After correctly picking Pepperdine a few nights ago, Gonzaga still being alive, and the women Aggies somehow surviving so far, I have a busted bracket before the Semi-Finals even start. I had Boise St. winning the 2021 NIT Tournament this year beating St. Louis and having Colorado St. winning the Third place game. For those of you who love to bet, make brackets, or both, this is always a fun tournament to follow. None of those teams will be doing that this year as St. Louis lost in the first round to Mississippi St. Boise St. lost to Memphis on Thursday in a close game, and that same Memphis team just absolutely obliterated Colorado St. a few moments ago 90-67 with 14 three pointers. In the other Semi-final game, I correctly picked Louisiana Tech to get here, but my bracket has nothing else correct past that. This will be a wild finish to the NIT tournament and a fitting one as well with upsets being a huge story so far in the NCAA Basketball postseason.
That game just tipped, but let’s take a look at the second semi-final matchup before the Final tomorrow.
Two 4 seeds facing off. Bulldog vs. Bulldog. Mississippi St. had taken a page from Syracuse’s playbook and hit the reset button as the NIT started. Finishing at 15-14 in the regular season, the Bulldogs pulled together a few wins to end the season going 4-3 in their final 7. They started out the season well going 8-4 before losing 7 of 10 in the middle of the season. They struggle from the free throw line and with turnovers mainly, but they do shoot the ball well. Despite the turnovers in their first two rounds of the NIT, they have managed to pull another page from Syracuse and get hot shooting the ball. They are shooting well and even better than their season averages this season. Making it this far, they certainly have a chance to stay hot and win two more games to be the champs.
Louisiana Tech enter this game as a -1 favorite. They shoot the ball well and despite the loss to North Texas in the conference tournament semis, are playing very well right now. They have been consistent the entire year and just missed out on making the NCAA Tournament themselves. I have Louisiana Tech winning this game and obvioulsy covering that small spread. They will have a tough matchup against Memphis, but they will have as good a chance as anyone.
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*Live update: Louisiana Tech is sturggling shooting the ball at halftime, but I do not expect that to continue. The difference is defense. Mississippi St. is still hot from the field shooting almost 60% from the field. I expect Tech to come out shooting much better, but they need to clamp down defensively to get back in the game. They are down 29-41 as the second half will start shortly. *
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