The quarterfinals of the CBI Commence in Daytona Beach, Fla., on Monday with the San Jose State Spartans looking to continue their last season surge against the Radford Highlanders.
Radford Highlanders vs. San Jose State Spartans (6.5, 127)
Though the Spartans overall are 196th in the country in points allowed per possession, the defense has clicked late in the season with 68 points or fewer allowed in regulation, which excludes overtime, in each of their last seven games.
The main catalyst for San Jose State’s turnaround is rebounding as the team is eighth in the nation in rebound rate with three separate players averaging more than six rebounds per game.
The Spartans face a Radford team that ranks 186th in the country in defensive rebound rate overall and away from home allows opponents to rebound 27.8% of their minutes.
Fatigue might be an enemy of Radford as well with the Highlanders coming off a 72-70 overtime win against Tarleton State on Sunday, while San Jose State earned a blowout 77-52 win over Southern Indiana on Saturday, giving the Spartans not just an extra day of rest, but a lower stress game in the previous round.
The Highlanders have also dealt with their coach Darris Nichols being away from the team due to a drunken driving arrest in February. Nichols was away from the team for four games before returning for the win against Tarleton State and in the five games since the incident, Radford has surrendered at least 69 points in four of those games. The Highlanders had surrendered 66 points or fewer in 12 of their last 16 games prior to the incident.
Given that San Jose State has the Mountain West Player of the Year in guard Omari Moore, who is averaging 20.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game since the start of February, and is 22-11 against the spread this season, San Jose State will remain profitable.
The Play: San Jose State -6.5
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