NCAA Basketball Picks: Miami vs. Temple | Which Team Will Make it to the Championship?

Steven Suarez

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 1:57 PM GMT

Only four teams remain in the NIT, and we've got Temple and Miami (FL) battling it out for a spot in the championship game. Let's examine the available NCAA basketball odds to see where the value is.

Odds Overview
Get ready for a highly competitive game, as the NCAA basketball odds board has the Owls favored by either one and a half or two points, depending on your sportsbook of choice. Most sites have a line of one and a half available at time of this writing, however.

If it's a total play that you're most interested in tonight, the O/U is at 139 points, with would suggest we'll be in for a pretty high-scoring game. Temple has scored at least 73 points in three straight contests, so we know the Owls know how to execute on the offensive end when it matters.

 

Temple Owls
Many thought the Owls had done enough to receive a bid into the NCAA Tournament, but they were snubbed and instead handed an invitation to the NIT. They've certainly proven why they were getting consideration for the Big Dance, as they've had little resistance on their way to the NIT semi-finals.

After opening with a six-point win over Bucknell, Temple has turned up the heat, beating George Washington 90-77 and then shutting down Louisiana Tech in a 77-59 victory. Quenton DeCosey led the charge for the Owls in the quarter-final win, racking up 21 points and 11 rebounds, with Jesse Morgan and Will Cummings scoring 17 and 15 points respectively. It looks like Temple is getting stronger and stronger the further they get into the competition, though Miami is sure to offer the stiffest challenge yet.

Though it was DeCosey that stood out most in the quarters, Cummings has been the heart and soul of this team throughout the season. He's averaging 14.9 PPG, 4.2 APG and 4.1 RPG and is playing a team-best 34 minutes per contest. Combined with DeCosey and Morgan, you can see why Temple has had so much success.

 

Miami (FL) Hurricanes
After bowing out of the ACC tournament at the hands of Notre Dame, the Hurricanes were waiting and hoping to get an invite into the NCAA Tournament, only to get snubbed just like Temple. In the NIT, however, Miami has showed some great toughness throughout, fighting and clawing on their way to the semis.

It hasn't been easy against North Carolina Central (75-71), Alabama (73-66) or Richmond (63-61), but Miami has held its nerve down the stretch, and that's all that matters. In the most recent win over the Spiders, the Hurricanes rallied in a big way outscoring their opponents 45-31 in the second half to secure the two-point victory. Davon Reed posted a big double-double, while Sheldon McClellan and Ja'Quan Newton both reached double-digit scoring too.

Unfortunately for Miami, it looks like Angel Rodriguez isn't going to be available to play tonight. The junior guard, who's averaged 11.9 points per game, has a bum wrist and is listed as doubtful right now. That's a big blow for the Hurricanes, although it should be noted they've still managed to win their last two without him on the court.

 

NCAA Basketball Pick
Madison Square Garden should be nice and lively for this NIT semi-final. Who should we be backing with our college basketball picks?

After closer examination, we believe Temple will be able to do enough to get the victory. Though the Hurricanes had to fight their way through a tough ACC conference (and held their own), it's not like the Owls had a cupcake schedule either. They faced some of the best teams in the nation, so we're not going to buy into the conference shenanigans. 

With a highly productive trio of Cummings, DeCosey and Morgan, we think the Owls will capture the spot into the championship game.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Temple Owls -1 at BetOnline