Western Carolina at The Citadel: 3/5/21 College Basketball Picks and Prediction
Photo by Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
The Citadel Bulldogs (12-11) vs Western Carolina Catamounts (11-15)
Game Info: Friday, March 5, 2021 at 5:30 pm (Harrah's Cherokee Center)
Betting Odds: The Citadel Bulldogs +2 -- Over/Under: 159.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds
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The Western Carolina Catamounts and The Citadel Bulldogs will square off at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center in the 1st round of the SoCon Championship this Friday night.
The Western Carolina Catamounts finished their regular season with an overall record of 11-15 and earned the 9-seed in the SoCon Championship with a 4-13 conference record. Western Carolina was led by this season by their offense that currently ranks 87th in scoring offense & 99th in FG%, however, the Catamounts defense struggled throughout the season and currently rank just 315th in scoring defense & 287th in defensive FG%. Western Carolina had a strong start to their season as they opened the year with an impressive 98-76 victory over UNC-Wilmington and at one point had a 7-1 record, however, the Catamounts lost 13 of their first 15 conference games before closing out their regular season with wins against UNC Greensboro & Mercer.
On the season, Western Carolina is averaging 75.1 ppg on 45.4% shooting from the field. The Catamounts are averaging 8.3 three-pointers per game on 34.4% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Western Carolina has been led by Mason Faulkner (16.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 4.8 apg, 1.2 spg), Cory Hightower (14.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.1 spg), Xavier Cork (12.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.4 bpg), & Matt Halvorsen (12.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.1 apg).
Defensively, Western Carolina is allowing their opponents to average 78.0 ppg on 46.3% shooting from the field. The Catamounts have a rebound margin of -0.2 and a turnover margin of -2.5.
The Citadel Bulldogs finished their regular season with an overall record of 12-11 and earned the 8-seed in the SoCon Championship after finishing conference play with a 5-11 record. The Citadel was led by their high-scoring offense which currently ranks 25th in scoring offense, 9th in three-pointers made per game, & 77th in 3P-FG%, however, the Bulldogs had trouble keeping opponents off the scoreboard as they currently rank just 314th in scoring defense. The Citadel got off to an 8-0 start this season and although the Bulldogs struggled a bit during conference play, the Bulldogs did pick up a couple of solid victories against Wofford & Chattanooga.
On the season, The Citadel is averaging 80.3 ppg on 45.1% shooting from the field. The Bulldogs are averaging 10.4 three-pointers per game on 35.9% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, The Citadel has been led by Hayden Brown (19.0 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.1 spg), Kaiden Rice (18.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.2 apg), Fletcher Abee (12.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.2 apg), & Tyler Moffe (9.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 4.5 apg).
Defensively, The Citadel is allowing their opponents to average 80.3 ppg on 44.7% shooting from the field. The Bulldogs have a rebound margin of -0.0 and a turnover margin of -0.7.
The Catamounts are 7-18-1 ATS in their last 26 games overall and just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS win. The Bulldogs are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games.
Western Carolina was able to pick up some nice wins to finish off the season, however, this is a team that struggled for most of the year and prior to their 2-game winning streak to finished off the regular season, lost their previous four games by an average of 17.8 ppg. The Citadel struggled down the stretch, however, this is a team that has played much better this season than we have seen recently and certainly can pile up the points behind their impressive three-point shooting. Western Carolina and The Citadel split their 2-game series this season, however, I have been more impressive with the overall body of work that the Bulldogs have put together and I think the play here is to take The Citadel and the points. Good Luck!