Back Talented Wichita State As Your NCAA Tourney Pick Against Vandy

Joe Gavazzi

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 3:50 PM GMT

SEC rep Vandy and MVC affiliate, Wichita St., converge in Dayton for this play-in game and the right to meet Arizona Thursday night in Providence, RI. Let's check the NCAAB odds.

Vanderbilt vs. Wichita State
The 77-65 loss by Vandy as double digit favorite to arch-rival Tennessee in Nashville should have been a strong enough signal to the NCAA committee that this Vandy team was not worthy of their inclusion in the Field of 68. The Wheatshockers will put an exclamation on that statement tonight. Following a 21-14 SU season of last, Vandy has followed it up with an underachieving 19-13 SU record this season. That puts them under .600 for the last 2 years. On the Bubble for virtually the last month, one would have thought the Commodores would have given stronger efforts down the stretch than their loss to arch-rival, Tennessee, in the CCT game which followed a regular season closing egg at Texas A&M. Though veteran HC Stallings continues to draw raves, note that his team was 1-7 SU in games decided by 5 or less points this year. That is often a record that is directly attributable to coaching. That is a moot point, however, as I don’t believe this game will be that close. Vandy will have an interior edge at times with the frontline prowess of the Jones/Kornet duo. That, however, may be their only edge.

Wichita St. is a proven NCAA commodity, who averaged over 30 wins per game the last 5 seasons, including 30 or more wins the last 3. Last year, they made it to the Sweet 16. This year, more was expected of the Shockers under 9th year HC Marshall. But a November hamstring injury to PG VanVleet keyed a 2-4 SU, 0-4 ATS November, in which he missed the majority of the games. Since that time, the Shockers have gone 22-4 SU, 20-6 ATS on one of their patented runs. True enough, they did fall 3 times in Valley play to a long-armed zone of the Illinois St. Redbirds and then a pair of losses to NCAA rep and arch-rival, N. Iowa, for their only home loss and in a Semi-Final CCT exit.  Familiarity breeds contempt! Today, I expect a huge bounce back from the Shockers, who will prove in the upcoming weeks that it is their veteran backcourt of Baker and VanVleet that is the best tandem in the nation. Furthermore, there is the coaching of Marshall against the overrated Stallings, the superb Wichita St. depth and of course, the No.1 defense in the country that allows just 59 PPG. This all adds up to a double digit victory by the Shockers, as they cruise into their 1st Round date with Arizona in Providence on Thursday.

I invite you to put the NCAA Basketball odds in your favor and join me in my NCAA Basketball pick on Wichita State tonight.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Wichita State -4
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker