Without question the wrong team is favored here tonight.
Last Thursday I almost used this Jacksonville State team at Belmont catching +12 but I decided to watch the game knowing this match up with Murray State was looming..
Now entering that battle with the 22-1 Bruins, the Gamecocks had won 4 in a row SU and ATS with all 4 wins by double digits.
They led the entire game, jumping out to a 27-22 halftime lead and got up by as many at 9 in the 2nd half before the Bruins took their first lead with 3:26 to go 54-53.
Belmont won the game 63-59.
This team has for the most part been competitive in every single game this year with exception of their first: the 81-57 loss at Alabama to open the season.
Yes, they got drilled at home by Morehead State 85-66 but they played that game without 6'11 staring center Brandon Huffman.
They lost in early December at FIU by 4, at EKU in OT by 3, at Morehead State by 1, Belmont at home by 7 and EKU at home in Ot by 4.
Yes, off the tough loss at Belmont they were flat at Tennessee State on Saturday winning 77-76 failing to cover as a 7-point road chalk.
Now back home they get a Murray State team they already beat this year on the road 85-82 catching +7 1/2.
In that game they shot 56% from the floor, 45% from 3 and absolutely dominated the paint out rebounding Murray State 36-23.
Now I went against this Murray State team back on February 4th jumping on the home dog Morehead State +2 1/2 and watched them win outright 66-56.
Since that loss the Racers have gone 5-1 SU and ATS but only 2 of those wins came on the road: a nice win over EKU and the other win was against 8-15 SIUE.
All told, they are 4-6 SU on the highway this year and the bottom line is I just don't see them beating who I feel, is the 2nd best team in the Ohio Valley conference.
With Murray State 1-8 ATS their last 9 games following a win of more than 20 points and the dog 4-0 ATS last 4 in this series, only one way I am playing this one.
I will be shocked if this dog doesn't win outright tonight.
We're the boys in the desert watching the same game I was watching on Friday?
In handing you Northern Kentucky on Friday (+9 1/2) over Wright State, I said NKU was playing their best ball of the year and the game would go down to the wire.
That is exactly what happened and wouldn't you know it, the home dog Norse delivered the outright win 81-75.
What was even more impressive was the fact NKU didn't just win yesterday, they were actually the better team for the full 40 minutes.
The largest lead Wright State had in the game was 4 in the 1st half 25-21 at the 7:33 mark before NKU closed on a 21-13 run for the 42-38 halftime lead.
In the 2nd half NKU seized control at the 15 minute mark going on a 10-0 run over the next 1:27 to take a 59-51 lead with 13:20 to go.
The closest Wright got the rest of the way was 4.
NKU outshot Wright St from the floor 46% to 43%, from behind the arc 43% to 34% and out rebounded them 39-35.
Trust me when I tell you they left the court last night believing they were the better team and they will take the court today believing the same thing.
This isn't going to be a blowout people because let history show that for the most part, since joining the Horizon league in 2015, they have played close games on this floor.
Year one Wright St got NKU 60-46 but, all 5 meetings have gone down to the wire
In 2016 NKU won 83-76, in 17 Wright won 84-81, in 18 Wright got them again 68-64 and last year Wright won 64-62.
Of course we all know about NKU's 6-point win last night.
I told you Friday and I will tell you again today: This Norse team is playing their best ball of the year having now won 8 of their last 9 SU and 7-2 ATS.
The bottom line: NKU is not going to no show after winning on Friday. It's not in head coach Darrin Horn's DNA not to have his kids ready to play again today.
Especially against this team and especially at home.
History tells us they play close games and this one today, like yesterday, will be a single digit game the entire way.
Don't be surprised to see NKU shock the world and win outright again.