Can Longhorns get past Panthers?

Can Longhorns get past Panthers?

After a shock to the system in the Big 12 tournament, Shaka Smart’s Longhorns hope to have things corrected tonight in Oklahoma City.

Online sports book BetDSI likes those chances of recovery. The boys from Austin are 4-point favorites against Northern Iowa in the finale of a four-game pack at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

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The Panthers, winners of 12 of 13, bound into the proceedings after edging Evansville for the Missouri Valley Conference tourney title. Senior guard Wes Washpun delivered the buzzer-beater in that thriller on March 6, continuing his recent tear from the perimeter.

UT boasts the athleticism and quickness to neutralize some of Northern Iowa’s marksmen, but it also disappointed in last week’s 75-61 defeat to Baylor. One silver lining: Premier center Cameron Ridley finally returned to the lineup following a lengthy absence due to a broken foot.

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It remains to be seen how large of a role the Longhorns’ mountain in the middle can play. There’s no question, however, that guards Isaiah Taylor and Javan Felix would benefit immensely from having a legitimate post presence to feed once again.

Texas’ depth also presents an issue for UNI. Smart goes 11-deep with his rotation, which should ultimately make the difference. Expect a very tight affair, however, and one that reaches the 130s.

FRIDAY NCAA FREE PICK: NORTHERN IOWA/TEXAS OVER 124.5 POINTS

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