Solid rebounding helped Penn State and Texas A&M advance to the Legends Classic finals tonight, and we have a free college basketball pick for the tilt.
NCAAB Season Record: 4-4 (-0.20)
If there was one thing we learned from Monday’s semifinals of the Legends Classic, it’s that owning the glass and catching your opponent on an off-shooting night is a solid winning combination. It certainly worked for the Texas A&M Aggies and Penn State Nittany Lions, who advanced to the tournament title game on Tuesday. SBR’s top sportsbooks have the Aggies as 6-point opening favorites for the 6 PM (ET) tip at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
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Oklahoma State hung with Texas A&M for the first 12½ minutes with the clubs knotted at 16 apiece at that point. The Aggies took charge then and closed the first half on a 25-7 run that took the Cowboys out of the game. Billy Kennedy’s crew was aggressive on the offensive end, constantly driving to the rim, and made up for 19 turnovers by keeping OSU off the offensive glass to limit any second-chance points. The Cowboys also shot a season-low 29.9% from the field, converting just three of 24 attempts from beyond the arc.
Favored by 4½ on the closing NCAA basketball odds, the Aggies got a lift from Robert Williams in his return after sitting out the first two games for disciplinary reasons. The 6-foot-10 sophomore came off the bench to tally 11 points and an equal number of rebounds in 24 minutes. DJ Hogg scored 18 and netted four of his seven 3-point attempts.
Ankle Injury Doesn’t Keep Carr Off The Floor
A big first half also helped Penn State put Pittsburgh away in the second game, the Nittany Lions building a 26-point advantage in the opening 20 minutes before coasting to an 85-54 rout. Tony Carr, listed as questionable with an ankle injury, ended up spending 26 minutes on the hardwood to lead six PSU players in double figures with 16 points. The Nittany Lions used a 42-32 edge on the glass while shooting better than 57% from the field compared to Pitt’s 31%.
These two teams are meeting for the fourth time with A&M having emerged victorious in the previous three. The most recent meeting took place 12 years ago in College Station where the Aggies won 60-55, not nearly enough to cover a -15 spread. Texas A&M is looking to move to 4-0 for the first time since two years ago when Kennedy’s squad started 6-0 and won the Battle4Atlantis Tournament. Penn State is 5-0 for the first time in nine years. The Aggies have burned me twice betting their underdog opponents, but I’ll remain stubborn and take the Nittany Lions plus points for my free college basketball pick.Free NCAAB Pick: Penn State +6Best Line Offered: 5Dimes