CBI Finals Game #2 Betting Picks: Washington St Cougars at Pittsburgh Panthers

2012 College Basketball Invitational Championship
Washington St Cougars at Pittsburgh Panthers
WSU leads best of 3 series 1-0
Petersen Events Center – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: HD Net
Opening Line: Pitt -10
Current Line: Pitt -9
Opening Total: 132
Current Total: 131
Opening Money Line: Pitt -500 / WSU +400
Current Money Line: Pitt -460 / WSU +380

Pitt and Washington St meet in game two of the CBI Finals. PItt is a 9 point favorite at home and trails the best of three series 1-0.

Despite playing without leading scorer Brock Motum who was out with an ankle injury, the Washington St Cougars found a way to win Monday night in game one of the best of three CBI Finals. The Cougars were up by 9 points with just over 7 minutes to go and held off a furious Pitt rally to win 67-66. The Panthers had two good looks in the last 4 seconds of the game that would have won the game. Pitt point guard Tray Woodall’s lay up attempt was blocked, and then Lamar Patterson missed a long jump shot as time expired. Washington St shot 51% from the field including  9/15 on 3 point shots. Three Cougars scored in double digits including Abe Lodwick (16 points, 7 rebounds), Reggie Moore (14 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists), and DeVonte Lacy (10 points). Motum is still listed as questionable for Wednesday night’s game two in Pttsburgh.

Washington St, coached by Ken Bone, is 19-16 this season out of the Pac 12. The Cougars tied for 8th in the Pac 12 with Oregon St. To get to the CBI Finals, The Cougars won at San Francisco 89-75 in the first round, ay home against Wyoming 61-41 in the quarterfinals, and at Oregon St 72-55 in the semifinals. It was the fourth time the Cougars and Beavers met this season, and the third win for WSU.

Washington St has wins over Portland, Idaho, Santa Clara, Pepperdine, Stanford, Cal, USC twice, and Arizona St. The Cougars have losses to Gonzaga, Oklahoma, New Mexico, UC-Riverside,  Oregon twice, Utah, Colorado, Washington twice, Arizona twice, Arizona St, and UCLA twice.

Pitt is 20-17 under coach Jamie Dixon, and finished in a disappointing tie for 13th in the Big East. The Panthers had played in 11 straight NCAA tournaments before this season, and were a pre-season top 15 team. To get to the Finals Pitt beat Wofford 81-63 in the CBI first round, Princeton 82-61 in the quarters, and won at Butler 68-62 in overtime in the semifinals.

Pitt has wins over Rider, LaSalle, Penn, Robert Morris, Duquesne, Tennessee, Oklahoma St, Providence, Georgetown, West Virginia, Villanova, and St. John’s twice. The Panthers have losses to Long Beach St, Wagner, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, DePaul, Rutgers, Marquettte, Syracuse, Louisville twice, South Florida twice, Seton Hall, West Virginia, and UConn.

Before this series, Pitt and Washington St had played only one time previously. The Panthers beat the Cougars 57-43 in 2009 in a tournament in Newark, New Jersey.

Washington St is outscoring opponents 69-66 this season. The Cougars are shooting 46.8% from the field and 36.9% from 3 point range. WSU makes 70.8% of their free throws. The Cougars average 33.2 rebounds a game with a rebounding margin of +2.1. Washington St averages 13.9 assists, 13.3 turnovers, 4.9 steals, and 2.8 blocks a game. Cougar opponents are shooting 42.5% from the field and 35.3% from 3 point range. WSU forces 12 turnovers a game.

WSU forward Brock Motum averages 18 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.6 assists a game. He is the leading scorer and rebounder for the Cougars. He suffered the ankle injury early in the semifinal against Oregon St and only played 2 minutes. Guard Faisel Adan averaged 14.5 points a game, but he tore his ACL earlier in the season and is out for the year. Reggie Moore averages 9.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1 steal a game. He leads the Cougars in assists and steals, but will have to take on more of the scoring with Motum and Adan both out. DeVonte Lacy averages 8.4 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.9 assists a game. Abe Lodwick, Marcus Capers, Mike Ladd, D.J. Shelton, and Charlie Enquist will all have to pick up their scoring to replace the production from Motum. Capers averages 5.1 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks a game to lead the team.

Pitt is outscoring opponents 69-66 this season. The Panthers are shooting 45.3% from the field, including 35.3% from 3 point range. Pitt makes 69.7% of their free throws. The Panthers average  36.6 rebounds a game and have a rebounding margin of +6.7. Pitt averages 15.2 assists, 13 turnovers, 4.8 steals, and 2.7 blocks a game. Panther opponents are shooting 43.9% from the field including 33.5% from 3 point range. Pitt forces 11.1 turnovers a game.

Pitt guard Ashton Gibbs averages 14.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists a game. He shoots 34.5% from 3 point range.Travon Woodall averages 11.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 6.1 assists a game to lead the team. He is shooting 39.1% from 3 point range. Nasir Robinson averages 10.6 points, 6.7 rebounds to lead the team, and 2 assists a game.  Lamar Patterson averages 9.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.1 steals a game to lead the team. He makes 42.7% of his 3 point attempts. J.J. Moore averages 7.6 points, and 3 rebounds a game. Dante Taylor averages 6 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks a game to lead the team. Khem Birch led the team in blocks with 1.9 a game but he transferred to UNLV in December.

Pitt is 15-17 ATS and the total is 17-15 this season. WSU is 17-16 ATS and the total is 15-18 this season. The Cougars are 4-0 against teams with winning records, and overall, 6-1 in non-conference games, and 9-4 in Wednesday games. The Panthers are 4-0 ATS after a straight-up loss, 4-1 as a favorite, as a home favorite of 7-12.5 points, and as a favorite of 7-12.5 points, 6-2 at home, and as a home favorite, and 1-4 against Pac 12 teams.

I find it amazing that these two schools both score 69 points a game, and give up 66 points. Of course, what was the score of the first game? 67-66. Even without Motum, I think these two teams are pretty evenly matched, and 9 points seems like a lot. Yes, Washington St has to travel across country, but since the first game was in Pullman, Pitt made the same trip. In fact, both teams took the same charter flight on Tuesday. Take the points with the Cougars.

Our college basketball handicappers are red hot in March. Don’t miss out on anymore winners for the rest of the post-season.



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