SoCon Quarterfinal-Western Carolina Catamounts vs. East Tennessee State Buccaneers - 3/7/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
East Tennessee State Buccaneers (16-13) at Western Carolina Catamounts (14-16)
College Basketball: Saturday, March 7, 2015 at 2:30 pm (U.S. Cellular Center)
The Line: Western Carolina Catamounts +2 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The East Tennessee State Buccaneers and the Western Carolina Catamounts collide in the SoCon quarterfinals.
USA TODAY Sports
The East Tennessee State Buccaneers return to the SoCon would get a C- from me if I were grading them. A 16-13 record is okay but an 8-10 conference record should have been reversed in my view. The Buccaneers outscore opponents 74-72 so one would think the offense is great but the team has broken 70 points just twice in the past ten contests. ETSU didn’t play many ‘name’ teams and when they did it ended up as a loss.
Even though the offense was not up to par over the last month of the regular season the Buccaneers have plenty of scoring potential. Jalen Riley was the top scorer at almost 21 points but he was more of a volume scorer at 39% marksmanship. Rashawn Rembert and Lester Wilson added 14 and 12 points with AJ Merriweather averaging ten points and a team high six boards on nearly 49% from the floor. Devin Harris and Isaac Banks grab over five rebounds each but combine for just nine points.
The Western Carolina Catamounts were not good or bad in the conference at 9-9 but that was still the envy of many teams as that was good enough to snag 4th. Overall the Catamounts were 14-16 on the number 269 strength of schedule as they were outscored 72-71. WCU did beat Oakland but seldom scheduled better competition with Alabama and Georgia State being the best teams on the schedule.
The Catamounts loved to get up and down the floor and avoid slow, half court situations if possible. The offense was well suited for putting points on the scoreboard with four double digit scorers led by James Sinclair and his 19 points and 5.5 boards. Mike Brown averaged 14 points and 5.6 rebounds at 47% while Rhett Harrison and Torion Brummitt added 12 points each.. This gave the Catamounts a very dangerous offensive team but the problem is getting stops at the defensive end.
The Buccaneers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games and 4-12 ATS in their last 16 games overall. East Tennessee State are 4-13 ATS in their last 17 games vs. a team with a losing S.U. record and are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 vs. Southern. ETSU is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings. Western Carolina doesn’t beat East Tennessee State so I must be a glutton for punishment…