NCAA Basketball – Lipscomb Bisons vs. Texas Longhorns Championship Game Odds

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:
Apr/04/2019

Two teams that felt deserving of an invite to that other college basketball postseason tournament will instead go for the title of the 69th best team in the country.

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The following article is courtesy of Bookmaker

The Lipscomb Bisons won 24 games during the regular season and grabbed a share of the Atlantic Sun title only to fall in the tournament final. The Texas Longhorns limped into the NIT having lost five of six games before taking down all that stood in their way. The two square off Thursday at Madison Square Garden in the championship game of the NIT.

Lipscomb Bisons vs. Texas Longhorns

Date and Time: Thursday, April 4, 2019, 7 p.m. ET

Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

Opening CBB Odds: Texas -1, O/U 143

Lipscomb vs. Texas TV Coverage: ESPN

Odds Analysis

Just in case you were thinking Lipscomb is a surprise combatant in this game, think again. The Bisons reached the NCAA Tournament last season and won 23 games in the process. In fact, they’ve reached the 20-win mark in each of the last three seasons with a program record 29 this year. Coach Casey Alexander summed up his squad after quarterfinal win over NC State saying, “we’re a good team.” The Bisons played as a true road underdog in their first three NIT games, and they are not welcome in the state of North Carolina any time soon after beating No. 1 seed UNC Greensboro in the second round and the Wolfpack in the quarters.

Taking care of business on their home floor got the Horns to New York City, now they’ll try and finish the deal. They went just 8-10 in Big 12 play and needed a four-game run in the NIT to reach the 20-win mark. Texas also got some payback against conference rival TCU, beating them in the semis after dropping both regular season meetings. The defense was especially sharp on Tuesday, holding the Frogs to a season-low point total in the 58-44 win. The Horns don’t score a lot so the defense better be as good to shutdown the Bisons.

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Lipscomb

The Bisons were on the verge of heading back to Nashville until a late surge moved them past Wichita State in the semis. Behind the play of Garrett Mathews, Lipscomb scored 21 of the game’s final 24 points to claim the 71-64 victory, becoming the first A-Sun member to play for a NIT championship. Mathews has taken a liking to the NIT and its different rules and is ending his career in style. He averages 21.1 points per game for the season, but he’s upped that number to 28.8 with 7.8 rebounds per game in four NIT matches.

Bad news for the Horns is that Mathews is just getting warmed up. He dropped 44 on NC State two games ago hitting 8 of 13 triples along the way. He wasn’t nearly as accurate against the Shockers, but it was a tough act to follow. His fifth three-pointer with over a minute remaining gave the Bisons a lead and they held on. Mathews totaled 34 hitting 5 of 15 from deep. With the help of Rob Marberry, who scored 14.7 points, and Kenny Cooper, the Bisons are one of the top scoring teams in the country with 83.4 points per game.

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Texas

TCU isn’t as explosive offensively as Lipscomb, but if the Horns come close to duplicating their effort they should be in a good position. Texas held the Frogs to just 44 points on 28.3 percent shooting and won the game the way they have to play. The Horns average just under 71 points per game for the season and they’ve surpassed that number just twice in the last seven games. Lipscomb’s lax defense will allow for more scoring opportunities, but the Horns are impacted by the loss of Jaxson Hays, a double-figure scorer who got hurt in the Big 12 tournament.

Riding to the rescue was Kerwin Roach II, who was reinstated for the conference tournament, and he’s played great ball since the loss to Kansas. Roach and Dylan Osetkowski were the only players to hit double figures against TCU and the two have combined for 32 points, 9.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists in the NIT. Texas was 16-16 after its loss to Kansas, and we’ll hear all the talk about how tough the Big 12 is. But Texas was 16-16.

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Mathews is a scorer and he can do it from all over the floor, making the Horns’ job of defending him more difficult. He can drive, make free throws, and hit the three-ball. He’s 13 of 28 from distance over the last two games, and that’s even further with the arc pushed back as one of the many format changes. Put conference affiliations aside and you’ll notice that Alexander is correct in his team’s assessment. The Bisons are good and the Horns won’t be able to stop them.

NIT Score Prediction: Lipscomb 75, Texas 69

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