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2011 NIT Tournament Bracket, Schedule, Odds: Washington State, Alabama, Wichita State All Favored

The 2011 National Invitational Tournament continues its quarterfinal matchups tonight following Colorado’s victory over Kent State last night. The 2011 NIT has featured a variety of upsets, as the “Elite Eight” of the tournament included a four, six, and seven seed. There are two number ones and two number twos remaining as we enter tonight’s games. Betting odds come courtesy of Odds Shark and team ratings are courtesy of Ken Pomeroy. As always, the suggested picks are for entertainment value only.

No. 4 Wichita State vs. No. 6 College of Charleston – The Wichita State Shockers are the biggest favorite tonight as they are favored by 8 1/2 points against the Charleston Cougars. The Shockers bring a better offense and significantly better defense, with their biggest strength coming rebounding. Wichita State is ranked fourth in defensive rebounding and 57th in offensive rebounding, while Charleston is 290th and 132nd in those categories. If WSU can handle Charleston on the boards, this game is their’s for the cover. I say Wichita State rolls in double digits.

No. 1 Alabama vs. No 2. Miami, FL – The Crimson Tide are a five point favorite against the Hurricanes. The Tide bring a very strong defense to the table. They have a weaker offense than Miami, but defense wins championships. I think Alabama gets the win, but I would bet on Miami to cover.

No. 2 Washington State vs. No. 4 Northwestern – The Cougars are a four point favorite against the Wildcats, but the ratings might indicate Northwestern is worth a money-line wager. The teams are very closely rated, with Northwestern getting a slight nudge over Wazzou. The Cougars are more balanced on offense and defense, but Northwestern brings a strong offense to the table. If they can hit their shots and avoid turnovers, Northwestern could pull the upset. Just for the heck of it I’d say put your money on Northwestern to win.