CS Bakersfield (25-9) vs Georgia Tech (20-15)
When: Tuesday, March 28th 2017
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Time: 7:00 ET | TV: ESPN
Cal State Bakersfield and Georgia Tech might have come up a little short for the NCAA Tournament, but the two teams will take center stage in Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night in an NIT Semifinal contest. The Yellow Jackets beat higher seeds Indiana and Ole Miss on the way to their first NIT semifinal since 1971 when they lost to North Carolina in the championship game. Freshman guard Josh Okogie is averaging 21.7 points in the NIT on 53.7% shooting from the field for the Yellow Jackets, who have recorded 61 assists on 80 made field goals in the last three games. The Yellow Jackets have back-to-back 20 win seasons for the first time since 2003-04 and 2004-05 after allowing just 62.0 points per game and shooting 48.8% from the field in the NIT. Center Ben Lammers has contributed 15 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.3 blocks (eight against Ole Miss in the quarterfinals) in the last three games – making 15 of his last 20 shots. Senior forward Quinton Stephens has upped his game in the NIT, averaging 16.3 points to go along with eight rebounds in the three games, to improve his overall numbers to 10.5 and 7.7, respectively.
Regular season conference champions Bakersfield lost to New Mexico State in the WAC final before winning three straight on the road as an eighth seed en route to New York, including an impressive 73-66 victory at top seed California, and stands one victory from a possible championship game appearance against either TCU or Central Florida on Thursday. The Roadrunners, who reached the Division I NCAA Tournament for the first time in 2016, are 30-for-59 from 3-point range in their first NIT after shooting 33.5% from that range during the regular season. Junior guard Shon Briggs has stepped up in the tournament, averaging 17 points to improve his season mark to 7.4, while senior guard Dedrick Basile has contributed 16.3 to go along with four assists. Senior guard Jaylin Airington (14.4) is the team’s leading scorer overall and sophomore guard Damiyne Durham (12.8) is next after averaging 14.3 in the NIT. Bakersfield allows 37.0% shooting from the field to rank third in the nation and 63.5 points per game overall.
This Bakersfield team continues to defy the odds, but they may have met their match tonight in Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets will be one of the better defenses the Roadrunners have faced all season. It’s been a great run for Bakersfield, but I think it ends tonight.
Pick: Georgia Tech -2
|Cal. State – Bakersfield|
|Cal. State – Bakersfield|
HEAD TO HEAD
|No trends available.|
Trends courtesy of SportsOptions.com – an UltimateCapper.com partner