening Line: Iowa -1
Current Line: Iowa -2 1/2
Opening Total: 139
Current Total: 142
Opening Money Line: Iowa -120 / Baylor +100
Current Money Line: Iowa -135 / Baylor +115
The 25-12 Iowa Hawkeyes and 22-14 Baylor Bears will meet Thursday for the 2013 NIT Championship. Neither has won the tournament before, but Baylor did lose in the 2009 NIT Championship game to Penn St. Iowa won the only previous meeting between the Bears and Hawkeyes at home in 1983. The Hawkeyes advanced past the quarterfinals of the NIT for the first time in program history this year.
Iowa was alone in 6th in the Big Ten at 9-9. The Hawkeyes lost to Michigan St 59-56 in the Big Ten quarterfinals. Iowa was given a #3 seed in the NIT. The Hawkeyes beat Indiana St 68-52 in the first round and Stony Brook 75-63 in the second round, both in Iowa City. Stony Brook upset #2 seed UMass in the first round. Iowa won at Virginia 75-64 in the quarterfinals. The loss snapped a 19 game home winning streak for the Cavaliers.
The Hawkeyes beat Maryland 71-60 in Tuesday’s semifinals in New York. The Hawkeyes have won 11 of their last 14 games. Iowa took a 14 point lead in the first half. Maryland would close the gap to 4 points in the second half with about 12 minutes to go. Iowa went on a 9-3 run to go up by 10. The Terrapins would never really threaten again. Guard/forward Roy Devyn Marble scored 21 points and added 9 rebounds for the Hawkeyes.
Baylor went 9-9 in the Big 12 and were in 6th place. The Bears lost to Oklahoma St in the Big 12 quarterfinals. The Bears were also snubbed by the NCAA, and were given a 2 seed in the NIT. Baylor had 3 home games to get here. The Bears crushed Long Beach St 112-66 in the first round, and Arizona St 89-86 in the second round. Baylor pulled away late against Providence in a 79-68 win in the quarterfinals.
The Bears beat BYU 76-70 in the semifinals Tuesday. Baylor guard Pierre Jackson had 24 points and 10 assists in the win. It was his third straight double double, and this will be the last game of the senior Jackson’s college career. Byalor seemed to have the control late, but BYU rallied to within 71-68 with 38 seconds left on a 3 pointer from guard Matt Carlino. Carlino shot 5/15 from beyond the arc. Jackson made one of two free throws to put Baylor up 4. Carlino missed a 3 at the other end, and Baylor held on for the six point win.
Iowa is coached by Fran McCaffery. The Hawkeyes have losses to Wichita St in Cancun, Mexico, at Virginia Tech, Indiana twice, at Michigan, Michigan St twice, at Ohio St, at Purdue, at Minnesota, at Wisconsin, and at Nebraska. Iowa has wins over Central Michigan, Western Kentucky in Cancun, Iowa St, Northern Iowa, Northwestern 3 times, Wisconsin, Penn St twice, Minnesota, Purdue, Illinois, and Nebraska. The Hawkeyes are 24-9 ATS and the total is 13-19-1.
Iowa is outscoring teams 71-63 this season. The Hawkeyes are shooting 42.4% from the field and 30.9% from 3 point range. Iowa is #297 out of 347 teams in 3 point shooting. The Hawkeyes make 73% of their free throws. Iowa averages 39.1 rebounds per game, and give up 30.5 per game. The Hawkeyes are #13 nationally in rebounding. Iowa opponents are shooting 38.8% from the field and 29.1% from the field. The Hawkeyes are 18th or better in both categories. Iowa averages 15 assists, 7 steals, 5 blocks, and 13 turnovers per game.
Guard / forward Roy Devyn Marble averages 15.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Forward Aaron White averages 12.9.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Guard Mike Gesell averages 8.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Forward Melsahn Basabe averages 7.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. Zach McCabe averages 5.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game. Eric May, Adam Woodbury, Josh Oglesby, Anthony Clemmons and Gabriel Olaseni also get significant minutes.
Baylor is coached by Scott Drew. Baylor has losses to Colorado in a tournament in Charleston, home losses to College of Charleston, Northwestern, and Oklahoma twice and at Gonzaga, Kansas, Iowa St twice, Oklahoma St twice, and Kansas St twice, and Texas. Baylor has key wins over Boston College and St. Joseph’s in Charleston, at Kentucky, Texas Tech, and TCU, and home wins against BYU, Texas, TCU, Oklahoma St, Texas Tech, West Virginia twice and Kansas. Baylor is 16-15 ATS and the total is 16-14 this season.
Baylor is outscoring teams 76-67. They are #21 in scoring. The Bears are shooting 45.9% from the field and 35.5% from 3 point range. The Bears make 68.6% of their free throws. Baylor averages 37.6 rebounds per game and give up 31.1 per game. The Bears are #45 in rebounding. Baylor opponents are shooting 41.1% from the field and 31.8% from 3 point range. The Bears average 16 assists, 7 steals, 5 blocks and 12 turnovers per game.
Baylor guard Pierre Jackson averages 19.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 6.9 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. Center Isaiah Austin averages 12.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game. Forward Cory Jefferson averages 12.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game. Guard Brady Heslip averages 8.9 points and 1.3 rebounds per game. Guard A.J. Walton averages 7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. Rico Gathers, Gary Franklin, and Deuce Bello make up the rest of the rotation.
Iowa is 9-0 ATS in non-conference games, 4-0 in neutral site games, 18-3 after a win, 18-4 after a cover, 23-6 overall, and 20-7 against teams with winning records.
Baylor is 5-1 ATS overall, against teams with winning records, and in non-conference games, 4-1 in Thursday games, and 10-22 after a cover.
Both teams are comfortable playing in the 70’s but Iowa needs to slow it down as they don’t want to get into a track meet with Baylor. Iowa has the rebounding advantage but the Hawkeyes struggle to shoot the 3. I think Baylor wins in a mild upset to claim their first NIT title.
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