College Basketball First Four Betting Picks: Vanderbilt Commodores vs Wichita State Shockers

2016 NCAA Tournament
South Region – First Four
#11 Vanderbilt Commodores vs #11 Wichita State Shockers
Tuesday, March 15, 2016, 9:10 pm Eastern, TV: TruTV
UD Arena – Dayton, Ohio
Opening Line: Wichita State -3
Current Line: Wichita State -3 1/2
Opening Total: 134 1/2
Current Total: 134 1/2
Opening Money Line: Wichita State -170 / Vanderbilt +150
Current Money Line: Wichita State -160 / Vanderbilt +140

Wichita State takes on Vanderbilt in the First Four Tuesday night in Dayton.
Wichita State takes on Vanderbilt in the First Four Tuesday night in Dayton.

The 24-8 Wichita State Shockers were the only mid-major program to receive an at-large bid to the 2016 NCAA Tournament. Worthy teams such as Monmouth, St. Mary’s and San Diego State were snubbed, but that is the risk you take when you don’t win your conference’s automatic bid in a mid major. The Shockers will take on the 19-13 Vanderbilt Commodores in the First Four Tuesday night in Dayton. The winner will face #6 seed Arizona in the South Region first round Thursday in Providence. This is only the second ever meeting between Vanderbilt and Wichita State. The Commodores win the previous meeting in the 2005 NIT.

Vanderbilt tied for third in the SEC at 11-7 with South Carolina and LSU. The Commodores were upset 67-65 in the second round of the SEC tournament by Tennessee. The Commodores return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012.

Wichita State won the Missouri Valley Conference regular season title with a 16-2 record. However, the Shockers were upset in the MVC semifinals 57-52 by Northern Iowa. Wichita State is making their fifth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Shockers can also get to 25 wins for an NCAA record seventh straight season.

Vanderbilt is coached by Kevin Stallings. Vanderbilt has neutral site losses to Kansas in the Maui Invitational and Tennessee, plus road losses at Baylor, Purdue, Arkansas, South Carolina, Kentucky, Texas, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Texas A&M. The Commodores have home losses to Dayton and LSU. Vanderbilt has home wins over Austin Peay, Gardner-Webb, Stony Brook, Detroit, Western Michigan, Auburn, Alabama, Florida, Texas A&M, Missouri, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee. The Commodores have neutral site wins over St. John’s and Wake Forest in Maui, plus road wins over Tennessee, Auburn and Florida. Vanderbilt went 4-7 against NCAA Tournament teams this season. The Commodores are 15-15 ATS and the total is 15-14-1 this season. Vanderbilt was a 12 point favorite against Tennessee and the total was 148 in the SEC Tournament.

Wichita State is coached by Gregg Marshall. The Shockers have neutral site losses to USC, Alabama and Iowa in a tournament in Orlando and Northern Iowa in the MVC tournament in St. Louis, plus road losses at Tulsa, Seton Hall, and Illinois State, and a home loss to Northern Iowa. Wichita State has a neutral site win over Loyola-Illinois, plus road wins over Saint Louis, and home wins over Utah, UNLV and  Nevada.  Wichita State has conference wins over Evansville twice, Southern Illinois twice, Illinois State and Northern Iowa. The Shockers went 2-6 against NCAA Tournament teams. WSU is 18-12 ATS and the total is 13-16-1 this season. The Shockers were 9 point favorites against Northern Iowa and the total was 123.

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Vanderbilt is outscoring teams 77-67 this season. The Commodores are shooting 46.1% from the field and 38.8% from 3 point range. The Commodores are #20 nationally in three point shooting. Vanderbilt makes 69.9% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 38.6% from the field and 29.2% from 3 point range. The Commodores are in the top 10 nationally in both categories. Vanderbilt averages 38.6 rebounds per game and opponents average 33.7 per game. The Commodores average 14.9 assists, 11.7 turnovers, 4.3 assists and 5.5 blocks per game. Opponents average 10.3 assists, 10 turnovers, 4.6 steals and 3.1 blocks per game.

Wade Baldwin IV averages 14.3 points, 4 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Damian Jones averages 14.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.6 blocks per game. Matthew Fisher-Davis averages 9.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game. Jeff Roberson averages 9.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. Luke Kornet averages 8.9 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 3 blocks per game. Four other players get time in the rotation.

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Wichita State is outscoring teams 73-59 this season. The Shockers are #1 in the country in points allowed. Wichita State is shooting 43.4% from the field and 33% from three point range. The Shockers make 71.4% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 38.4% from the field and 32.4% from 3 point range. The Shockers are #6 in field goal defense. WSU averages 37.5 rebounds per game and opponents average 27.7. The Shockers average 14.3 assists, 9.9 turnovers, 7.2 steals and 3.7 blocks per game. Opponents average 9.1 assists, 15.5 turnovers, 4.7 steals and 2.9 rebounds per game.

Ron Baker averages 14.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Fred VanVleet averages 12 points, 3.1 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Guard Landry Shamet has missed all but three games this season with a foot injury. Seven other players see significant time in the rotation.

Vanderbilt is 10-4 ATS in non-conference games, 29-13 in Tuesday games, 37-18 after failing to cover, and 1-4 in NCAA Tournament games.

Wichita State is 4-0 ATS after a straight up loss, 6-2 after failing to cover, 16-6 overall, 7-3 in NCAA Tournament games, 6-13 in non-conference games, 2-5 against SEC teams, 1-4 against teams with winning records, and 1-10 in neutral site games.

Both of teams were ranked in the top 20 at the beginning of the season. It is a little surprising that they are playing just to get into the field of 64, but here we are. Both of these teams play really good defense so this should be a low scoring affair. I think the Shockers will feel a little disrespected by the committee having to play in the First Four. I like the Shockers to win by pulling away late.

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