UC Irvine at Long Beach State - 3/15/19 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Long Beach State at UC Irvine
Friday, March 15, 2019 at 8:30 PM (Honda Center)
UC Irvine Anteaters -9.5 -- Over/Under: 138
The Long Beach State 49ers and UC Irvine Anteaters will square off at Honda Center this Friday in the Semifinals of the Big West Men’s Championship.
The 5-seed Long Beach State 49ers pulled out a dramatic victory late Friday night to keep their season alive after defeating the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors, 68-66. Long Beach State trailed by double-digits for the majority of the game, however, the 49ers used an 11-0 run to get back into the game late and was able to pull out the victory after Jordan Roberts hit a game-winning jumper with just :01 second left in regulation. Long Beach State shot 45.3% from the field and won the turnover battle by a 15-9 margin in the victory. Leading the way for the 49ers was Jordan Roberts who had 18 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, and 2 steals.
Coming into their game against Hawaii, Long Beach State was averaging 75.3 ppg on 43.2% shooting from the field. The 49ers were averaging 6.6 three-pointers per game on 34.9% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Long Beach State has been led by Deishuan Booker (18.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 4.5 apg, 1.3 spg), Temidayo Yussuf (11.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.2 apg), Bryan Alberts (10.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg), and KJ Byers (7.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.2 bpg).
Defensively, Long Beach State was allowing their opponents to average 76.3 ppg on 44.3% shooting from the field. The 49ers had a rebound margin of -1.7 and a turnover margin of 0.1 and a turnover margin of 0.1.
The top-seed UC Irvine Anteaters (28-5; 15-1) had little trouble reaching the Semifinals of the Big West Championship after defeating the UC Riverside Highlanders, 63-44, on Thursday night. UC Irvine dominated UC Riverside on the defensive end and had little trouble securing the victory after taking a 39-22 lead with 18:22 left in regulation. UC Irvine shot 41.8% from the field while holding UC Riverside to just 31.5% shooting from the field and 26.3% shooting from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Anteaters was Max Hazzard who had 13 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.
Coming into their game against UC Riverside, UC Irvine was averaging 72.5 ppg on 45.5% shooting from the field. The Anteaters were averaging 6.8 three-pointers per game on 35.8% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, UC Irvine has been led by Max Hazzard (12.1 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.1 apg), Evan Leonard (11.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.4 spg), Eyassu Worku (7.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.8 apg), and Jonathan Galloway (7.0 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.1 bpg).
Defensively, UC Irvine was holding their opponents to an average of 63.8 ppg on 38.0% shooting from the field. The Anteaters had a rebound margin of 7.4 and a turnover margin of -0.7.
UC Irvine was able to defeat Long Beach State in both their match-ups this season as the Anteaters won at home by an 80-70 margin in mid-January while defeating the 49ers on the road by a 82-80 margin in early February.
The 49ers are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 8-1-2 ATS in their last 11 games following a straight up win. The Anteaters are 10-1-1 ATS in their last 12 games following a straight up win and 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS win.
I had to stay up late last night to watch to watch the Long Beach State game, however, I’m happy I did as it’s was a thrilling come back and ending for the 49ers. Long Beach State has won 6 consecutive games and although their defense has struggled this season, I think the 49ers match-up as well as anyone in the Big West can against the top-seed Anteaters and they’ve shown in their regular season match-ups that their offense can has been able to put up points against UC Irvine’s 21st ranked scoring defense. UC Irvine is a solid team that could give someone trouble in the NCAA Tournament if they get the automatic bid, however, as I like what I’ve seen from the 94ers as of late, I’m taking Long Beach State and the points in this one.