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College hoops action on Friday evening and we will see the Cal-State Fullerton Titans grapple with the Cal-Santa Barbara Gauchos in the semifinals of the Big West Tournament. This contest will take place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California with a start time of 12:00 am ET. The teams split the two regular-season meetings.
The Titans are off a 75-71 OT win over UC Davis, while the Gauchos are off a 71-68 win over CS Northridge.
Titans Outlast Aggies In OT
The CS Fullerton Titans lost three of their last four regular season games, but they were able to take down UC Davis in the quarters of the Big West Tournament. They will now look to move on the finals with a big win over the Gauchos. The Titans are currently ranked 196th in the nation by KenPom and they have faced the 176th rated slate of games.
In their last game, they took down UC Davis by a score of 75-71 in OT. The Titans shot 48.0% from the field overall, but they were just 4/13 (30.8%) from long range and allowed the Aggies to hit 50.8% of their shots overall. The Titans also missed nine free throws and committed 16 turnovers. They won the game but have a lot to clean up if they hope to get past the Gauchos. Leading their attack in the win was Khalil Ahmad (18.2 ppg), who had 32 points. The Titans have averaged 71.5 ppg and have allowed 69.2 ppg in league play this year.
The Titans enter this game ranked 174th in the nation in scoring at 72.6 ppg, while also ranking 95th in shooting (45.8%), 282nd in three-point shooting (32.4%) and 194th in free throw shooting (70.0%). On defense, they are 168th in points allowed, giving up 70.9 ppg, while also ranking 96th in defensive FG% (42.5%) and 27th in three-point defense (30.9%).
Gauchos Seek 4th Straight Win
The UCSB Gauchos are playing well as they won their last two games of the regular season and then parlayed that into a quarterfinal win over CS Northridge. The Gauchos will now be seeing their 4th win in a row and it would be a big one as they would knock off the defending Big West champs. The Gauchos are ranked 164th in the nation by Kenpom and they have faced the 307th rated schedule in the land.
USCB is off a 71-68 win over CS Northridge to move on to the semis and while they were 7/14 from long range, the Gauchos shot just 41.1% from the field overall. They will hope for a better overall showing in this one. The Defense was decent as they allowed the Matadors to hit just 42.4% of their shots from the field overall, including 37.5% (6/16) of their shots from long range. Leading their attack in the win was Ar’Mond Davis (13.3 ppg), who had 19 points. UCSB has averaged 70.8 ppg and has allowed 67.6 ppg in league play this year.
— #BigWestMBB (@BigWestMBB) March 14, 2019
The Gauchos enter this game ranked 140th in the nation in scoring at 73.9 ppg, while also ranking 112th in shooting (45.6%), 171st in three-point shooting (34.5%) and 137th in free throw shooting (71.8%). On defense, they are 48th in points allowed, giving up 66.1 ppg, while also ranking 103rd in defensive FG% (42.5%) and 26th in three-point defense (30.8%).
- 17-8 ATS in their last 25 games following an ATS loss
- 8-3 ATS the last 11 games in this series
Cal-State Fullerton is:
- 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- 2-11 ATS in their last 13 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I like the Gauchos in this one. CS Fullerton barely survived UC Davis and I don’t see them being so lucky in this one. The Gauchos have a solid edge on defense and that is where this game will be won. The Gauchos have allowed just 67.6 ppg in league play, while the Titans have allowed 73.0 ppg over their last five games. The offenses are pretty even, so the better defense will win it and that goes to UCSB. Lastly, we note that the favorite is 16-5 ATS the last 21 games in this series. Look for UCSB to win by at least seven.
Prediction: UCSB -2.5
Full-Game Total Pick
I love the Under in this one. Both defenses have struggled some of late, but this is tournament basketball and those games tend to be lower scoring. The Titans just played a game with 146 points being scored, but we note that just 134 points were scored in regulation. The Gauchos have allowed just 67.6 ppg in league play and 69 points or less in four of their last six games, while on offense they play at a pace that ranks 316th in the nation. The Gauchos will grind it out on offense and they use their defense to do the rest. The Under is 16-5 in Fullerton’s last 21 neutral site games. and 33-12 in UCSB’s last 45 neutral site games, plus 5-1 the last six games in this series.
Prediction: Under 138.5