Photo: flickr Writer: Eric Daniel
Mississippi State has had a tough path getting to the NIT Final Four in New York getting past the likes of Nebraska, Baylor, and Louisville, with the latter two wins coming on the road. In their last outing Mississippi State demolished the spread for us getting past Louisville in a tough environment by a final of 79-56. Mississippi State is heading in a positive direction as a program under head coach Ben Howland and this group has played off of their defense this season ranking 52nd in the nation in points allowed compared to 175th in scoring.
The Penn State Nittany Lions have also had a challenging path in the NIT getting past Temple, Notre Dame, and Marquette, with their latter two matchups also coming on the road. Penn State had the talent to make a run at the NCAA tournament this season, but the overall weakness of the Big Ten paired with inconsistent result doomed the Nittany Lions. Penn State has had a solid season standing 24-13 overall ranking 46th in the nation in total defense and 157th in scoring.
These teams play a similar style of ball generally adapting to the pace of their opposition while favoring a defensive mindset. Wouldn’t be surprised if this become a defensive battle with points coming at a premium and in what should be a close game we’ll take the Bulldogs with the points.
Mississippi State +2.5 -105