UC Irvine vs. Pacific Picks
The Big West Tournament has featured some really close games all tournament long. College basketball betting fans are hoping for another good one in the finale in Anaheim on Saturday night, where the Pacific Tigers will take on the UC Irvine Anteaters.
The Anteaters continue to feature some flat out awesome defense here in Anaheim, as they have held the Long Beach State 49ers and the Hawaii Warriors to 60 points apiece to reach the finale. This is a team that likes to push the tempo just a bit, but it is also a team that has some real difference makers on the defensive side of the ball. Opponents are only shooting 38.6 percent from the field against Irvine this season. F Will Davis II is one of these men that is big on the boards, and he is averaging 6.7 rebounds and over two blocks per game. Davis is also one of the four in the offensive rotation averaging between 8.8 and 9.8 points per game. G Daman Starring has had a lousy tournament, but he is still the team’s leading scorer at 13.0 points per game. Keep an eye on G Alex Young, who had 18 to lead the way in the upset of the Long Beach State 49ers on Friday night.
Pacific has been rolling, though the last game that it lost in conference play came against none other than these Anteaters back on February 20th. Since that point, the club is 6-0 SU and 4-1-1 ATS to show for its work in conference games. F Tony Gill was the unforeseen hero against the Cal Poly SLO Mustangs in Friday’s semifinal, as he scored 20 points off of the bench in the low scoring 55-53 victory. Gill is fifth on the team in scoring, and he only averages 7.1 points and just over 17 minutes played per game. G Lorenzo McCloud is the man that this offense runs through. He averages over four assists per game and is the team’s leading scorer as well at 11.2 points per game. The problem comes with bigs. There just aren’t any for Pacific. No one is pulling down more than 3.8 rebounds per game, and if this turns into a game with a ton of missed shots on both sides, it is going to be a clear disadvantage for a team that doesn’t have many players taller than 6’5″.
Whether it be F Michael Wilder or Davis II, we know that the Anteaters are going to have the size advantage on the inside in this game. We haven’t really seen the Tigers bust out offensively, and we have no reason to believe that this is the day that that is going to change. As long as UC Irvine isn’t full of itself after knocking off Long Beach State, it should be good enough to claim the Big West title on Saturday night. UC Irvine 69 – Pacific 62