Unusual Spread in 5-12 Game Between Minnesota & Middle Tennessee

Doug Upstone

Monday, March 13, 2017 10:07 PM UTC

Monday, Mar. 13, 2017 10:07 PM UTC

The second game of the South Region on Thursday will be from Milwaukee, with a classic upset scenario of No. 5 seed Minnesota taking on No. 12 Middle Tennessee State on the TNT network.

No. 12 Middle Tennessee State vs. No. 5 Minnesota

South Region, Milwaukee, Thursday, 4 p.m. ET


Middle Tennessee Breakdown

The Blue Raiders (30-4, 21-10 ATS) are attracting a great deal of attention, first based on upsetting No. 2 Michigan State last year 90-81 and having what many that make college basketball picks an even better squad this year. Middle Tennessee was the regular season and tournament champion from C-USA and they are not afraid of the limelight. Transfer JaCorey Williams is the team's leading scorer, and Giddy Potts and Reggie Upshaw are also tough matchups for any team. The Blue Raiders are an excellent shooting team at 49 percent and have won 10 in a row (7-2-1 ATS). They attack the glass and have +5 rebound margin.


Minnesota Breakdown

What an incredible turnaround for Minnesota (24-8, 19-12 ATS) coming off a 8-23 campaign a year ago. After a great start, the Golden Gophers dug a hole in the middle of Big Ten season and went 0-5 (1-4 ATS) and again looked like strong fade material. But coach Richard Pitino believed in his team and they responded with eight-game winning streak and closed 9-2 (7-3-1 ATS). Minnesota has excellent depth and has a variety of ways to score. Where Minnesota really excels is on defense, holding opponents to 39.8 percent shooting, and the Gophers lead the nation in blocked shots at nearly seven a game.


What To Watch For

The college basketball odds have this contest at a pick'em with total of 135. Normally a 12 vs. 5 matchup has a sharp lower seed against fading higher seed. That is not the case here. My belief is the oddsmakers are shading Middle Tennessee and Minnesota has the size and ability to control the paint will give the Gophers a tight three-point thriller.

NCAAB Free Pick: Minnesota At Pick'emBest Line Offered: BetDSI

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