The late game of the NIT quarterfinals this evening features a nice Pac-12 showdown between the Huskies of Washington and the Ducks of Oregon. Find out why we are liking the Huskies to pick up the cover tonight.

This is a matchup people have hoped for in the NIT, and now the two teams play for the right to advance and play in New York City next week.

Washington earned a number one seed in the NIT this year, and they took advantage of it as well. They knocked out Texas-Arlington and then crushed Northwestern in the second round. Oregon’s high-powered offense has led them to this game, as they beat LSU and Iowa to meet up with the Huskies.

Sportsbooks have listed the Huskies as -4.5 home favorites in tonight’s contest. NCAA Basketball odds makers have set the matchup's total at 155, but some college basketball betting shops are starting to offer the total at 155.5.

Huskies down, but not out 

Oregon vs. Washington Washington was yet another conference number one seed that earned a first round bye and ended up with nothing to show for it. In the Pac-12 tournament, the Huskies were seeded number one overall, and got bounced out by ninth seeded Oregon State in the second round, 86-84. 

UW had an outstanding conference record in the Pac-12 this season, after going 14-4, but their strength of schedule and lack of big win was what disallowed them a bid to the NCAA Tournament after losing their first Pac-12 tournament game. They only played two top 25 teams on the year and lost both.

The Huskies were one of the nation’s best rebounding teams this season. They ended the year 5th in the country in boards, averaging over 40 per game. Washington has five players on their roster that average at least five rebounds per game. Two of those guys, Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten, both also average 16 points per contest. 

Ducks in a row 

Oregon is yet another NIT team that lost to an eventual conference champion and NCAA tournament team. The Ducks lost to Colorado in their first game of the Pac-12 tournament by one point and found themselves in the NIT for 2012. The Ducks finished second in the regular season Pac-12 standings, right behind Washington. 

The Duck’s problems this season have been defense and rebounding. They can score with the best of them, having scored 96 and 108 points respectfully in each of their first two NIT wins. Tonight’s game against Washington shouldn’t be too different. This game might mimic an NBA game a little bit by the looks of the score at the end of them game. I’m not telling you to go and blindly bet the over whatever it is, but it is worth taking a look at.

The Sharp Pick

Either way, I’m looking at the spread for tonight’s game, and I’m siding with the home team Huskies in this one. Much like Drexel in the first quarterfinal game this evening, the Huskies have a large chip on their shoulder. They should have won the Pac-12 tournament, and now have a chance to make up for it by making a deep run into the NIT.

This will be the third time these two teams have met this season, and both own double-digit home wins over the other. So far, the public likes taking the points with the Ducks, but I like the Huskies to come out fired up and sharp as a tack to take care of the Ducks and cover the -4.5 points.

My Pick: Huskies -4.5