2012 NIT Basketball Odds and Picks: Cleveland State vs Stanford
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
by Joe Rodriguez
Teams that started the season strong look to finish on a high note as sixth-seeded Cleveland State Vikings visits third-seeded Stanford in an NIT first-round game at Maples Pavilion, where Stanford Cardinal went 14-3.
The Vikings lost six of their last eight games, while Stanford lost three of its last six. The teams' only common opponent was Butler, which beat Stanford 71-66 on Dec. 22 and split two games with Cleveland State.
The winner will play the winner of Wednesday's first-round game between second-seeded Ole Miss and seventh-seeded Illinois State.
- Cleveland State Vikings @ Stanford Cardinal
When: 11:00 PM ET, Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Where: Maples Pavilion, Stanford, California
TV: 11 p.m. ET, ESPN2
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Cleveland State Vikings (22-10): The Vikings, who are making their fourth postseason appearance in the last five years, opened the season with a 13-point road victory over Vanderbilt and finished with a 63-58 loss to eventual champion Detroit in the Horizon League semifinals. Guard DAundray Brown missed seven of the team's final eight games with a groin injury, but he scored 17 against Detroit on March 10. Brown averages 11 points and 4.6 boards, and Trey Harmon is the team's top 3-point threat while averaging a team-high 12.9 points. Harmon set a single-season school record with 71 3-pointers for the Vikings, who shoot 36 percent beyond the arc.
Stanford Cardinal (21-11): The Cardinal return to the postseason for the first time in three years after losing 77-71 to California in the Pac-12 tournament quarterfinals. Freshman guard Chasson Randle, who scored 49 points in two games in the tournament, averages a team-high 13.8 points. Randle is also Stanford's top shooter from 3-point range, where he's hitting 43 percent. Josh Owens averages 11.6 points and 5.7 rebounds, and Stanford has the edge down low with its rebounding margin of plus-5.2. The Cardinal lost by just six to Syracuse early in the season and entered Pac-12 play with a 10-2 record.
1. It doesn’t figure to be a high-scoring game considering Cleveland State allows just 59.6 points per game, and Stanford yields 62.9.
2. Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins used 13 different starting lineups in 18 Pac-12 games.
3. Cleveland State’s opponents have made more free throws (505 of 761) than the Vikings have attempted (345 of 483).
BASKETBALL PREDICTION: Cardinal 68, Vikings 59.
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