The second round of the NCAA Tournament gets underway Saturday, and one of the evening contests will pit the No. 10 Penn State Nittany Lions (23-13) versus the No. 2 Texas Longhorns. This game will be played at the Wells Fargo Arena, with tipoff scheduled for 7:45 pm ET.
The Longhorns are the favorite in this one. They are -220 to win, while the Nittany Lions’ moneyline sits at +180. The spread features Penn State as 5.5-point underdogs (-120), and the over/under for total points is 139.5 (-110).
Penn State Looks To Stay Hot
Having won seven of their last eight games, the Penn State Nittany Lions are one of the hottest teams in basketball right now. In the opening round, on Thursday, they dismantled No. 7 Texas A&M 76-59, and they will look to stay hot as they take on the Longhorns in this one.
Andrew Funk led the Nittany Lions in that opening-round matchup. He scored 27 points to go along with four rebounds and one assist.
Jalen Pickett also had an exceptional game, flirting with a triple-double as he had 19 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds. Seth Lundy also chipped in 10 points.
Penn State ranks 133rd in the nation in scoring, averaging 72.4 points per game. On the defensive side, they rank 108th overall, allowing 68.1 points per game to opponents.
Longhorns Looking To Make It To Second Weekend
Hoping to make it to the Sweet 16, the Texas Longhorns will try to build off of their 81-61 win over No. 15 Colgate from the first round. After they also won the Big 12 Tournament, that gives them five straight victories entering this one.
In the win Thursday over Colgate, Jabari Rice led all scorers with 23 points. He also had six rebounds and three assists.
Marcus Carr (17 points, four assists), Dylan Disu (17 points, 10 rebounds), and Tyrese Hunter (10 points, four rebounds) also had great games in the opening win.
Texas ranks 79th in the nation in scoring defense, allowing opponents an average of 67.2 points per game. Over their last three, though, that number has been just 59 points per game.
On offense, the Longhorns rank 28th overall, averaging 77.9 points per game.
Take Penn State And The Points
Looking at the trends, the Nittany Lions come into this one 6-1 in their last seven games and 5-0 against the spread in their last five. In their last nine games as the underdog, they are a perfect 9-0 against the spread.
As for Texas, they are 6-0 against the spread in their last six games and 5-0 in their last five as favorites. In their last five games against Big Ten teams, the OVER has hit in four of them.
The Nittany Lions will try to be this year’s Cinderella team and keep dancing into the Sweet 16. They are certainly the underdogs, but with how they have been playing, they definitely could give the Longhorns a game in this one.
It is tough to take them straight up, but there is a lot of value in Penn State +5.5 (-120).