Game info:

  • Date: Thursday 18. March
  • Time: 17:27 CST
  • TV : TBS
  • Location: Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, West Lafayette.


  drake Wichita State
Season Record 25-4 (15-3, 2 in MVC) 16-5 (11-2, 1 in AAFC)
Power cable ( -1.5 (-112) +1.5 (-108)
Public Trend: Percentage (%) 30% 70%
Money for public trend %. 78% 22%


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The Drake Bulldogs were one of the biggest surprises in college basketball in 2021. They gained national attention after starting the season with 18 consecutive wins before losing to Valparaiso in the second of two away games in the ARC. Drake has a combined record of 6-2 against Quad 1 and 2 teams this season.

Drake made a brief foray into the Top 25 in early February, spending a week at No. 25 before the aforementioned Road Trip dropped a week later. It was his first 25. Placement since the 2007-08 season where they finished 14th. For Drake, this is their first NCAA Tournament appearance since this season when they were seeded No. 5 and were eliminated in the first round by No. 2. 12 Western Kentucky. You can bet Bulldog fans still have a chip on their shoulder about this.

The 2020-21 Bulldogs have a high scoring output and lead the Missouri Valley Conference with 77.4 PPG and a .494 PPG%. His only problem… are injuries. Shortly after losing the first 18 games of the season, Drake lost his first assistant, Roman Penn, for the remainder of the season with a foot injury. They have also had to miss their leading scorer for the last nine games of the season and have revenge on their hands with ShanQuan Hemphill, who looks to be on his way to a game.

Drake’s Shankwan Hemphill (foot) will play in Thursday’s First Four against Wichita State, according to Darian DeVries. Average of 14.1 PCA and 6.3 RPG. He led the team in scoring and rebounding.

I haven’t played in weeks.

The first four key messages.

– John Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 16, 2021

Some may wonder why Hemphill is injured, but my answer to that? It’s the NCAA tournament, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for some of these guys. He’ll find a way to be ready.

The only good thing about Hemphill’s injury is that sophomore Joseph Esuf got more of a chance to shine. He came into the game immediately and averaged 23 points per game during Hemphill’s 36-minute absence.

Drake closed out the season with a loss in the MVC Championship against the #8 ranked Loyola Ramblers.


Brand new coach Isaac Brown brought the AAC regular season champion Shockers back for the big dance (sort of) after the team completely missed the 2018-19 tournament and had their 2019-20 hopes destroyed due to COVID. This is a good Wichita State team that bettors love, but it’s not the Shockers, who have five top-10 tournament berths in the last decade.

Wichita State has scored 72.4 points per game this season, which is third in the AAC behind Houston and SMU. On the other end of the field, they allowed 67.4 points per game. The team has never made the top 25.

The Shockers certainly played a tougher schedule than the Bulldogs, with tough games against Missouri and Oklahoma State and a conference that included Houston, a future No. 2 seed. Wichita State shared the season series with the Cougars after a 68-63 win at home on the 18th. February. Their preseason ended with a heartbreaking one-point loss against Cincinnati in the semifinals of the AAC Tournament.

This team can certainly shoot three-pointers, and that’s exactly what they do, averaging over 24 attempts per game from behind the arc. Wichita State is led by 2020-21 AAC Player of the Year Tyson Etienne, who is averaging 17 points per game this season. Etienne is a force on the perimeter, but he also has the ability to penetrate and get to the line, thanks in part to the fact that Wichita State averaged just 22 free throw attempts per game.

Etienne, along with 6-foot-8 center Morris Udese, is fueled by All-AAC guard and UCONN transfer Alteric Gilbert, who averages 4.1 assists per game and scores more than 10 points.

What worries me about this team is the depth. Outside of Etienne and Gilbert, no other player has averaged double digits this season, and the drop in scoring outside of the starting five has not been significant.


It’s a good game, and I think Vegas is right to predict a close game. But ultimately, I’m putting my money on Drake to fill the gap. Hemphill’s return is a great asset to the Bulldogs’ team, and that’s no small feat considering how easily Esufu has fit in in his absence. The confidence he has gained during this time makes this already deep team even deeper in terms of quality. Drake will have to find a way to control Etienne and play a clean game to keep Wichita State off the line and avoid fouls. If none of that happens, the Bulldogs could be in trouble.

These two teams are fighting for their lives. The nerves will be tense and the adrenaline will be pumping, and I think that bodes well for teams below three goals, which as we all know can be quite inconsistent. In the end, I’m betting on the deeper, better organized team in this contest.

Don’t take my word for it, look at the difference between the public interest rate and the money rate in the spread above. Sharps also supports Drake. EVERYTHING. PROVAL. MONEY! !! I can see this line rising to Drake -2, and I might even wait for that in the hopes that the odds will drop to -110 with him.

CUTTER: Drake -1.5 (will play to -2)

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