NCAA Berth on Horizon
The Horizon League tournament championship game features a pair of programs accustomed to success at this time of the year. Wright State is making its sixth championship game appearance in the last 10 seasons while Northern Kentucky is going after its third trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2017.
Since Northern Kentucky made the jump from Division II to join the Horizon League, the Norse have faced the Raiders twice in the conference tournament. Northern Kentucky won in the second round in 2017 and beat Wright State in the 2019 title games.
Wright State is hoping one trend will continue. In each of the Raiders’ last four trips to the Horizon League final, the lower-seeded team won the championship to secure a spot in the March Madness bracket. Wright State has been the higher seed in the last three instances and fell one win shy of the NCAA Tournament.
— Horizon League (@HorizonLeague) March 8, 2022
Northern Kentucky is 192nd and Wright State 193rd in the NCAA NET rankings so there won’t be much to consider when it comes to the March Madness predictions. The winner is in the NCAA Tournament and the loser will have to look for other postseason options.
Going into the tournament semifinals, Wright State had +225 odds and Northern Kentucky was at +300 in the odds to win the Horizon League title. The game is a pick’em, which is understandable when looking at the numbers.
Basile has the Wright Stuff
Grant Basile ended the regular season by scoring more than 20 points four times in his last four games for Wright State. It turns out that the junior forward was just warming up.
Basile had a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds in a comfortable win over Oakland in the quarterfinals of the Horizon League tournament. He then went off for 27 points on 10-of-15 shooting to go with 11 rebounds, three assists and four blocked shots in a win over Cleveland State in the semifinals.
Since Wright State dropped back-to-back games to Northern Kentucky and Cleveland State, with Basile going 6 of 19 in those losses, Basile has scored in double figures in 12 straight games and had at least 20 points on seven occasions. The Raiders are 6-1 during that stretch when he has at least 20 points and 3-2 when he is held under 20 points. The only loss when hitting the 20-point mark came to Tuesday night’s opponent.
Basile teams with Tanner Holden, the national leader with 192 free throws made, to give the Raiders one of the top 1-2 scoring punches in the nation. Other teams had better March Madness odds but the Raiders are one of the last two teams standing.
Five of the last seven Wright State games went over the Las Vegas odds total.
Who Says There is No ‘D’ in Northern Kentucky?
Northern Kentucky has made it a habit of making deep runs in the Horizon League tournament since making the jump to the Division I level, but this might have been one of the more challenging roads to the final.
It started off with a quarterfinal matchup against Detroit Mercy, a team that features one of the nation’s top scorers in Antoine Davis.
Davis came into the game averaging 24.2 points. He had more than 100 3-pointers and was shooting better than 40 percent from 3-point range. Davis finished with 17 points on 5-of-17 shooting and was just 1 of 7 on 3-pointers as the Norse won 77-59.
If the defense was impressive in the quarterfinals, it was even better in the semifinals. Facing a Purdue Fort Wayne team that had scored more than 80 points in four of its final five regular-season matchups, the stifling Northern Kentucky defense held Purdue Fort Wayne to 43 points on 29 percent shooting. The Norse came up with 12 steals to cruise to the 14-point win.
Northern Kentucky has covered against the college basketball spreads in its last five games.
Wright State vs Northern Kentucky Head-to-Head
Northern Kentucky has won three of the last four games against Wright State and covered in each of those four contests. The teams met twice this season, with the Norse winning 73-63 at home as a two-point underdog on Jan. 25 and 75-71 as a six-point underdog on the road on Feb. 13.
Something to consider for those who bet online: Four of the last five meetings have been decided by six points or less while six of the last eight games between the teams have finished over the total.
Wright State vs Northern Kentucky Game Information
- Game: Wright State (20-13) vs. Northern Kentucky (20-11)
- Location: Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Indianapolis, IN
- Day/Time: Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET
- Television: ESPN
Wright State vs Northern Kentucky Betting Lines
Wright State vs Northern Kentucky Prediction
Wright State has the No. 2 scoring offense in the Horizon League and Northern Kentucky possesses the top defense, with the Norse also topping the league in rebounding margin.
The game features three of the top six scorers in the Horizon League. Wright State’s Tanner Holden (19.9 points per game) and Grant Basile (18.5) are third and fourth while Northern Kentucky’s Marques Warrick is sixth (16.4).
Holden and Basile are a handful to deal with, but it is hard to go against Northern Kentucky’s track record.
Here’s your chance to win $1,000,000. Shoot your shot in the BetUS March Mayhem Bracket Contest.