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Southern Illinois vs. Bradley, Take Bradley Braves
Bradley returns home after three straight road games where the Braves went 1-2 to drop to 8-7 in the conference. They are 10-1 on their home floor this season with the lone loss coming against Wichita St. in a game that they started slow and couldn’t recover. That loss doesn’t mean that Bradley cannot defeat good teams on their home floor as it has beaten Northern Iowa, Creighton and Missouri St. by 8, 17 and 10 points respectively. The Braves will be looking to avenge an 11-point loss at Southern Illinois.
The Salukis are off a big road win at Creighton on Saturday and trying to repeat that effort in a similar hostile environment will be tough to achieve. Southern Illinois is a solid 7-5 on the road thanks to a defense that has shut most teams down. However, the offense is a putrid 302nd in points scored at 61.9 ppg and they are averaging only 57.8 ppg on the highway. The defense is one of the best around but the Braves have a very strong defense of their own.
The Braves are 54th in the nation in field goal defense while they lead the MVC in three-point field goal percentage defense (31.2 percent), blocked shots per game (4.8 bpg), steals per game (9.3 spg) and rebounding (38.8 rpg). Bradley has a solid 1.071 assist/turnover ratio as it also leads the MVC by averaging 16.7 assists per game. The Braves have recorded at least 20 assists in eight different games this season. The Salukis have a ratio of only 0.868.
Southern Illinois will be the sixth team that begins this week as a conference leader to visit Carver Arena this year. The Braves are 4-1 in the other five games. This game is pretty big for the Braves as far as postseason seedings are concerned. A Bradley win or a Drake loss will put the Braves into the quarterfinal round, meaning a bye, of the MVC Tournament. The Salukis have owned this series of late but the Braves are poised to end that drought on Tuesday. Play Bradley Braves One Unit
Southern Mississippi vs. Memphis, Take Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles
It is hard to imagine that Memphis will be fully focused for this game after already beating Southern Miss 85-68 three weeks ago. The Tigers are 10-0 SU over their past ten games, but a money-burning 2-8 ATS during that span as Memphis has difficultly covering these inflated numbers. In fact, the Tigers have only won once in the past ten games by more than 23 points.
Southern Mississippi is a slow-down, half court team that enables them to keep games close. Despite being just 2-7 SU the past nine games, the Eagles are a profitable 7-2 ATS during that span. Southern Miss also qualifies in a solid 85-48 ATS big underdog revenge situation tonight.