NCAA Basketball Pick: Tournament Play of the Day Wednesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 4:00 AM GMT

Every day this NCAA post-season, LT Profits Sports seeks one single tournament play that has the best chance of cashing. Here is their Tournament Play of the Day Wednesday.

The Big South team may have more motivation vs. its big, bad Pac-12 opponent in the CBI Tournament Wednesday night when the Radford Highlanders (21-12, 8-7 away) pay a visit to the Oregon State Beavers (16-15, 12-4 home) at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, OR at 10:00 ET.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Radford as a big underdog for this contest with the current line at +15 with odds of -102.

Obviously the Big South Conference does not get much national exposure, but Radford was one of three 20-win schools from the conference to qualify for the post-season, and one of them, VMI, won its CIT game on the road outright at Canisius Tuesday as an 11½-point underdog! The third Big South team that is still playing is obviously conference champion Coastal Carolina, which takes on top seeded Virginia in the NCAA Tournament Friday.

Oregon State may come from one of the power conferences in the Pac-12, but the Beavers only finished 10th in the conference at 8-10 before getting bounced in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament 88-74 by Oregon, and while they managed to sneak in one game over .500 overall at 16-15 thanks to going 8-4 out of conference earlier in the season, that was vs. a schedule ranked only 309th in non-conference SOS.

Radford would love nothing better than to make a statement and move on vs. a major-conference school, so they should certainly be the more motivated team in this contest, which counts for a lot in these smaller tournaments. And Radford has not minded travelling at all this season as evidenced by the Highlanders’ 8-7 road record.

Obviously the Beavers are a step up from the teams the Highlanders usually face, but we feel that Radford can successfully slow the pace down here to give itself a better chance at an upset in a game with fewer possessions. That is because the Highlanders protect the ball very well ranking 38th in the entire country in offensive turnover percentage at 16.0 percent vs. a national average of 18.3 percent, and Oregon State is a dismal 332nd in defensive turnover percentage (15.2).

Thus, Radford should be able to run what it wants offensively and the Highlanders are a good shooting team ranked 81st in the nation in effective shooting percentage at 51.6 percent. If they are close to that tonight while successful milking clock as expected, those double-digits they are catching on this point spread will look awfully good!

While Radford is probably excited about this opportunity, Oregon State probably does not care as much after being relegated to a smaller tournament like this. Many major conference teams have been upset early in these small tournaments while waiting for their seasons to end, and for a point of reference, look no further than one of the number one seeds in the NIT, St. John’s, losing at home to Robert Morris on Tuesday.

Speaking of the NIT, the Utah Utes did not do the Pac-12 proud while losing by double-digits to St. Mary’s, and while the NIT plays second fiddle to the NCAA Tournament, it is still more prestigious than this CBI. Thus, you genuinely gave to question the mindset of the Beavers coming into this game, and do not forget that Oregon State did lose here at home to Coppin State to open the season, as well as to a bad DePaul team on the road in non-conference play.

All things considered, taking these big points with Radford seems like the prudent move in the CBI Tournament on Wednesday.

[gameodds]14/262165/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NCAA Basketball Pick: Radford +15 (-102)