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4/1/2014 12:00:00 AM
Every day this NCAA post-season, LT Profits Sports seeks one single tournament play that has the best chance of cashing. Here is their Tournament Play of the Day Tuesday.
Just like the NCAA Tournament, the CIT has also reached its Final Four and the road underdog could have value in one of the matchups Tuesday night when those Pacific Tigers (18-15, 5-8 away) pay a visit to the Murray State Racers (21-11, 15-1 home) at the CFSB Center in Murray, KY at 9:00 ET in a game televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.
The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Pacific as a road underdog for this contest with the current line at +6 with odds of -106.
Murray State became somewhat of a national darling a couple of years ago when it had a 28-1 regular season after a 23-0 start, but the Racers were the second seeds in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament this season and got upset by the eventual conference champions from Eastern Kentucky in the tournament semifinals. Thus it was the Colonels that gained the automatic NCAA bid while the Racers were delegated here to the CIT.
Pacific went just 15-14 during the regular season and then lost its first game in the WCC Tournament to Santa Clara, but the Tigers have made the most of their invite to this CIT with three nice wins with the most recent coming vs. their fellow WCC members from San Diego 75-60 back home in Stockton last Wednesday.
Granted the Tigers did not match their success from their final season in the Big West last year when they won 22 games and won the Big West Tournament en route to an NCAA Tournament meeting with the Miami Hurricanes, but they did not seem overwhelmed this season either despite moving to a stronger conference, as the WCC is ranked ninth as a whole on the Pomeroy Ratings while the Big West is ranked 19th.
Yes, Pacific went just 6-12 in Big West play, but it is still at 18 wins right now vs. a schedule ranked 105th in SOS, and while that may not seem like much, it is still considerably better than the schedule that Murray State has faced.
These teams are fairly close in adjusted offensive efficiency with Pacific ranking 100th in the country grading out at 108.4 points per 100 possessions, just slightly behind Murray State in 93rd at 108.9 points, but the Tigers appear to have edges in the offensive rebounding and free throw shooting departments.
Pacific is above average in offensive rebounding percentage at 32.2 percent vs. a national average of 31.4 percent, but Murray State is ranked a terrible 234th in defensive rebounding percentage. And if this is a close game late, Pacific is a sensational seventh in the country in free throw percentage at 77.1 percent while the Racers are just 293rd at a poor 66.3 percent.
This is not the same Murray State team that captured the hearts of the nation during the 2011-12 season, although these Racers can still score, ranking 35th nationally at 77.6 points per game. However, keep in mind that they have accomplished that vs. a schedule ranked 245th in SOS.
Also, while Murray State went 15-1 here at home this season, that loss came to a Middle Tennessee State team ranked 80th on the Pomeroy Ratings. The significance of that is that Pacific represents the Racers’ second biggest home test this season after failing their first, as MTSU was the only team they hosted all year ranked higher than this Pacific team!
With this in mind, take the points with the Pacific Tigers in the CIT on Tuesday.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Pacific +6 (-106)