Pick 39:- Under 143.0 Points (-200)

Buckle up for a fierce NCAA Tournament battle as the 10-seed Penn State Nittany Lions take on the 2-seed Texas Longhorns in a game that could surprise with its defensive prowess. 

It's time for a high-stakes NCAA Tournament Midwest Region second-round matchup between the determined Penn State Nittany Lions and the formidable Texas Longhorns. The showdown takes place in Des Moines, Iowa, with both teams hungry for a deep run in the tournament.

Penn State (23-13, 10-10 Big Ten) has been on a tear, winning nine of their last 11 games, including a solid 76-59 win over Texas A&M in the first round. This marks their first tournament appearance since 2011, and they're eager to make a statement. Texas (27-8, 12-6 Big 12) isn't to be underestimated either, having won five straight games and securing the Big 12 Conference Tournament championship. This is their third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, but they haven't won two consecutive tournament games since the 2008 season. For Penn State, the last time they achieved this was in 2001.

The game is set to tip off at 7:45 p.m. ET at the Wells Fargo Arena, with the Longhorns favored by 5.5 points. However, with defensive grit displayed by both teams in their first-round games, you can expect the Under to hit once again. In their respective first-round games, Penn State held Texas A&M to 59 points while Texas limited Colgate to 61 points, which means both teams have what it takes to keep the scoreboard in check.

One player to keep an eye on is Penn State's senior guard Jalen Pickett. This baller is one of three Nittany Lions averaging double-digit scoring, boasting an impressive 17.9 points per game. Pickett has been on fire lately, reaching double-figure scoring in each of the last six games. In the first-round win over Texas A&M, he notched 19 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds. Overall, he has 33 games with double-figure scoring, including 13 with 20 or more points, two with 30 or more, and one with over 40. Pickett's versatility as a scorer, rebounder, and playmaker will be crucial for Penn State's chances against Texas.

The Longhorns, on the other hand, have shown they can handle the pressure of the big stage. Their 81-61 victory over Colgate in the first round was a testament to their ability to control the game, both offensively and defensively. They have a balanced attack, with several players capable of stepping up and delivering when needed. This depth could be a game-changer in their matchup against Penn State.

But let's not forget the importance of defense when analyzing the Under hitting in both first-round games for these teams. Texas has been a defensive force this season, and Penn State has shown they can step up on that end of the court as well. In a game where the stakes are high, and every possession counts, expect both teams to prioritize shutting down their opponents' offensive threats.

When it comes to betting on this game, the 5.5-point spread favoring Texas might seem tempting, but don't sleep on Penn State. The Nittany Lions have been defying expectations and could continue to do so in this matchup. The key factor to consider here is the defensive capabilities of both teams, which could lead to a lower-scoring game than anticipated. With the Under hitting in both first-round games, it wouldn't be a shock to see it happen again in this clash of NCAA titans.

So, buckle up, folks. We're in for a wild ride as Penn State and Texas go head-to-head in a game that promises to be a defensive chess match with the potential to redefine both teams' tournament runs. Keep an eye on the scoreboard, and don't be surprised if the Under once again comes into play.