Vegas Odds: Vanderbilt by 2.5 -- Bet at bodog
Why Murray St will win:
The fact this is only a 2.5 point spread for a 13-4 game, shows the respect people have for the Racers and their 30-4 record. In their lone foray into BCS basketball, the Racers lost by just 5 points at Cal way back in November. With 6 players that score between 9.5 and 11.6 ppg, this team can beat you in a lot of different ways.
Racer to Watch:
BJ Jenkins, G - 11 ppg, 3 rpg, 3 apg
While Isaiah Canaan is Murray's best 3-point shooter, Jenkins is a very streaky shooter who can either light it up or go cold. When he gets going, Murray St becomes an extremely tough out.
Why Vanderbilt will win:
Vandy earned a 4 seed by beating the likes of Saint Mary's & Missouri early and Tennessee twice in SEC play. With the likes of AJ Ogilvy, Jeffery Taylor, and John Jenkins on the roster, Vandy has legit pro prospects and ultimately talent wins out.
Jeffery Taylor, G/F - 13 ppg, 5 rpg, 2 apg
Taylor finished the season in a bit of a slide, scoring only 7.5 ppg in their last 4 games. In comparison, he averaged 18.5 ppg in the 4 key wins I mentioned above. While Ogilvy and Beal tend to show up for every game, Taylor needs to bring his A game.
How it will go down:
In a pool that rewards bonus points for upsets, Murray St is definitely a smart pick. However, I still like Vandy here. Taylor is due for a better game, and Ogilvy is still capable of being a difference maker. MSU's big Tony Easley is a good defender, but not great on O, which should help Ogilvy stay out of foul trouble.
Betting Pick: Vanderbilt (this is a pretty fair line, so I wouldn't go crazy here.)
Real Pick: Vanderbilt