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Wichita State looking to make history in visit to Bradley

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The Wichita State Shockers will try to become the first team to start 30-0 since the UNLV Rebels began the 2000-01 season with 34 victories when they visit the Bradley Bears. Wichita State continues to prove that last year’s NCAA Tournament Final Four appearance was no fluke after winning 13 of their 16 Missouri Valley Conference games by double digits, and all but one by at least seven points.

Bradley, which lost the first meeting against Wichita State 72-50, has dropped eight straight against them but they improved to 6-2 at home in conference play when they snapped a three-game losing streak with a 55-38 victory over last-place Loyola (IL) on Saturday.

Tekele Cotton (10.4 points per game) recorded career-highs of 21 points and seven steals Saturday. Leading scorer Cleanthony Early (15.8 points per game) should have extra energy after getting into foul trouble against Drake and scoring a season-low three points in 17 minutes. Wichita State has won by an average of 15 points this season. The team leads the Missouri Valley Conference in free-throw percentage at 74.1 and they have nine players averaging at least 12 minutes.

Bradley is led by Walt Lemon Jr., the only Missouri Valley Conference player in the top five in scoring (third at 17.7 points per game), assists (fifth, 3.9) and steals (second, 2.3), and the conference’s active career scoring leader. The Braves average 63.8 points (317th-best among the 345 Division I teams) and they will face the nation’s No. 16 team in scoring defense (60.8). Bradley boast the No. 2 defense in the conference at 65.5 points allowed per game.

Bradley is 9-3 this season when scoring 65 or more points and they were the last school to compile a perfect record in the Missouri Valley Conference, going 16-0 in 1985-86.

According to the NCAAB Lines at OddsBay, Wichita State is a 12-point favorite at most sportsbooks.

Game Details:

What: No. 2 Wichita State Shockers (29-0) vs. Bradley Braves (12-17)

When: 9:00 PM ET, February 25

Where: Carver Arena

Coverage: ESPN2/WatchESPN

Line: Wichita State -12

Total: 130½

Betting Trends:

– Wichita State is 18-6 ATS as a favorite

– Wichita State is 10-1 ATS in road games

– Wichita State is 12-4 ATS against conference opponents

– Bradley is 5-12 ATS as an underdog

– Bradley is 4-7 ATS when the total is 130 to 139½

– Bradley is 5-11 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record

– The total has gone OVER in six of the last nine games in this series at Bradley

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