College Basketball Pick: Cal Poly vs. Texas Southern
- Updated: March 18, 2014
Date/Time: March 19th, 6:40 ET
College Basketball Odds from WagerWeb
Point Spread: Cal Poly -3
The NCAA Tournament will begin on Wednesday in college basketball betting when the Texas Southern Tigers take on the Cal Poly Mustangs at 6:40 ET on truTV inside UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio. This will be a first round match-up, but is essentially a play-in game for the big dance.
The Mustangs won the Big West Conference tournament with a 61-59 victory over the Cal State Northridge Matadors on Saturday. An unlikely scenario found freshman G Ridge Shipley hitting what proved to be the game-winning three pointer with 13 seconds left to punch his team’s ticket into the tournament as the 16th seed in the Midwest Region. Shipley averaged just 4.0 points per game this season, but he came up huge for his team when it mattered the most as he scored 14 points on Saturday. Mustangs F Chris Eversley leads the offense scoring 13.6 points and grabbing 7.1 rebounds per game. Eversley had 18 points and five boards in the Big West title game. Cal Poly reached the tournament for the first time in school history with a 13-19 SU overall record and it finished seventh in the conference standings going 6-10 SU in Big West play. The Mustangs tied their longest winning streak of the season at three games, but it will take a lot for them to get very far in the NCAA tournament with the top seeded Wichita State Shockers awaiting the winner of this game.
The Tigers are riding a nine game winning streak into the tournament after they defeated the Prairie View A&M Panthers 78-73 on Saturday. They trailed the Panthers by seven at halftime before a key 13-2 scoring run helped them clinch the SWAC and set up this game of 16th seeded teams. Senior C Aaric Murray paved the way for his team putting up 27 points and 10 rebounds in the win. The 6’10” big man averaged 21.2 points and 7.7 boards per game this season. Texas Southern is 19-14 SU overall and it finished with a 12-6 SU record in the SWAC. This team is really not battle tested as it only faced two teams that are in the tournament in the Stanford Cardinal and the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Both of those games turned into blowout losses for the Tigers, Stanford 97-71 on November 21st and Tulsa 97-71 on December 4th. This will easily be the biggest test head coach Mike Davis’ team has faced since those games where they were clearly overmatched. They must get a big game out of Murray if they are to advance to face Wichita State in the second round.
The records indicate the Tigers had the better season, but they were very much unchallenged in and outside of conference play. The SWAC was a much tougher conference this year and that means the Mustangs have been challenged all season long. Cal Poly was 0-2 SU against ranked teams, but it did challenge the Oregon Ducks and Arizona Wildcats in road games on its non-conference schedules. We like the Mustangs chances in this game to pull a small upset behind Eversley and a solid effort from their bench players. Cal Poly 69 – Texas Southern 64