Matchup: Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Baylor Bears
Date/Time: April 4th, 9:00 ET
College Basketball Odds from WagerWeb
Point Spread: Pick ‘Em
After whittling through 30 teams, there are only two that are left standing in the NIT, and the college basketball betting lines will be contested in the final game of the year for the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Baylor Bears.
Iowa very well could have been the most talented team in America that didn’t get into the NCAA Tournament. It wasn’t an accident that this team covered 23 of its final 29 games of the season, and it certainly isn’t an accident that it is going to be playing here at Madison Square Garden for the NIT Final either. This is a team that has grown and grown in a huge way here in the second season, and though it would be nice to win this game, even losing it isn’t the end of the world, as the future is bright in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes are led by G Roy-Devyn Marble, who is going to be expected to be one of the top scorers in the conference next season. The junior has logged at least 20 points in each of the game sin the NIT this season, and he is averaging 15.2 points per game on the campaign. Keep a close eye on C Adam Woodbury as well. He has 19 points and 11 boards in his last two games after averaging just 4.7 points per game during the regular season.
Baylor loves to run it and gun it, and it has really done a great job here in the second season of playing its game. The Bears averaged 80.0 points per game in non-conference play in the regular season, and it was held to an average of just 69.0 points per game in its final 17 games played in the conference slate. Not surprisingly, if you just looked at this team in a bubble and took what it did out of conference, the Bears would have been probably a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Alas, failing in the Big XII and going 4-9 in its last 13 games is what kept Baylor at home from the dance. Now that we are back to playing non-conference basketball here in the NIT though, the Bears are doing their thing, averaging 89.0 points per game and flying up and down the court. Things are only going to get better if G Brady Heslip can knock down some threes though, knowing that he has been a very quiet player in the NIT Semifinals and Quarterfinals.
The Bears might be the more fun team to watch, but they haven’t played against a team this strong here in the NIT as of yet. Iowa isn’t going to be able to run with Baylor, but what it will be able to do is slow its foe down just a bit. We just don’t think that the Bears are going to be able to score all that much on the Hawkeyes, and the end result should be an NIT triumph at MSG for the Big Ten reps. Iowa 73 – Baylor 68
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.