Tuesday's NIT/CIT Action
March 26, 2013
By Kevin Rogers
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Only one game takes place in the NIT on Tuesday night, while three contests are showcased in the College Insider Tournament. All six teams playing the CIT hail from mid-major conferences, but the two squads hooking up in the NIT both are from power leagues and playing well down the stretch.
Maryland at Alabama (-3 ½) - 7:30 PM EST
The first spot in the NIT Final Four will be filled out on Tuesday night with the winner of this contest in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide has cashed seven of their last eight games following Saturday's 66-54 victory over Stanford as 4 ½-point favorites, the second straight triumph in the NIT by double-digits.
The Terrapins are equally as hot as the Tide, posting a similar 7-1 ATS record the previous eight contests, including six consecutive covers. Maryland rallied past Denver, 62-52 in the second round of the NIT, while grabbing the ATS win as 4 ½-point 'chalk.' Mark Turgeon's team is 5-0 ATS the last five games away from College Park, including three straight covers as an underdog.
These two teams are going in different directions from a totals standpoint. Maryland has cashed the 'over' in four of the last five games, while the offense has tallied at least 75 points four times in this stretch. Alabama is playing solid defense recently by allowing 58 points or less in four of the previous five contests, as Anthony Grant's club is riding a 6-2 run to the 'under.'
Evansville at Canisius (-1) - 7:00 PM EST
The Purple Aces are riding under the ATS radar lately by putting together a 7-1 mark against the number the last eight games. Evansville plays its first road game in the CIT following home victories over Tennessee State (84-72) and Eastern Kentucky (86-72), while cashing each time in the favorite role.
Canisius rallied from a 17-point halftime deficit to stun Youngstown State in overtime on Saturday, 84-82 as 2 ½-point road underdogs. The Golden Griffins shot just 37% from the floor, but knocked down 10 three-pointers to win consecutive games for the first time since early February. In the last three games away from home, Canisius has drilled the 'over,' while allowing at least 82 points each time. However, the Griffins step up their defense at home by giving up 65 points or less in the last three home contests.
Following a six-game road losing streak in Missouri Valley play, Evansville has won each of its last two away contests at Wright State and Wichita State. The Purple Aces shocked Wichita State as 11 ½-point underdogs, 59-56 in late February, while going 4-1 ATS the last five opportunities in the away 'dog role.
Loyola-Maryland at East Carolina (-4) - 7:00 PM EST
The Pirates needed a massive rally to survive the opening round against Savannah State, 66-65. However, ECU had an easier time against Rider on Friday, 75-54 to easily cash as four-point favorites, while limiting the Broncs to just 27% shooting from the floor. On Tuesday, the Pirates will see another MAAC team, a Loyola-Maryland squad that finished tied with Rider for second place in the conference.
The Greyhounds snapped a four-game ATS skid in a 73-59 rout of Kent State as 4 ½-point favorites, while the Golden Flashes couldn't hit a lick from the floor by shooting 27%. Loyola split its previous six road contests, as the Greyhounds are 3-1-1 the last five times in the away underdog role. The 'over' is rolling for the Greyhounds on the highway recently by cashing in each of the last six away from Maryland.
East Carolina has played just one away game since March 6, a 79-72 defeat to Tulsa in the Conference USA quarterfinals. In the four other contests in this stretch, ECU is 4-0 SU and 2-2 ATS in Greenville, while posting a 5-2 ATS record the last seven games in the home favorite role.
Bradley at Northern Iowa (-11) - 8:00 PM EST
These two Missouri Valley squads are meeting for the third time this season after UNI swept the season series. The Panthers destroyed the Braves in Cedar Falls, 84-53 in January as 7 ½-point favorites, while taking a 41-14 advantage at halftime. Northern Iowa squeaked by Bradley in the second meeting in Peoria a month later, 68-65 as three-point favorites.
Bradley took care of business in its first two CBI games at home over Green Bay (75-69) and Tulane (77-72). The Braves are just 1-8 SU and 2-7 ATS the last nine road contests, while one of the covers came by a ½ point at Creighton as 17-point underdogs. Bradley has been involved high-scoring affairs recently by going 8-3 to the 'over' the last 11 games.
Northern Iowa is struggling against the number of late by going 1-5 ATS the past six games, as the last two non-covers came as double-digit favorites against North Dakota and Illinois-Chicago. The Panthers are riding a 7-1 'over' stretch the previous eight trips to the court, but three of those 'overs' came on totals of 119 ½ or below.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.
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