Brandon Shively’s 10* Missouri Valley Conference Game of the Week--Sunday
Wichita State vs. Northern Iowa,
01/08/2017 16:00 EDT,
Score: 80 - 66
Point Spread: +10/-106 Northern Iowa
Play on Northern Iowa Sunday 4:00 PM EST
Northern Iowa won 23 games last year. This year they are only 5-9 as their offense has regressed. They have started 0-3 in Conference play. The oddsmaker has really had to adjust, or in this case, over adjust.
Now they have to play Wichita State who is ranked in the Top 40 in adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency. So, the Shockers are a big favorite in this game, and I feel it is too many points. Wichita is coming off a 34 and 35 point win at home. I don’t think this team is nearly as good on the road. They won by 8 at Indiana State in their only MWC road game so far. Indiana State has been really bad also lately. Worse than Northern Iowa.
Two things that will keep Northern Iowa in this game. 1) Their defense. Ben Jacobson has has one of the best defenses in the Missouri Valley over the last 10 years. They still defend this year just like usual. The other factor that keeps them in this game. 2) Pace of play. Northern Iowa plays slow as has been one of the slowest teams in the nation over the last 3 years. Playing at home they will look to control the tempo.
Value. This is the most points that Northern Iowa has ever gotten at home vs Wichita. The previous highest was 6 points. Only twice in 10 meetings on their homecourt has Northern Iowa lost by double digits.
Wichita lost a lot of scoring from last year. While they have appeared to not miss a beat, I do question their mental toughness and maturity on the road. They weren’t able to beat top 50 teams in Michigan State, Oklahoma State, or Louisville. The teams they have beaten up on have been terrible defensive teams for the most part.
This game is a lot more important to Northern Iowa and I have them putting up a fight here, keeping this game within a few possessions.
10* Northern Iowa