Dave's College Basketball Picks, Mar.5: No. 23 Illinois at Penn State

dave darbySenior Analyst IMarch 4, 2009

#23 Illinois (23-7, 11-6) at Penn State (20-9, 9-7)

Line: Illinois -2

Illinois fell at home 66-74 to the Big Ten Conference regular season champs Michigan State on Sunday. Illinois allowed 11 steals and was out rebounded in the game.

Purdue is tied with Illinois in the win column for second place in the conference, but finishes their regular season at Michigan State on Sunday. 

It would seem that Illinois has the upper hand at this point with Purdue’s loss to Northwestern and a tough final game for the Boilermakers, assuming Illinois shoots better than in their last meeting with Penn State.

Penn State pulled out a 61-58 victory against Indiana on Saturday and is tied with Wisconsin and Ohio State for fourth place in the conference.

Several times, Penn State got up six points or more and looked like they were going to put Indiana away, but the Hoosiers found an answer every time and showed a lot of heart for a team assured of a last place finish.

Penn State finishes the regular season at Iowa on Saturday.


Illinois is 15-11-1 against the spread including 6-4 on the road

Penn State is 13-9 against the spread including 7-4 at home

Penn State is 8-2 against the spread in their last 10 match ups against Illinois

We can only hope we don’t have to sit through another game like we saw in the first match up between these two teams this season. The two teams combined to shoot under 30 percent in a 38-33 victory for Penn State. Illinois has averaged over 62 points since that game, and Mike Tisdale has been come on as of a late, greatly improving the Illini's inside game.

Penn State should be fired up for senior night. The crowd will be charged up and jam packed into the Bryce Jordan Center. Season ticket holders get a free ticket to give out, and you can’t beat $1 hot dog night. In the end, this will be a close one, so I’ll take the home team and the points.

Dave’s Pick: Penn State +2

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