First Four Wichita State vs Drake Bulldogs Prediction & Odds
- With a win, the Wichita State Shockers would make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2018.
- The Drake Bulldogs could make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008 with a win.
- The Wichita State Shockers have defeated the Drake Bulldogs more than they have any other school with 100 wins.
Wichita State vs Drake Odds Comparison
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Wichita State vs Drake Betting Lines
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Wichita State vs Drake Bulldogs Predictions and Picks
This is definitely a pick ’em game. There are so many similarities between the two teams, so it’s a question of what will come through between Wichita State’s grinding and free-throws or Drake’s defense and efficiency.
Drake def. Wichita State ()
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How to Watch Wichita State vs Drake Bulldogs
|Wichita State vs Drake Bulldogs Information|
|What||Wichita State vs Drake|
|Where||Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, Indiana|
|When||6:27 PM EST, March 18th, 2021|
|How to Watch||TBS|
Head-to-Head: Wichita State vs Drake Bulldogs
|Isaac Brown||Head Coach||Darian DeVries|
|16-5 (11-2, 1st in AAC)||Standing||25-4 (15-3, 2nd in MVC)|
|104.0 (132nd of 347)||Off Rtg||114.9 (7th of 347)|
|96.9 (92nd of 347)||Def Rtg||96.0 (72nd of 347)|
Leaders (Per Game)
|T. Etienne (17.0)||PPG||S. Hemphill (14.1)|
|T. Wade (5.3)||RPG||D. Brodie (7.2)|
|A. Gilbert (4.1)||APG||R. Penn (5.5)|
|A. Gilbert (1.5)||SPG||R. Penn (1.4)|
|M. Udeze (0.9)||BPG||T. Murphy (0.9)|
|M. Udeze (.602)/T. Etienne (5.0)||FG%/FGM||N. Ferguson (.615)/S. Hemphill (6.1)|
|C. Porter (.500)/T. Etienne (3.1)||3P%/3PM||D. Wilkins (.418)/D. Wilkins (2.3)|
Why Might the Wichita State Shockers Win?
A lot of people will look to the Shockers’ poorer overall record compared to Drake’s and think, “Perhaps I shouldn’t bet on this team.” But that’s a rather short-sighted take on their ability.
The Shockers lost five games, but they were to some impressive teams in Missouri, Oklahoma State, Houston, Memphis, and Cincinnati. But head coach Isaac Brown’s team is disciplined on the defensive side, which makes up for their shortcomings on the offensive end.
Wichita State wants to force the Bulldogs into mistakes, in order to create easy baskets for themselves. It’s no secret that their offensive game isn’t the sharpest, but grinding it out and getting to the free-throw line is one of the best transferrable skills from the regular season to a single-elimination tournament.
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Why Might the Drake Bulldogs Win?
When you look at the Bulldogs, you see quite a few similarities between them and the Shockers. Drake is a much more efficient offensive team though, owing to their consistency.
Drake opened the season with 18 straight victories but closed out the season with a 6-3 record after that. Their ability to control the glass and not give their opponents second opportunities is the main reason for their success. On the other side, their offensive rebounding ability has given opponents trouble.
Considering Wichita State’s willingness to shoot the ball from deep, Drake likely won’t be able to take advantage of their intimidating interior defense too often. Should they be able to establish themselves in the paint early, the Bulldogs could come out with a victory.
Wichita State Key Player: (G) Tyson Etienne
— MVC Basketball (@ValleyHoops) March 6, 2021
Shockers guard Tyson Etienne has led the team in scoring through the 2020-2021 season. He hasn’t shot the ball particularly well throughout the season, but his willingness to attack the rim has been a game-changer for the Shockers.
Etienne is averaging 17.0 points per game on 37.9% shooting from the field, but 39.9% from the three-point range.
Etienne must take advantage of his outside shooting, as Drake is excellent at ceiling off the paint. The sophomore guard will have much less room for error in this matchup.
Drake Key Player: (G) Joseph Yesufu
— MVC Basketball (@ValleyHoops) March 6, 2021
Sophomore guard Joseph Yesufu needs to play well if Drake wants to advance to the NCAA tournament. After coming up cold in their elimination match against Loyola (IL) in the Conference Tournament, he needs to bounce back.
Yesufu has bee putting up numbers over his last seven games, averaging 23.1 points on 47.8% from the field and 47.7% from three. His recent performances have shown poor efficiency though, as he’s averaged just 35.4% shooting from the field.
He hasn’t been putting up massive numbers all season, but stepped up his game in the final months of the season. If he can carry over his aggressiveness, while improving his efficiency, Drake may get their shot in the tournament.
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
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