East Tennessee State vs. Western Carolina - 3/8/20 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

East Tennessee State vs. Western Carolina - 3/8/20 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Western Carolina Catamounts (19-11) at East Tennessee State Buccaneers (28-4)

College Basketball: Sunday, March 8, 2020 at 4:00 pm (Harrah's Cherokee Center)

The Line: East Tennessee State Buccaneers -8 -- Over/Under: 149.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Western Carolina Catamounts (19-11, 11-8 Southern) will meet the East Tennessee State Buccaneers (28-4, 17-2 Southern) in Asheville, N.C. for a Southern Conference Tournament Semifinal game at Harrah’s Cherokee Center. East Tennessee State defeated Western Carolina in both of their match-ups this season.

Western Carolina is 6-4 both straight up and against the spread in their last 10 games. Western Carolina is 11-8 both straight up and against the spread in conference games this season. Western Carolina has scored 79 points per game and allowed 74 points per game to opponents, and the Catamounts have shot 46.9% from the field, 37.2% from 3 and 71% from the free-throw line this season.

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Western Carolina has won 3 of their last 4 games, and the Catamounts defeated Mercer 70-56 as a 1-point favorite in their last game. Western Carolina is ranked 147th by KenPom, with the 82nd ranked offense and 252nd ranked defense in the country. Western Carolina is led by Senior guard Mason Faulkner, who averages 17.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game, and Senior forward Carlos Dotson, who averages 15.7 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.

East Tennessee State is 10-0 straight up and 6-3-1 against the spread in their last 10 games. East Tennessee State is 17-2 straight up and 9-9-1 against the spread in conference games this season. East Tennessee State has scored 75.8 points per game and surrenders 62.9 points per game to opponents, and the Buccaneers have shot 47.1% from the field, 34.1% from 3 and 68.7% from the free-throw line this year.

East Tennessee State has won 10 consecutive games and 15 of their last 16, and the Buccaneers defeated Virginia Military 70-57 as a 13 ½-point favorite in their last game. East Tennessee State is ranked 65th by KenPom, with the 83rd ranked offense and 65th ranked defense in the nation. East Tennessee State is led by Senior guard Tray Boyd III, who averages 13.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game, and Junior guard Bo Hodges, who averages 12.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.

East Tennessee State is 10-0 straight up and 5-5 against the spread in their last 10 games versus Western Carolina, and the over is 5-5 during that stretch. The under is 7-3 in the last 10 games for Western Carolina, and the over is 6-4 in the last 10 games for East Tennessee State.

East Tennessee State is the class of the Southern Conference and I expect them to win the conference tournament and get the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, but I think Western Carolina can stay competitive enough to cover the big spread. I’ll take the Catamounts and the points in this one.

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Erik’s Pick Western Carolina +8

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Pick Dawgz site consensus.