CBI Finals Game #3 Betting Preview: Washington St Cougars at Pittsburgh Panthers

2012 College Basketball Invitational Championship, Game #3
Washington St Cougars at Pittsburgh Panthers
Best of three series tied 1-1
Petersen Events Center – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Friday, March 30, 2012, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: HD Net
Opening Line: Pitt -8
Current Line: Pitt -7 1/2
Opening Total: 128
Current Total: 128
Opening Money Line: Pitt -400 / WSU +330
Current Money Line: Pitt -375 / WSU +315

Pittsburgh and Washington St meet in the deciding game of the 2012 CBI Championship series. Both teams could be without their leading scorers.

After Stanford won the NIT last night to ostensibly be the 69th best team in the country and Mercer won the CIT to become the 117th best team in the country, Washington St and Pittsburgh will try to join the parade of postseason tournament winners in the CIT Finals game #3. Oh well, is it any worse than a college football team being champion of the Idaho Famous Potato Bowl or the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl?

The 19-17 Washington St Cougars of the Pac 12, coached by Ken Bone, won at San Francisco 89-75 in the first round of the CBI, 61-41 at home against Wyoming in the quarterfinals, and beat Pac 12 rival Oregon St 72-55 in the semifinals in Corvallis.

The 21-17 Pitt Panthers of the Big East, coached by Jamie Dixon got to the finals by beating Wofford 81-63 in the first round, Princeton 82-61 in the quarterfinals, and at Butler 68-62 in overtime in the semifinals.

In game one of the best of three finals, Washington St won in Pullman 67-66. Wednesday night the two teams traveled across country for game #2 in Pittsbugh. Both teams were playing without their leading scorers. WSU forward Brock Motum missed the first two games of the Finals with an ankle injury he suffered early in the game against Oregon St in the semifinals. Pitt guard Ashton Gibbs also missed the game with an ankle injury despite not being listed on the injury report. Both Motum and Gibbs are listed as questionable for tonight’s game. Pitt held the Cougars to 20 first half points and took a 9 point lead into the locker room. Washington St pulled to within 1 with 1:42 to go, but could never take the lead, and Pitt held on for the 57-53 win. Washington St guard Reggie Moore led all scorers with 18, including 16 in the second half. He was the only Cougar in double figures. Pitt forward Talib Zanna scored 14 points off the bench and added 8 rebounds. Guard/forward Lamar Patterson added 12 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 blocks for the Panthers.

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 15-18 ATS and the total is 17-16 this season. WSU is 18-16 ATS and the total is 15-19 this season. The Cougars are 5-0 ATS against teams with winning records, and overall, 4-0 after a cover, in non-conference games, and on the road, and 5-2 after a straight up loss. The Panthers are 17-8-2 in Friday games, and 5-1 in Pac 12 games.

From what I have read, Gibbs has a better shot of playing for Pitt than Motum does for Washington St. I still think these two teams are evenly matched and 7.5 points is too much. Pitt wins at home, but WSU gets inside the number.

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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