NIT Quarterfinals: Vanderbilt Commodores at Stanford Cardinal

2015 NIT Quarterfinals
#5 Vanderbilt Commodores vs #2 Stanford Cardinals

Maples Pavilion – Stanford, California
Tuesday, March 24, 2015, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Stanford -3
Current Line: Stanford -4
Opening Total: 148 1/2
Current Total: 146 1/2
Opening Money Line: Stanford -160 / Vanderbilt +135
Current Money Line: Stanford -190 / Vanderbilt +160

Stanford is a 4 point favorite against Vanderbilt in the NIT quarterfinals.
Stanford is a 4 point favorite against Vanderbilt in the NIT quarterfinals.

The Vanderbilt Commodores and Stanford Cardinals are both 21-13 this season as they meet in the NIT quarterfinals Tuesday in Stanford. The winner will play either Old Dominion or Murray State in the semifinals next week in New York City. Stanford leads the series 2-0 against Vanderbilt but they haven’t played since 1988.

Vanderbilt went 9-9 in the SEC and finished in seventh place. The Commodores lost in the second round of the SEC Tournament to Tennessee. Vanderbilt was given a #5 seed in the NIT. The Commodores won on the road at St. Mary’s (CA) 75-64 in the first round before beating #8 seed South Dakota State 92-77 in the second round Friday in Nashville. Vanderbilt is making their 11th trip to the NIT and first since 2006. The Commodores won the NIT in 1990 and were the runner-ups in 1994.

Stanford went 9-9 in the Pac 12 and finished tied for fifth with Arizona. Stanford lost to Utah in the Pac 12 quarterfinals. The Cardinal were given a #2 seed in the NIT. Stanford beat UC-Davis 77-64 in the first round and Rhode Island 74-65 in the second round Sunday, both at home. Stanford is playing in their 7th NIT and won it in 1991 and 2012.

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Vanderbilt is coached by Kevin Stallings. The Commodores have neutral site losses to Rutgers in Brooklyn, and Tennessee in the SEC Tournament, home losses to Baylor, Georgia. LSU, and Tennessee, plus road losses to Georgia Tech, Arkansas, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Georgia,  Texas A&M and Florida. After a 7 game losing streak, Vanderbilt has gone 10-3 in their last 13 games. Vanderbilt has a neutral site win over LaSalle in Brooklyn, home wins over Purdue, Penn, Yale, Auburn, Florida, South Carolina, Missouri, Alabama, and Mississippi State, plus road wins over Saint Louis, Alabama, Tennessee and Ole Miss. The Commodores are 18-13 ATS and the total is 17-10-2 this season. Vanderbilt was an 8.5 point favorite against South Dakota State and the total was 148.

Stanford is coached by Johnny Dawkins. The Cardinal have road losses at DePaul, BYU, UCLA, Washington State, Utah, Colorado, Arizona State and Arizona, plus neutral site losses to Duke in Brooklyn and Utah in the Pac 12 Tournament, and home losses to Arizona, UCLA and Oregon. The Cardinal have home wins over Delaware, Denver, Loyola Marymount, Washington State, Washington, Connecticut, Arizona State, USC, California and Oregon State. Stanford also has neutral site wins over UNLV in Brooklyn and Washington in the Pac 12 Tournament, plus road wins at Texas, USC, California and Washington. The Cardinal are 15-18-1 ATS and the total is 16-17-1 this season. Stanford was a 5 point favorite against Rhode Island  and the total was 141.5.

Vanderbilt is outscoring teams 71-64. The Commodores are shooting 47.4% from the field and 38.8% from 3 point range. Vanderbilt is #30 nationally in both categories. The Commodores are shooting 70.5% from the free throw line. Opponents are shooting 40.4% from the field and 33.9% from the field. Vanderbilt averages 34 rebounds per game and opponents average 29 per game. The Commodores average 15.5 assists, 12.9 turnovers, 4.9 steals and 5.4 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.1 assists, 11.7 turnovers, 6.6 steals and 3 blocks per game.

Damian Jones averages 14.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2 blocks per game. Riley LaChance averages 12.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game. Wade Baldwin IV averages 9.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. James Siakam averages 9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1 steal and 1.2 blocks per game. Luke Kornet averages 8.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.1 blocks per game. Three other players average at least 19 minutes a game in the rotation.

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Stanford is outscoring teams 73-67 this season. Stanford is #53 nationally in scoring. The Cardinal are shooting 43.5% from the field including 38% from 3 point range. The Cardinal are #48 nationally in 3 point shooting. Stanford makes 72.4% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 42.8% from the field and 37.7% from 3 point range. Stanford averages 36.7 rebounds per game and opponents average 29.1. The Cardinal average 12.9 assists, 10.5 turnovers, 5.9 steals and 3.1 blocks per game. Opponents average 12.2 assists, 12 turnovers, 4.3 steals and 3.3 blocks per game.

Guard Chasson Randle averages 20.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Anthony Brown averages 15.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists. Stefan Nastic averages 13.8 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.2 blocks per game. Rosco Allen averages 8.8 points, 5 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. Reid Travis averages 6.7 points, 6 assists and 1.1 steals per game.  Center Grant Verhoeven is questionable with a hip injury. Michael Humphrey is also questionable with an ankle injury.

Vanderbilt is 6-0 ATS against teams with winning records, 5-0 in road games and against teams with winning home records, 4-1 in non-conference games, 8-2 overall, 24-9 in Tuesday games, 5-2 after a win and a cover.

Stanford is 6-0 ATS in non-conference games, 7-3 in Tuesday games, 2-5 against teams with winning records, 4-10 overall, and 1-5 against SEC teams.

Both teams are comfortable playing in the 70’s so this could be high scoring. I think Vanderbilt has played better down the stretch and I like the Commodores to pull off the mild upset on the road.

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