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Pick on the spread for Southeast Missouri State-Texas A&M Corpus Christi on March 14

VSiN’s Greg Peterson goes over the best betting options for Tuesday’s college basketball matchup between the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks and Texas A&M Corpus Christi Islanders.

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NCAA Basketball: Southland Conference Tournament Championship - Northwestern State vs Texas A&M CC Scott Clause-USA TODAY Sports

The First Four of the NCAA Tournament tip off on Tuesday as the 16th-seeded Southeast Missouri State Redhawks and Texas A&M Corpus Christi Islanders clash for the right to face the Alabama Crimson Tide in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament.

Southeast Missouri State Redhawks vs. Texas A&M Corpus Christi Islanders (-3.5, 156)

The Redhawks are already shorthanded inside without top rebounder Kobe Clark, who was averaging 6.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. As a result, they do not have a single player averaging more than five rebounds per game. Overall, Southeast Missouri State ranks 273rd in the nation in rebound rate while Texas A&M Corpus Christi ranks 83rd.

The free throw line might be Southeast Missouri State’s biggest foe on Tuesday, ranking 344th in fouls per possession while Texas A&M Corpus Christi ranks as the best free throw team, shooting 80% from the line.

Both teams play at fast paces with SE Missouri State ranking third in the nation in total possessions per game and Texas A&M Corpus Christi ranking 57th. However, SE Missouri State tends to get loose with the ball, averaging 13.1 turnovers per game.

Texas A&M Corpus Christi is one of the best at creating live ball turnovers, ranking 28th in the nation in steals forced per defensive play with Terrion Murdix ranking 17th among qualifying Division I players in steals per game with 2.3 himself. Murdix is out for this game, but even without him, Texas A&M Corpus Christi has a pair of starters in Jalen Jackson and Isaac Mushila averaging 1.4 steals per game each.

The Islanders have a bit more experience on this stage, having played in last year’s First Four in Dayton, losing to Texas Southern while the Redhawks are back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2000.

With Texas A&M Corpus Christi owning the edge on the glass, generating more steals on defense and being the top team from the free-throw line, it will get the win in Dayton on Tuesday.

The Play: Texas A&M Corpus Christi -3 .5

Get Peterson’s spread and total lines for every game on the college basketball board.

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