The East Carolina Pirates and Houston Cougars meet Friday in the college basketball AAC Tournament Quarterfinal at the Dickies Arena. Let’s preview this game and give out a pick and prediction.
The East Carolina Pirates are averaging 69.4 points on 40.7 percent shooting and allowing 71.3 points on 44.3 percent shooting. Javon Small is averaging 15.8 points and 4.8 rebounds, while RJ Felton is averaging 13.8 points and 1.6 assists. Brandon Johnson is the third double-digit scorer and Ezra Ausar is grabbing 4.9 rebounds. The East Carolina Pirates are shooting 31.8 percent from beyond the arc and 69 percent from the free throw line. The East Carolina Pirates are allowing 33 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 33.4 rebounds per game.
The Houston Cougars are averaging 76 points on 47.1 percent shooting and allowing 56.5 points on 36.5 percent shooting. Marcus Sasser is averaging 17.1 points 2.8 rebounds, while Jarace Walker is averaging 11.1 points and 6.7 rebounds. J’Wan Roberts is the third double-digit scorer and Tramon Mark is grabbing 4.6 rebounds. The Houston Cougars are shooting 35.2 percent from beyond the arc and 72.2 percent from the free throw line. The Houston Cougars are allowing 28 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 35.8 rebounds per game.
The Pirates are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Cougars are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 Friday games and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall. The over is 8-2 in Pirates last 10 neutral site games. The under is 4-1 in Cougars last 5 neutral site games. The favorite is 16-6-1 ATS in the last 23 meetings.
The Houston Cougars are obviously the better, more talented team and have the rest advantage, so a blowout win would surprise nobody. However, just how motivated is Houston to lay the wood here? It's a tournament where the goal should be to win and get out. Also, Houston is 1-8 ATS this season when favorites of 12.5 or more points. This is a lot of points. Give me ECU.