NCAAB NIT Picks: Expect BYU To Shock Valparaiso With Fast Pace

Charles Stark

Tuesday, March 29, 2016 12:20 PM GMT

We head to the NIT where fast-paced BYU takes on defensive Valparaiso. BYU beat Creighton in last high-scoring matchup and Valparaiso took care of St. Mary's. Which team will head to the finals?

Odds makers right now have BYU as underdog; one of my NCAA basketball picks is backing BYU plus the points as I think they have a good shot to pull the minor upset. Valparaiso is an extremely good defensive team but I think the pace of this game is going to be up-tempo which makes me want to side with BYU in this upcoming NIT matchup.

 

BYU cougars
BYU averages 83.6 points per game which ranks fifth in the country and they push pace attempting 63.8 field goals per game which ranks seventh. This will be a very interesting matchup for them tonight because Valparaiso will most likely try to do the opposite of BYU as far as tempo and they are a very good defensive team. Along with the fact that they put up so many shots, BYU averages making 29.4 field goals per game which ranks fourth in the country. If they are going to pull off the minor upset tonight they're going to have to shoot from beyond the arc well and that is something that they have done proficiently all season.

The Cougars average 38.5% from beyond the arc which ranks 24th in the country and this will be the point of contention tonight as Valparaiso ranks outside of the top 100 teams in the country in opponent three point percentage. Moreover, despite their fast-paced BYU ranks 25th in the country in turnovers per play while Valparaiso ranks in the bottom half of all NCAA teams as well as in all NCAA basketball odds boards.

 

Valparaiso
Valparaiso averages 75.2 points per game and rank 13th in the country allowing opponents just 63.5 points per game. This is a very well rounded team that ranks as one of the better defensive teams in the country ranking fourth, sixth, and seventh opponent two point shooting percentage, opponent effective field goal percentage, and opponent overall shooting percentage respectively. Like most teams they are not quite as efficient on the road where they go from allowing 60 points per game at home to 66 per game when they travel.

Although they are a good defensive team they do like to allow some pace and tempo allowing opponents to get up 55.6 shots per game which ranks 84th in the country. This might be an issue tonight against a BYU team that excels in that type of game and if Valpo decides to run with them it could spell some trouble. On the boards will be some tough battles and the Crusaders have been good this year averaging 40.6 rebounds per game which ranks 15th in the country. However, BYU matches up well them as they allow opponents only 32.4 rebounds per game which ranks 34th out of all NCAA teams.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: BYU +2 (-102)
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle