NIT Quarterfinals Picks: Saint Mary’s Last No. 1 Seed Left

Willie Bee

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 11:46 AM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 21, 2018 11:46 AM UTC

Road teams prevailed Tuesday night in the NIT, and we’re taking a look at the last quarterfinals matchups with a couple of free college basketball picks for Wednesday.

No. 4 Western Kentucky (26-10 SU, 22-12 ATS) at No. 2 Oklahoma State (21-14 SU, 16-16 ATS)No. 2 Utah (20-12 SU, 16-11 ATS) at No. 1 Saint Mary’s (30-5 SU, 13-17 ATS)Free NCAAB Pick: WKU-OSU Under 148½; Saint Mary’s -6Best Line Offered: Heritage

We now know half of the field for the NIT’s version of the Final Four after Penn State and Mississippi State won their quarterfinal matchups Tuesday night. Wednesday evening, we get to find out who will join them at Madison Square Garden in New York City as the initial field of 32 is pared to the last quartet.

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Winner goes to the Garden. #letswork #okstate

🆚 @WKUBasketball
⏰ 7 p.m. Wednesday
📚#okstate students FREE!
🎟$10 GA seats at

— Cowboy Basketball (@OSUMBB) March 21, 2018

Can WKU Pull 2nd Tourney Road Upset Vs. Oklahoma State?

If USC was the one team above all others who had a right to complain about not making the NCAAs, then maybe Western Kentucky can make a case for being there as well after the Hilltoppers knocked the No. 1 seed Trojans out of this event. The next stop for Rick Stansbury and WKU is Stillwater for their first-ever matchup with No. 2 Oklahoma State, ESPN2 starting its broadcast at 8 PM (ET) and the Cowboys favored by 4½ at Heritage.

Excellent shooting helped the Hilltoppers to wins over Power 5 schools in the first two rounds, Western Kentucky connecting on better than 55% in a 79-62 home win over Boston College giving up 4 and hitting close to 54% in Sunday’s 79-75 decision at Southern Cal getting 4 points. The ‘Toppers have been making friends with bettors all season, and especially recently with eight covers the last 11 times out. It was a little tougher for Oklahoma State in wins over Florida Gulf Coast and Stanford, the Cowboys failing to shoot 36% in either game though they did net 9 of 22 from 3-point range in taking down the Cardinal.

The total has risen in the early action, up to 148½ with signs it could go higher. I believe that is only helping ‘under’ bettors, which is the way I’m going with my free college basketball pick.

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Saint Mary’s Keeps Rolling, Utah Up Next

Following the script in the final quadrant of the NIT bracket, we have a 1/2 seed showdown in Moraga between the Saint Mary’s Gaels and Utah Utes. The Deuce begins coverage at 10 PM (ET), and it is the Gaels laying 6 on the college basketball odds board with 140½ for the total.

After breezing past SE Louisiana, Saint Mary’s held off a late challenge by Washington to pick up its 30th win of the season, a school record. The Gaels are 18-1 at home this season (6-9 ATS), with the one loss coming to, you guessed it, Gonzaga. The Utes had a more difficult time in the NIT opener against Cal Davis than they did in Sunday’s 95-71 shellacking of LSU.

Both teams shot very well Sunday, and the Gaels connected on 22 of 39 from beyond the arc in the first two games of the NIT. I believe Saint Mary’s is locked in and gets the cover tonight.

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