The No.2-seeded Miami (FL) Hurricanes take on the No.1-seeded Temple Owls in the semifinals of the NIT tournament at Madison Square Garden. The game starts at 7:00 pm ET on Tuesday, Mar. 31 and will air on ESPN.
The Owls won big over Louisiana Tech 77-59 in the quarterfinals. Will Cummings was the team’s high scorer with 23 points on 7-for-17 shooting. The Hurricanes, meanwhile, are coming off a 63-61 win over Richmond in the quarterfinals. James Palmer played well, posting 17 points, six rebounds, and zero steals.
Over the last five games, Cummings has really been playing well for the Owls. During that stretch, he has averaged 16.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 3.4 steals, and 0.8 three-pointers.
The Owls should be expected to protect the ball well in this contest. They rank seventh in the nation at avoiding errors (TO% of 15.4%). Meanwhile, Miami (FL) forces the 55th-fewest turnovers in the nation (31.6%).
Temple is a small underdog, with Miami (FL) favored by one. The Over/Under (O/U) is 142 points. The Owls are attempting to build on their records of 26-10 Straight Up (SU) and 17-15-1 Against The Spread (ATS). The Owls have a distinct advantage on the boards in this matchup. They are the 26th-ranked rebounding team in Division I, averaging 38.0 per game, while the Hurricanes rank 200th in the nation with 33.9 per game. Few teams in the nation have a higher assist-to-turnover ratio than Temple, which ranks 48th at 1.24. Turning to the defensive side, opposing offenses have been stifled by the Owls, allowing a field goal percentage of only .391.
On the other side, Miami (FL) has a SU record of 24-12 and an ATS record of 16-17-1. Miami (FL) is one of the top foul-shooting teams in the nation, converting .736 of their shots from the line. The Hurricanes rarely make the wrong play with the ball. They have the 32nd-best assist-to-turnover ratio in the country at 1.32.
Temple and Miami (FL) will be facing off in their first head-to-head clash of the season. When they last met the Owls were winners, evening up the two teams’ head-to-head record (1-1). They are even bets ATS as well (1-1).
Predictions: SU Winner – TEMPLE, ATS Winner – TEMPLE, O/U – Over
Temple is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games.
The Miami (FL) Hurricanes have a defensive rating of 173.2 (ranked 96th), while the Temple Owls have an offensive rating of 99.2 (ranked 255th).
Temple averages 65.1 possessions per game, scoring .992 points on each possession. While Miami (FL) averages fewer possessions per game with 63.6, they score more points per possession with 1.083.
Miami (FL) has an average effective field goal percentage of 51.2%. Temple is an even 3-3 when opponents have a similar or higher effective field goal percentage.
Temple ranks 48th in the nation with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.24, while Miami (FL) ranks 32nd with an A/TO of 1.32.
Temple, the 26th-ranked team in rebounding, register an average of 38.0 rebounds per game. Miami (FL) does worse, ranked 200th with 33.9.
Miami (FL) ranks 252nd in offensive rebounds, while Temple ranks at 48th in defensive rebounds.
Aaron Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.