Lipscomb vs Texas Preview & Free Pick [NIT Championship]

Lipscomb (29-7) vs Texas (20-16)
When: Thursday, April 4th, 2019
Where: Madison Square Garden,
New York, New York
Time: 7:00 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Pickem/149

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The Lipscomb Bison will be playing for a Men’s Basketball Championship for just the second time in school history when they take on the Big 12’s Texas Longhorns at Madison Square Garden for the 2019 NIT title. The Bison have the most ‘true’ road wins in Division I this season at 14 and played their first neutral site game in Tuesday’s semifinals, roaring past Wichita State 71-64. Lipscomb received 34 points from star guard Garrison Mathews to help the Bison become the first Atlantic Sun Conference team to reach the title game of the NIT. In Tuesday’s other semifinal game, the Longhorns used a stifling defense to put away a TCU team that beat Texas twice in Big 12 play this season. The Longhorns limited the Horned Frogs to a season-low 44 points on 28.3 percent shooting while forcing 11 turnovers and allowing only seven assists. Seniors Kerwin Roach and Dylan Osetkowski combined for 35 points in the win to put Texas in the NIT title game for the first time since its 1978 championship season. The Longhorns are now 10-3 all-time in the NIT including 3-0 at Madison Square Garden. Texas has won both meetings all-time with Lipscomb, including an 80-57 home win in November of 2017, as the Longhorns limited the Bisons to 29.3 percent shooting.

Lipscomb boasts one of the best offenses in the country at 83.6 points per game while shooting 48.3 percent from the field and 75.5 percent from the free-throw line – ranking in the top 24 in all categories in the nation. Mathews has averaged 28.8 points and 7.8 rebounds during the Bisons’ four NIT wins over Davidson, UNC Greensboro, NC State, and Wichita State. Forward Rob Marberry (14.7 points) and guard Kenny Cooper (10.0, team-leading 4.5 assists) also average double figures for Lipscomb.

While the Bison have won all of their NIT games on the road, Texas won their first three in Austin before beating TCU in New York on Tuesday. The Longhorns had come into this tournament with five losses in six games and are excelling even without Big 12 Freshman of the Year and projected NBA Draft lottery pick Jaxson Hayes, who went down in the Big 12 Tournament. Roach and Osetkowski have averaged a combined 32.0 points, 9.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists in Hayes’ abscence. Freshman guard Courtney Ramey went scoreless versus TCU, but did record eight assists in the victory.

This Lipscomb team is no joke and Mathews is a terrific player who can lead his team to a title. The Texas defense won’t be able to slow down the Bison like they did TCU. Look for a tight game with Lipscomb pulling it out at the end.

Pick: Lipscomb +1.5

Bison are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
Bison are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Bison are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
Bison are 22-7-1 ATS in their last 30 non-conference games.
Bison are 14-6 ATS in their last 20 games following a ATS win.
Bison are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 Thursday games.

Longhorns are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Thursday games.
Longhorns are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.
Longhorns are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing less than 50 points in their previous game.
Longhorns are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
Longhorns are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.

Under is 5-2 in Bison last 7 neutral site games.

Under is 5-0 in Longhorns last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Under is 6-1 in Longhorns last 7 overall.
Under is 13-3 in Longhorns last 16 Thursday games.
Under is 4-1 in Longhorns last 5 neutral site games.
Under is 39-17-1 in Longhorns last 57 games following a straight up win.