Oregon State, out of the Pac-12, will meet Florida, out of SEC, in the loser's bracket of the Phil Knight Legacy tournament on Friday night. In the opening round, Oregon State fell to 3-2 on the season following a 54-51 loss to the Duke Blue Devils on Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, Florida lost a high-scoring affair with Xavier in the second game of the opening round, 91-83. The opening tap for this matchup is scheduled for 6:30pm EST.
The NFL, College Football, College Basketball, the NHL, and the NBA...oh my! Check out all my premium picks for a variety of premium events. My Best Bet of the week is available for only $49.99 (normally $100) if you use this link. Don't miss out as this comes with a profit guarantee. Win or get the money back in credit!
Beaver Bounce Back?The Oregon State Beavers fell to 3-2 following a close loss to Duke in the opening round of the tournament. Jordan Pope led the charge for Oregon State with 14 points, five rebounds and two assists. Dexter Akanno added 11 points in the low-scoring affair. Trailing by two points at the halftime break, Oregon State briefly took the lead in the second half but finally succumbed to the Blue Devils. The Beavers were out-rebounded 43-28 in the loss and shot just 40.5% from the field in the loss.
“I’m proud of our guys, it was a hell of an effort,” Beavers head coach Wayne Tinkle said. “Obviously, we’re very disappointed we didn’t come out with a win. This young group, we challenged them. We told them it was going to be a fight and they were willing to accept it and, I thought, battled their tails off.”
Oregon State, coming into the tournament, had a +5.5 rebounding differential this season before being thoroughly dominated by the Blue Devils on the glass on Thanksgiving. They were able to carry the play on the defensive end as they have all season, holding Duke to just 54 points. OSU has held the opposition to 37% shooting on the season and 37% from 3pt range.
Gators Trying to Snap BackThe Florida Gators also fell to 3-2 after losing their opening round game to Xavier on Thanksgiving Day. Trey Bonham led the way for the Gators with 23 points, making his first start for Florida since transferring over from VMI. Another Florida transfer, Will Richard, chipped in with 18 points in the loss. The biggest disappointment for the Gators was their inability to get leading scorer Colin Castleton loose. Castleton came into the game averaging over 25 points per contest but managed jut 11 points against the Musketeers. Florida's defense was also disappointing, allowing Xavier to shoot 56% from the field, including 50% from 3pt range. They also lost the rebounding battle, 33-22.
The Gators will need to find Castleton more in this game if they want their offense to run smoothly. Coming into the tournament, they held a +13.3 average point differential on the season before dropping their game to Xavier. The Gators have been an above average rebounding team as well, with a +9.3 rebounding differential edge. On Thursday, however, they were out-rebounded by 11.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Gators adjusted their starting lineup against Xavier and, while it benefitted Bonham, Castleton had trouble getting going offensively. Look for the Gators to focus on their big man in this game and get him into the flow early. Florida should also win the battle on the glass against Oregon State despite their difficulties against Xavier. Florida's insistence on getting the ball in the paint will improve their shooting percentage and keep Oregon State off track.
Full-Game Total Pick
Florida is in the top 50 in offensive execution and pace of play. Oregon is below average in all those categories but will not be able to control the tempo against a Gators' team that is a better rebounding team. Look for Florida to get out and run and dominate the paint and push the score over the total despite Oregon State's offensive difficulties.
Take the Over.