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C-USA Semi-final #2 Middle Tennessee State vs Marshall

03/11/2016

Later today the MTSU Blue Raiders will take on the Marshall Thundering Herd for a spot in the 2016 C-USA Championship Game for the right to go dancing next week.  I’m honestly really indecisive as to how this game will go down.  The first meeting in January was a 82-66 route in favor of Marshall, but the second meeting was a tight battle untill the bitter end with MTSU winning 83-74.  With this taken into consideration, it will be interesting to see which sides of these two teams will show up respectively.  Here are my keys to the game.

  1. Will James Kelly be able to shine? Last night Kelly had a relatively underwhelming performance vs. UTEP.  He only had 17 points.  However, he would have been a lot more productive had he not had to have sat for the majority of the 1st half with picking up 2 quick fouls.  I expect him to have a strong showing since he scored 25 pts. the last time these two teams squared off.  We will have to wait and see how Coach Davis tries to slow him down tonight.
  2. Who will win the battle of the boards? The last time these two played, MTSU won the rebounding battle 36-27.  10 of those were offensive rebounds for the Blue Raiders.  Marshall will need to match their physicality tonight.  This will be important.  Those rebounds were important because they led to 16 2nd chance points.  That is the type of statistic that can cost a team in close games.
  3. Who will win the turnover battle? When these teams competed together in February, they both had 15 offensive turnovers apiece.  This will be key to watch tonight because I predict that whoever wins this will win the game.

 

Prediction: I think that this will be an interesting game.  It’s hard to predict exactly which team is going to show up.  However, I do think that Marshall will win tonight by somewhere in the neighborhood of 13 pts.  It should be close early, but I do think that Marshall will pull away late.  This should be an entertaining game to watch on the CBS Sports Network.

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