Long Beach St. vs. Hawaii
PICK: pinnacle @ -2 HAW (-107)
DATE: March 14, 2019 - 11:30 PM
STAR RATING: 8.0
EXPERT: Power Sports
EVALUATION: Loss (-856) - Final Score LBSU 68 at HAW 66
8* Hawaii (11:30 ET): The Big West is one of the few leagues that does NOT provide any advantage to the top finishers from the regular season. The conference tournament is a straight ahead format w/ the top eight teams playing four quarterfinal matchups. Now the bottom two teams from the reg season don't even get a chance to play in the tournament, but considering how bad UC Riverside and Cal Poly both were, that's of little consequence. The final quarterfinal of Thursday pits 4-seed Hawaii against 5-seed Long Beach State. The Warriors will be looking to make it a 3-0 season sweep of the 49ers after beating them twice in a week two months ago.
Long Beach State will arrive in Anaheim on a five-game win streak. But three of those wins were by five points or less and the other two were against the two teams that didn't qualify for this tournament. Before that stretch, LBSU had lost eight of nine w/ the only win coming in OT against Cal Poly (worst team in the Big West). At one point in the season, the 49ers were eight games below .500. Even w/ the strong finish, they are only 14-18 SU overall. Half of their eight league wins came against those bottom two teams. This is a team that gives up 79.5 PPG away from home.
Hawaii actually won a pair of games here on the mainland to end its regular season. They held Cal State Fullerton to 59 points in the regular season finale. Offensively, the Warriors turned in two of their better efforts of the year against LBSU. They tied a school record w/ 14 made three-pointers (on 27 attempts) in the second matchup, which was on the road. Note that Hawaii was one of only three teams in the entire Big West to finish the regular season w/ a winning SU record. They should easily move onto the semifinals to face one of the other two, top seeded UC Irvine (who is the clear class of the league). 8* Hawaii