San Francisco Dons (22-15) at North Texas Mean Green (18-18)
We came up short last night when we backed the Mississippi State Bulldogs against the Penn State Nittany Lions in the semi-finals of the Men’s NIT.
I loved the Bulldogs resume on the year and the fact that they had played and beaten so many good teams. I felt that the Big 10 might have ended up a little over-rated over the course of the year and that by the end of the season the SEC was likely the more talented league.
Unfortunately, none of that matters when one of the teams shoots 50% from the field and 55% from beyond the arc. Penn State used hot shooting early to pull out to a big lead and never looked back.
The Bulldogs made a late run, but the game had already been decided. In the end, Penn State wins and advances to the finals of the NIT to play Utah Thursday night.
Today we will look at the finals of College Basketball Invitational Tournament (CBI) where San Francisco looks to put away North Texas in a best of three series.
The San Francisco Dons will travel to Denton, Texas to face the Mean Green of North Texas Wednesday night. This is game two of the best the best of three finals of the College Basketball Invitational Tournament (CBI).
The Dons took game one on their home court 72-62 and will look to close out the series tonight. The Mean Green are -3-point home favorites. The game total over-under is set at 143 points. Tipoff is scheduled from the Super Pit.
I love the CBI finals. I think the best two out of three format does a great job of deciding who the best team really is. You know who else loves this format? The North Texas Mean Green.
If this were the NCAA tournament, their season would have ended when San Francisco beat them Monday night. Instead, they will get a chance for revenge on their home court tonight to try and force a deciding game three back in San Francisco.
But after watching that first game, you have to really wonder if the Mean Green are going to be able to come away with a victory tonight.
Home court advantage is huge in college hoops. More than any other sport, playing at home helps college basketball teams the most. That being said, the first time these teams matched up the game wasn’t really all that competitive.
The Dons jumped out to a huge sixteen-point lead and just coasted to the easy victory. San Francisco outrebounded them on both the offensive and defensive glass, they passed the ball much better, twenty assists to just eight for North Texas, and they blocked seven shots. I am not sure that switching floors is going to stop that kind of domination.
San Francisco did shoot the ball really well from deep, especially in the first half, and that is likely to cool down some away from home. But when I wrote up the first game, I said that this felt like was a mismatch. San Francisco played a tough schedule against some good teams and acquitted themselves well.
North Texas played in a very down Conference USA and ended up with a losing record in league play and overall. Even after making a run to the finals, the Mean Green are only 18-18 on the year.
This line opened up at North Texas -3.5-points. I couldn’t believe what my eyes were seeing. Did the public not watch the first game? Maybe they just glanced at the final score and saw it ended up kind of close and assumed the venue change would sway things in the Mean Green’s favor?
Well, I did watch the first game and saw a Don’s team that toyed with the Mean Green in the first half and coasted to an easy victory. That was two days ago. I am not sure anything has really changed.
Of course, the Mean Green will play better on their home court, teams always do. But for them to be -3.5-point favorites was shocking to me. The sharps picked up on this as well and quickly pushed the number to -3. And that is where it stands now.
I just didn’t see anything in that first game that made me change my mind that this was a mismatch and the Dons were the much better team. Maybe if the Dons had kept the pedal to the metal Monday night and won by twenty, like they could have, this number would be different.
Either way, I see a ton of value backing San Francisco tonight getting three points. To be completely honest, I think the Dons win this game outright. But being able to grab three points is a great little insurance policy just in case the Mean Green play some inspired basketball at home.
But that would be something they haven’t really done all year long. Charlotte, Old Dominion, Western Kentucky, Marshall, Louisiana Tech, and UTEP. That is the list of teams that have played and won at North Texas this year. After tonight you can add San Francisco to that list.
Give me the San Francisco Dons +3 points tonight!