NCAA Basketball Pick: Charleston Southern +12 over Southern Miss

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

Wednesday, Mar. 20, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

Southern Miss is coming off of a devastating overtime loss to Memphis while Charleston Southern is ecstatic to be in its first post-season tournament since 1997 and plays good defense.

The favorite looks very vulnerable in one of the first round NIT games on Wednesday when the Charleston Southern Buccaneers (19-12, 6-8 away) pay a visit to the Southern Miss Golden Eagles (25-9, 12-1 home) at Reed Green Coliseum in Hattiesburg, MS at 9:15 ET in a game available on ESPN3.

The point spread at 5 Dimes has Charleston Southern as a double-digit road underdog for this contest with the current line at +12 with odds of -109.

Both of these teams landed in the NIT after losing their conference championship games, but Southern Miss may have the tougher time recuperating from a brutal lost that cost the Golden Eagles a return trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Backtracking a bit, Southern Miss did win 25 games this season, but because the Eagles play in lightly regarded Conference USA, they basically knew that they needed to win the Conference USA Tournament to get to the Big Dance. Well, they certainly gave it a game try, advancing to the C-USA Championship Game.

There, they were given little chance of getting by a Memphis Tigers team that finished undefeated in the conference. However, with the Golden Eagles down two late in the game, Memphis missed the front end of a one-and-one and Southern Miss ht a driving layup right at the final buzzer of regulation to force overtime.

Unfortunately the Tigers then outscored the Eagles by 12 points during the extra session and Memphis moved on to the NCAA Tournament as a six-seed while Southern Miss gets this probably unwanted consolation prize vs. a mostly unknown opponent.

Now a case can be made that Charleston Southern is in the same situation, as CSU advanced to the Championship Game of the Big South Tournament and fell one game shy of going dancing by getting upset as a 7½-point favorite by Liberty, who went on to get nipped by North Carolina A&T during the First Four on Tuesday night.

The difference however is that this is CSU’s first post-season appearance since 1997, so the Buccaneers are grateful to be participating in any tournament! More importantly, besides having the probable edge in emotion, the Bucs have the defense to hang in this game.

The Buccaneers had one of the best defenses in the Big South, ranking second in the conference in defensive efficiency and leading in two-point defense, so if the they can keep Southern Miss senior leader Dwayne Davis in check, there is really no reason why CSU should not be able to hang within single-digits here.

Keeping that in mind., take the double-digit points with Charleston Southern on Wednesday.

[gameodds]14/224957/19-238-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

NCAA Basketball Pick: Charleston Southern +12 (-109)

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