Mississippi Valley State vs. Western Kentucky: Game Time, TV Schedule and More

Tim KeeneyContributor IMarch 11, 2012

LOUISVILLE, KY - DECEMBER 23:  Russ Smith #2 of the Louisville Cardinals shoots the ball while defended by Nigel Snipes #21 of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers during the game at KFC YUM! Center on December 23, 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky.  Louisville won 70-60.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils and Western Kentucky Hilltoppers will battle it out for a chance to be the No. 16 seed to play the Kentucky Wildcats.

It's certainly not a position teams love to be in, but hey, it's the NCAA Tournament.

Here's a closer look at Wednesday's play-in game and what to expect as March Madness kicks off.

And for a complete NCAA Bracketclick here.


Where: University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, Ohio

When: Tuesday, March 13 2012, 6:30 p.m. EST

Watch: Tru TV

Betting Line: Western Kentucky (-3) according to Bovada.

 

Key Injuries (via Chicago Tribune)

Western Kentucky: Caden Dickerson (shoulder), Out

 

What They're Saying

Adam Zagoria of zagsblog.com points out that Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist could see a familiar opponent in the second round.

Yahoo's Pat Forde reminds us that Mississippi Valley State head coach Sean Woods is returning to the Big Dance for the first time in a while.

 

 

Mississippi Valley State Player to Watch: Paul Crosby

The senior center from Lansing, Michigan can fill up the statsheet.

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 25:  Head coach Sean Woods of the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils talks to Paul Crosby #32 during their game against the Tennessee State Tigers during the third round of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational at the Orl
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

He averages 13.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per contest and shoots it very well for a big man. Crosby hits over a three per game and shoots 74 percent from the free-throw line.

The ability for a big man to stretch the defense can make for some big mismatches and Crosby can do just that.

Throw in his ability to disrupt on defense (0.7 blocks and 1.5 steals per game), and Crosby should make a big impact. 

 

Western Kentucky Player to Watch: Derrick Gordon

LOUISVILLE, KY - DECEMBER 23:  Russ Smith #2 of the Louisville Cardinals and Derrick Gordon #5 of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers reach for a loose ball during the game at KFC YUM! Center on December 23, 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky.  Louisville won 70-6
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Gordon is one of the more underrated freshman in the country as he leads the Hilltoppers with 11.8 points and 6.8 rebounds.

He leads the team in rebounds despite only standing 6'2", which is amazing.

The freshman also passes the ball and plays defense, as evidenced by his 2.1 assists and 1.0 steals per contest.

Watch out for the youngin'.

 

Key Matchup

Western Kentucky's ability to get to the line.

The Hilltoppers are extremely good at getting to the free-throw line, as 23.8 percent of their points come from the charity stripe. That's 22nd-most in the country.

On the other side of the ball, Mississippi Valley State tends to foul. A lot. The Delta Devils commit an insane 20.4 fouls per contest.

MVSU will have to cut down on their fouls or the Hilltoppers will make a living there all night.

 

Prediction

Western Kentucky has had quite a bit of turmoil throughout the season, but they have put together wins at the right time.

They are currently playing their best basketball, and that's why I like them to pull off an exciting win despite their 15-18 record.

 

Delta Devils 68, Hilltoppers 78