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Horizon League Championship

Wright State vs. Valparaiso (-7.5)

Conference tournaments are in full swing these days as schools from all across the country try to get hot at the right time and win their way into the big dance. It’s very likely that only one team will come out of the Horizon League this year and that means the winner of this game will get to go dancing in a couple of weeks. That means the motivational level will be extremely high in this one as Valparaiso looks to beat the Wright State Raiders for the third time this year.

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Valpo may have won both games with Wright State this year but both were close down the stretch. The Crusaders prevailed by margins of 6 and 7 points and a repeat performance would be just within today’s spread. The six-point win (69-63) was when Valparaiso was at home and since they came into this tournament as the #1 seed, they will enjoy home-court advantage once again. Wright State won’t mind it that much as they played in this building in the semi-final and beat #2 seed Detroit 56-54 as 7.5-point underdogs. Valpo is a tougher team but they won’t throw anything at Wright State that the Raiders haven’t seen before and the hostile environment shouldn’t rattle them all that much.

In their previous meeting in this building the home court advantage did help Valparaiso down the stretch as they came back from a four-point halftime deficit to outscore the Raiders by 10 in the 2nd frame and win by 6. Wright State tightened up down the stretch and the home team took advantage of it. This game those roles might be reversed though as Valpo could be the ones to tighten up at home with so much on the line and the heavy expectation of winning they have. They know they can beat this team if they play a sound game, but the added pressure might come back to sting them this time around.

Wright State has got to feel like they are playing with house money after beating Detroit because no one thought they would have an opportunity to get to the big dance. This is their shot and with a double revenge scenario working in their favor, Wright State + the points is the play here. The road team is 4-1-1 ATS in the last six between these two and the Raiders are 4-1-1 ATS themselves in their last six trips to Valparaiso. They will be the more relaxed team feeling like they have nothing to lose and it will be the Crusaders who will come out tight and anxious knowing they are expected to win big. Valparaiso still might win outright, but Wright State will do everything they can to have a shot to win this thing at the end.

Take the points with Wright State.

  
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