The Final Four tips off on Saturday with two games that could prove to be two of the best all season in the NCAA. However, two other teams will be taking the hardwood court at famed Madison Square Garden on Thursday when the Stanford Cardinal meet the Miami Hurricanes for the NIT Championship.
Current odds have Stanford as 1.5-point chalk with the total points for the over/under sitting on 134.5.
Already playing minus Angel Rodriguez its starting point guard, Miami lost Tonye Jekiri its 7-foot center during the NIT semifinal against Temple due to a concussion.
Nevertheless, Miami was able to overcome a halftime deficit of 30-25 to beat Temple 60-57 as 1-point chalk Tuesday night in the Big Apple. Both players will miss the game for Miami on Thursday versus Stanford.
Stanford on the season is 23-13 straight up and 16-19-1 against the spread. Miami is 25-12 SU and 17-17-1 ATS.
Sheldon McClellan is Miami’s catalyst and scored 16 points while grabbing 11 boards in the Hurricanes win over Temple. Davon Ravon pitched in with 6 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocked hosts.
Miami has won 7 of its past 8 games overall, while going 5-3 against the number in those same 8 games. The sole loss straight up during that stretch was to Notre Dame during the ACC Tournament.
The Hurricanes have been dogs on 11 occasions this season, with a record of 5-6 SU and 7-4 ATS. Miami has won outright as road dogs this season against Florida, Duke, Syracuse and Pitt.
Stanford reached this final by defeating Old Dominion in the semifinal 67-60, as a favorite by 3.5 points. The combined points of 127 cashed on the UNDER on a line of 133.5.
Stanford went up 15-0 to start the game and 25-4 with under nine minutes remaining in the first half. Old Dominion did rally and at one point led for a brief moment during the middle of the final second half.
Chasson Randle was the leader scorer for the Cardinal with 24 points. He is now the all time leading Stanford scorer after passing Todd Lichti. Stefan Nastic scored 17 points for the Cardinal while Antony Brown ended with 14.
Stanford is 2-1 ATS in its first three games of the NIT. Randle is averaging 19.4 points per game to lead the Cardinal.
After the UNDER cashed in two straight games, it is now 16-14-20 for Miami overall. The UNDER has cashed in 18 of the past 36 games for Stanford overall.
The game will air at 9:00 p.m. ET in New York City.
Prediction: Miami will be too undermanned with two important players missing out. I like Stanford 72-67.