Western Carolina Catamounts (18-11) at Mercer Bears (17-14)
College Basketball: Saturday, March 7, 2020 at 2:30 pm (Harrah's Cherokee Center)
The Line: Mercer Bears +1 -- Over/Under: 152 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Mercer Bears and the Western Carolina Catamounts meet in a SoCon tournament quarterfinal matchup in college basketball action from the U.S. Cellular Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Western Carolina Catamounts come into the conference tournament as the #5-seed, finishing the year with a 10-8 mark in conference play, earning the higher seed after a tiebreaker win over Chattanooga. Mason Faulkner leads Western Carolina in scoring and assists with 17.2 PPG and 6.1 APG while Carlos Dotson is 2nd in scoring and tops in rebounding, averaging a double-double per game with 15.6 PPG and 10 RPG this season. Onno Steger also has 12.8 PPG for the Catamounts this season. As a team, Western Carolina is averaging 79.3 points on 46.7% shooting from the field, 37.4% from 3-point range and 71.2% from the foul line while allowing opposing teams to average 74.6 points on 43.1% shooting from the field and 30.7% from 3-point range this season.
The Mercer Bears come into the conference tourney as the #4-seed, finishing the year with an 11-7 mark in conference play as part of their 17-14 record this season. Djordje Dimitrijevic leads the Bears in scoring and assists with 17 PPG and 3.7 APG while Ethan Stair is 2nd in scoring and tops in rebounding with 14.8 PPG and 9.3 RPG and Jeffrey Gary has 11.7 PPG for Mercer this season. As a team, Mercer is averaging 72.2 points on 45.1% shooting from the field, 35.9% from 3-point range and 72.7% from the foul line while allowing opposing teams to average 70.3 points on 42.9% shooting from the field and 32.1% from 3-point range this season.
The free point with Mercer is tempting as the Bears were playing better basketball coming into the conference tournament. However, Western Carolina is the far superior team offensively here, and the Catamounts shoot the 3 really well which is something that the Bears have trouble defending at certain times this season. Western Carolina also thrived away from home this season, going 9-5-1 ATS on the road, so I’ll lay the point with the Catamounts in this one.