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Southern Mississippi Positioned to Win the National Invitation Tournament

Southern Mississippi is 14-5 ATS versus teams with a winning record, including 8-2 ATS versus opponents with a win percentage between .600 and .800 so the Golden Eagles are more than capable of winning tonight’s game at Minnesota.  The buy sign for Southern Mississippi came following its dominating 71-63 road win over Missouri wherein the Golden Eagles demonstrated their intention of taking the National Invitation Tournament seriously.  To underestimate head coach Donnie Tyndall’s squad would be a mistake as the Eagles are a profitable 21-10 ATS this season, including 13-2 ATS after winning four of its last five games and 18-8 ATS following a win.  Let’s also note that Southern Mississippi is 10-4-1 ATS in its last fifteen games off a win, whereas the Gophers are a money-burning 3-7 ATS in their last ten games after covering the point spread and 4-9-1 ATS following a straight-up win.

Southern Mississippi’s success this season has been predicated upon a very good defense that is allowing 62.8 points per game to teams that would combine to average 70.1 points per game.  The Eagles are also limiting opponents to just 65.5 points per game on the road and 63.4 points over their last five games.  Overall, Southern Mississippi is 7.3 points per game better than average defensively this season, which is certainly good enough to contain a pedestrian Minnesota attack that is just 3.5 points per game better than average (71.4 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 67.9 points per game).  The Gophers’ recent offensive performances also fail to instill confidence as they are averaging a mere 70.4 points over the last five games (44.3% FG; 36.7% 3-PT).

From strictly a fundamental standpoint, Southern Mississippi possesses a decent  3.8 points per game advantage defensively over the Gophers’ attack.  That advantage is similar to the one Minnesota possesses over the Eagles’ offense.  Specifically, Southern Mississippi is 1.5 points per game better than average offensively (72.1 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 70.6 points per game), while the Gophers’ defense is 3.6 points per game better than average (67.8 points per game to teams that would combine to average 71.5 points per game).  However, Minnesota’s nominal 2.1 points per game advantage defensively is less than thew advantage maintained by the Eagles at the defensive end of the floor.

Southern Mississippi has also demonstrated an ability to win on the road as evidenced by the Eagles’ 14-6 SU and 12-8 ATS record this season.  The Eagles also possess impressive wins over North Dakota State (70-69), Georgia State (75-65), Louisiana Tech (80-71)and Missouri (71-63) so they won’t be intimidated by tonight’s environment. With Southern Mississippi head coach Tyndall standing at 20-9 ATS versus non-conference opponents, grab the generous points and invest with confidence.

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