The Cleveland State Vikings will face the Northern Kentucky Norse on Tuesday in the final of the Horizon League Tournament. On Monday, the fourth-seeded Norse upset the #1 seed in the Horizon League, Youngstown State. NKU overcame a poor shooting performance to win 75-63. Tonight, they’ll try to punch their ticket to the Big Dance against Cleveland State, who exploded for 93 points in their win over UW-Milwaukee on Monday. These teams both sit at 21-12 and are an excellent 16-6 in conference play. So far, they’ve split the season series, with both teams prevailing on their home floor. Tonight, they’ll meet in Indianapolis to determine the Horizon League champion.
Northern Kentucky Norse vs. Cleveland State Vikings Betting Odds
|Northern Kentucky||-1.5 (-110)||Over 126 (-110)||-125|
|Cleveland State||+1.5 (-110)||Under 126 (-110)||+105|
Northern Kentucky Norse vs. Cleveland State Vikings Match Details
Fixture: Northern Kentucky Norse vs. Cleveland State Vikings
Date & Time: Tuesday, March 7, 7:00 p.m. EDT
Venue: Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Indianapolis, IN
Northern Kentucky Norse vs. Cleveland State Vikings Key Stats
Northern Kentucky is a team that rarely turns the ball over, and last game, they committed only three turnovers in the win over Youngstown State. The Norse are usually able to have more possessions than their opponent, which has been key over the last few weeks. Junior Marques Warrick led the team in scoring last season, and he’s averaging a career-high 19.2 points this season. Warrick has scored 22 in his team’s two conference tournament games, and the Norse will rely on him to set the tone tonight.
NKU carefully execute on offense, but one weakness has been their defensive rebounding outside of senior Chris Brandon, who grabs 9.8 total boards per game. Their lack of size could be an issue, but they can compensate for this with their defensive intensity, as they force 15.6 turnovers per contest. The turnover differential is what carries the Norse to wins, so they’ll need to maintain that trend tonight.
Cleveland State is a solid offensive team, averaging 106.5 points per 100 possessions, and junior Tristain Enaruna has to take a lot of credit. The Iowa State transfer leads the way with 15.6 points and 6.7 rebounds, and he’s been red-hot during this tournament run. The Vikings, like the Norse, also struggle to control defensive rebounds, so we could see many second-chance opportunities arise on both sides. Both head-to-head meetings have been decided by one point this year, and we could see an exciting finish once again.
Northern Kentucky Norse vs. Cleveland State Vikings Betting Prediction
Northern Kentucky has now covered seven straight games after a slow start to the year when it came to beating the spread. They’re extremely confident at the moment after knocking off the #1 seed in this tournament, Youngstown State, but they know this won’t be a walk in the park. Cleveland State has had a solid year, but they’ve only covered three of their previous 11, winning several close contests in the last few weeks. Because NKU has been red-hot, I’m going to go with them to secure their place in the NCAA Tournament tonight in what should be a wire-to-wire affair.
Prediction: Northern Kentucky -1.5 (-110)
Lucas Abrenica’s NCAA Basketball ATS & ML picks this season are 86-68-3 (+105 units)