CBI Final – Cougars (19-17) Panthers (21-17)
You have to love how the CBI has a three game final even if it makes the travel schedule a bit much.
Friday March 30
Petersen Events Center – Pittsburgh, PA
Moneyline: Pittsburgh -390, Washington State +320
Spread: Open Pittsburgh -8, Now -7.5 or 7
Washington State is a surprise participant because they finished the PAC 12 Tournament with an overall record under .500.
Their draw to get to the finals wasn’t too bad but they do have two road underdog wins to their credit including beating another PAC 12 team – Oregon State – for a birth in the finals.
The Cougars chances of upsetting Pittsburgh in the final game are limited because they are missing their two best players. Lead guard Faisal Aden has been out for weeks but leading scorer and rebounder Brock Motum has played just two minutes over the first two games and is unlikely to contribute Friday night.
The first two games have been tight but playing on the road in a final is a big challenge for a team without a go to player right now.
It has been a long time since Pittsburgh had this many losses in a season. In fact you have to go all the way back to 1996.
This has been one of the elite programs over the past decade, with just one other season with as many as 10 defeats, but nothing seemed to go right this year as injuries and poor performance made them an also ran in the Big East.
It is a nice testament to coach Jamie Dixon that he was able to get them to focus right now.
Among those who didn’t perform was highly thought of shooting guard Ashton Gibbs. He saw his shooting percentage fall 8 points and his NBA prospects right along with it.
He didn’t play in the second game of this series but the Panthers won to set up the finale Friday night at home.
Senior forward Nasir Robinson will be looking to end his career on a high note so look for an impassioned effort.
- Under is 8-2 in WAST last 10 overall
- Under is 8-3 in WAST last 11 non-conference games
Spread Pick: Pittsburgh -8
O/U Pick: Over
Score Prediction: Pittsburgh 70 – Washington State 60