Missouri Valley Conference Quarterfinals
#8 Indiana St Sycamores vs #1 Wichita St Shockers
Scottrade Center – St. Louis, Missouri
Friday, March 2. 2012, 1:05 pm Eastern, TV: FSN-Midwest, Indiana
Opening Line: Wichita St -12 1/2
Current Line: Wichita St -12
Opening Total: 133
Current Total: 130
Opening Money Line: WSU -1000 / ISU +700
Current Money Line: WSU -800 / ISU +600
The #14 Wichita St Shockers are one of the hottest teams in the country having won 16 of their last 17 games, and 8 in a row. The Shockers take their winning streak into the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, nicknamed “Arch Madness”, a play on the tournament’s traditional St. Louis site. Wichita St won the MVC regular season title with a 16-2 record by two games over Creighton. The Shockers won their regular season finale 81-58 against Drake last Saturday to finish 26-4
Wichita St will take on the #8 seed Indiana St Sycamores in the quarterfinals. The 18-13 Sycamores finished 8-10 in conference. However, after the top two teams, and not including lowly Southern Illinois and Bradley, the other 6 teams in the MVC were jumbled up. Five teams finished with 9-9 records in conference. The Sycamores beat Southern Illinois 66-51 in the opening round of the tournament Thursday night. Indiana St actually won this tournament last year to qualify for the NCAA tournament.
Wichita St leads the series 49-28 against Indiana St. The Shockers have won 7 of the last 8 in the series including a sweep of the season series this year. Both games were close, decided by 10 points or less. The only win for the Sycamores in the series recently came in last year’s MVC tournament.
Indiana St is coached by Greg Lansing. The Sycamores have losses to Minnesota, Boise St, Drake, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois, Illinois St, Creighton twice, Bradley and Butler. Indiana St has wins over Ball St, Green Bay, Texas Tech, Fairfield, Vanderbilt, Bradley, Evansville twice, Norhtern Iowa, Drake, Southern Illinois twice, Illinois St, and Missouri St.
Wichita St is coached by Gregg Marshall. The Shockers have losses to Alabama, Temple, Creighton, and Drake. The Shockers have wins over Colorado, UAB, CS-Fullerton, UNLV, Tulsa, Utah St and Davidson. The Shockers swept every other team in the MVC except for Creighton and Drake.
Indiana St is outscoring opponents 64.9-64.6 this season. The Sycamores are shooting 42.4% from the field, and 34.8% from 3 point range. ISU makes 72.7% of their free throws. The Sycamores average 32.8 rebounds a game with a rebounding margin of -0.2. Indiana St averages 12.2 assists, 12.3 turnovers, 5.9 steals, and 3.1 blocks a game. ISU opponents are shooting 42.7% from the field and 36.5% from 3 point range. The Sycamores force 12.5 turnovers a game.
ISU guard Dwayne Lathan averages 12.6 points, 5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists a game. Jake Odum averages 11.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 1.8 steals a game. He leads the Sycamores in rebounds, assists, and steals. Carl Richard averages 9.8 points and 4.9 rebounds a game. He makes 38% pf his 3 pointers. Myles Walker averages 8 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks a game to lead the team.
Wichita St is outscoring opponents 78-63 this season. The Shockers are shooting 49% from the field and 37.2% from 3 point range. WSU is in the top 15 nationally in scoring and field goal percentage. The Shockers are shooting 75.2% from the free throw line. Wichita averages 37.7 rebounds with a rebounding margin of +6.5. The Shockers average 15 assists, 12.1 turnovers, 6.3 steals, and 3.9 blocks a game. WSU opponents are shooting 39.7% from the field and 31.2% from 3 point range. The Shockers force 13.1 turnovers a game.
Wichita St center Garrett Stutz averages 14.1 points, 8 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1 block a game. Stutz leads the Shockers in scoring, rebounding, and blocks. Joe Ragland averages 13.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 3.4 assists to lead the team. He is shooting 47.7% from 3 point range. Toure’ Murry averages 12.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.2 steals a game to lead the team. Ben Smith averages 9.8 points and 2.9 rebounds a game. Smith is shooting 40% from 3 point range. David Kyles averages 8.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal a game. He is shooting 38.1% from 3 point range. Carl Hall averages 8.7 points and 5 rebounds a game. Forward James Anacreon is day to day with a groin injury.
ISU is 16-15 ATS and the total is 15-16 this season. WSU is 15-12 ATS this season and the total is 17-10 this season. Ten of the last twelve games have gone over in this series. The Sycamores are 6-1 ATS against teams with winning records, 5-1 overall, and a after a straight up win, 6-2 after a cover, 5-2 in neutral site games, 45-22 in MVC games, and 1-5 in Friday games. The Shockers are 6-0 ATS after a straight up win, against teams with winning records and overall, 5-0 after a cover, and in MVC games, and 8-2 in Friday games.
Though Wichita St is clearly the better team, Indiana St has played them tough this season, losing by 10 and 5 points in the two meetings. Anything can happen in conference tournaments if a team gets hot. I think Wichita St wins here to advance to the semifinals.