Can Huskies keep up with Gauchos?
The road wasn’t especially accommodating to Northern Illinois this season, but could Sin City represent just the tonic for Mark Montgomery’s team?
It’s a MAC-Big West tussle in the day’s second contest at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, with a 5:30 p.m. ET tip for the Vegas 16 action. Online sports book Bovada.lv currently recognizes the Huskies as 5-point underdogs entering their bout with UC Santa Barbara.
NIU (21-12) compiled a dismal away record of 3-10. The DeKalb-based squad had won two straight and three of four, however, before falling at the hands of Ohio in conference tournament play. Six-foot-11 sophomore center Marin Maric leads four Huskies in double figures with 12.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per contest.
On the other side, the Gauchos (18-13) saw their nine-game winning spree come to an end vs. Hawaii on March 11. Bob Williams’s squad began the campaign by dropping 12 of its first 21, so we’re talking about a truly striking turnaround here. Senior guard Michael Bryson frequently spearheaded UC Santa Barbara’s charge back to relevance. The Sacramento native has drained at least three 3-pointers in five of the last six affairs.
If Bryson falters against Northern Illinois’ pretty stout perimeter defense, can Gabe Vincent (13.9 points) and John Green (10.8) carry the rope? Play the recent trends, and vote for the school whose performance doesn’t fluctuate wildly depending on the locale.
MONDAY NCAA FREE PICK: UC SANTA BARBARA -5