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Stellar defense makes Wichita State the moneyline pick in NIT

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Wichita State started the season slowly, but is peaking as it heads into its NIT semifinal against Lipscomb on Tuesday (7 p.m., ESPN) at the Garden.

This is a battle of opposites with Wichita State playing stellar defense while Lipscomb has scored at least 86 points in all three of its NIT games.

Wichita State has covered eight of its past nine games, a stretch during which the Shockers have allowed more than 70 points in just two of those games and have seen their rebound rate climb 32 spots in the national rankings with opponents also making just 25.7 percent of their 3s.

For all that Lipscomb does well on offense, the team is just 229th in total rebound rate and has a turnover on 17.5 percent of its possessions, which is 130th among Division I teams.

Wichita State, a No. 6 seed in the NIT, looks primed to pull a shocker by winning the three-letter tournament. At the very least, take the Shockers to get in the final.

The play: Wichita State, -110.

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