#5 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (21-15 SU, 20-11 ATS, 10-15-1 O/U) v. #4 TCU Horned Frogs (23-15 SU, 18-18 ATS, 14-14-1 O/U) at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York
Thursday, March 30th, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. EST
Point Spread: TCU Horned Frogs -3.5
The fourth-seeded Horned Frogs of TCU will take on the sixth-seeded Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the NIT finals on Thursday night. These two teams were unable to claim a spot in the Big Dance, but an NIT Championship would be a pretty good consolation prize. Georgia Tech has looked very impressive during the tournament, but they’re still underdogs in this one. The favored TCU Horned Frogs have had a few close games during the NIT, but they’ve won their last two by double-digits. Which club will come out on top as NIT Champs in the Big Apple on Thursday?
Georgia Tech rambles past CSU Bakersfield
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets looked impressive in their 76-61 victory over Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday night. The Yellow Jackets built a 10-point lead at halftime, and their lead continued to balloon in the second half. Josh Okogie had a terrific game for Georgia Tech. The young freshman was the game’s leading scorer with 22 points. Okogie also added 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. Georgia Tech’s Ben Lammers had a great game for the Yellow Jackets as well. Lammers posted 15 points, 11 rebounds, an assist, 2 steals, and 5 blocks in the win.
Georgia Tech’s defense was incredibly impressive in Tuesday night’s semifinal win. The Yellow Jackets held Cal State Bakersfield to just 35% shooting from the field. They also forced 15 turnovers in the victory. Georgia Tech did an exceptional job protecting the rim. The Yellow Jackets finished the night with 8 blocked shots. Georgia Tech’s defense only allowed 66 points per game this season.
TCU’s huge second half pushes them to NIT final
The TCU Horned Frogs trailed after the first half of play in Tuesday night’s semifinal matchup with the UCF Knights. However, the Horned Frogs battled back in the second half, outscoring the Knights by 17 points. Ultimately, TCU came away with a 68-53 victory. TCU’s Vladimir Brodziansky led all scorers in the win. He finished the night with 18 points on 54% shooting. Brodziansky also added 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and a block. Kenrich Williams had a nice game as well, contributing 14 points, 14 rebounds, and 7 assists.
The Horned Frogs dominated the glass in the win over UCF. They corralled 44 rebounds on Tuesday night, which gave them a 9 rebound advantage over the Knights. The Horned Frogs also moved the ball remarkably well. As a team, TCU finished the night with 20 assists. They assisted on 77% of their made field goals. The Horned Frogs have been one of the best passing teams in the nation this season. They averaged nearly 17 assists throughout the year.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are:
- 5-13-1 ATS in their last 19 Thursday games.
The TCU Horned Frogs are:
- 10-2 ATS in their last 12 neutral site games.
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games.
- 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
TCU has looked great lately. In fact, they were just one win away from a NCAA Tournament berth. The Horned Frogs have won six of their last seven games. They’ve dominated their last two NIT games, winning by an average of 16.5 points. I think Georgia Tech has had a much easier road through the NIT, so I’m not nearly as impressed their tournament run. TCU’s offense has looked great; they’re averaging 23 assists over their last 3 games. I like the Horned Frogs to finish their season with a win at MSG. TCU covers in the NIT Championship.