The final game in the NIT is now set with Wichita St a 1.5-point favorite over Alabama. In light of VCU's amazing run in the NCAA tournament and the fact that before the tournament started, VCU was seen by some as an NIT-caliber team that didn't deserve an at-large bid, both Wichita St and Alabama very likely could have made deep runs in the NCAA tournament had they been given the chance.
Against the spread, Wichita St has had a more impressive run in the NIT then Alabama. Wichita St is 3-1 ATS, with 2 huge blowout wins and easy covers over Nebraska and Washington St, 2 teams that are far from pushovers, as well as an impressive road win as a 5.5-point underdog against Virginia Tech. The Shockers' one ATS loss was by one point against tough Charleston, when they were an 8-point favorite and only won by 7. Alabama, on the other hand, is 2-1-1 ATS in the NIT, with only one dominant game over a solid team, an impressive win and cover over Miami Florida, out of those 4.
Wichita St is led by 5 seniors and has good depth, and was hoping for an NCAA tournament appearance this year. Alabama was seen as being in a "rebuilding" stage this year with a second-year head coach and a freshman point guard, but they played above expectations behind star forward JaMychal Green, and steadily improved as the year wore on after a poor start in non-conference play.
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