Middle Tennessee vs. Minnesota Pick
Can No. 5 Minnesota live up to its seeding when it takes on No. 12 Middle Tennessee in the South Region of the NCAA Tournament today at 4PM ET?
According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, Middle Tennessee is actually the favorite in this game, as the Blue Raiders are getting odds of -1 point against Minnesota. The over/under total for the game is listed at 136.5 points. This game will take part in the South Region and air on TNT from the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Middle Tennessee is rolling along right now. The Blue Raiders have won 10 straight to move to 30-4 on the season. They won the C-USA regular-season and tournament titles this season. They have also been an impressive 23-10 against the spread on the year while going 14-5 ATS away from home. MTSU averages 74.2 points per game on offense while allowing just 63.3 on defense. JaCorey Williams is leading the team with 17.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game while Giddy Potts is averaging 15.8 points and 5.5 boards per contest.
Minnesota is coming off an 84-77 loss to Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament to drop to 24-9 on the season. The Golden Gophers finished fourth in the Big Ten, but many were surprised to see them get a 5 seed. The Gophers went 19-12 against the spread this season, including 8-5 ATS away from home. Minnesota averaged 75.3 points per game on offense this season while allowing 69.1 on defense. Nate Mason has led the team with 15.5 points and 5 assists per game while Jordan Murphy adds 11.2 points and 8.8 rebounds per contest. Akeem Springs, who has averaged 9.5 points per game, will be out after rupturing his Achilles in the Big Ten Tournament.
Middle Tennessee pulled off arguably the biggest upset in the NCAA Tournament’s history last year when it beat Michigan State in the opening round. The Blue Raiders are better now than they were last year and facing a less-talented team than MSU this time around. Minnesota shouldn’t have been a five seed and now comes in below 100 percent. I think the Blue Raiders won’t be intimidated by the situation of being in the NCAA Tournament, while Minnesota will feel some nerves.
MARCH MADNESS PREDICTION: MIDDLE TENNESSEE -1