Mercer And Utah State Meet In CIT Final

By: Adam Markowitz | Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The winners of the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) and the Tournament (CIT) could be crowned on Wednesday night in college basketball betting action.

We'll start in the CBI, where the Pittsburgh Panthers and the Washington State Cougars have been doing battle.

Game 1 of this cross-country clash between the Panthers and Cougars was a tremendous battle that went back and forth the whole way. It was a well-played game that featured a ton of defense. There were just 97 shots taken from the field in the duel, and in the end, the final shot by Tray Woodall was blocked to give Washington State a 67-66 victory.

JJ Moore led the Panthers with 16 points off the bench, while Woodall had 16 points and seven assists.

Abe Lodwick was the hero for the Cougars. He knocked down four three-point shots and totaled 16 points and seven rebounds. Reggie Moore had 14 points, five boards and five assists, but he also committed five of Washington State's eight turnovers on the night.

In this rare best-of-three format, the two teams will fly across the country to get back to the Steel City where they will meet in Game 2 on Wednesday night, and then for Game 3 on Friday night should the Panthers hold serve on their home court in Game 2.

Pittsburgh entered the CBI Final at -210, and though there are no futures odds on the board any longer now that this tournament has started, it could be surmised that the winner of this tournament is a total tossup.

The Panthers had covered all three of their previous games in the CBI before Game 1 of the finale. Washington State has now covered all four games, including winning three clashes straight up as underdogs.

The tip from Petersen Events Center on Wednesday is set for 7:00 p.m. (ET), and you can view this game on HD Net.

The Mercer Bears and the Utah State Aggies are going to square off in the CIT Final on Wednesday night. This winner-take-all duel will start at 9:00 p.m. (ET) in Logan, where the Aggies have been absolutely remarkable all season long. They are 17-4 SU and 10-7 ATS in their 21 games played at Dee Glenn Smith Spectrum, including posting a 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS record in this tournament at home.

The WAC reps only go as far as Preston Medlin and Brockeith Pane take them. These two are both capable of shooting the ball from all over the court, and they are the two double-digit point scorers on this roster. Medlin, who has averaged 17.1 PPG for the season, has managed to average 23.3 PPG in this tournament, and the argument could be made that he is the MVP of the CIT.

Mercer won a slew of games this year in the Atlantic Sun, but the team was relegated to the CIT after losing to Florida Gulf Coast in its first game in the conference tournament. The Bears get the job done with their defense, which has held teams to just 38.6 percent shooting from the field on the campaign.

The Bears have definitely done well in this tournament, winning and covering all four games, and the last two wins over the Fairfield Stags and Old Dominion Monarchs came in very tough road venues.

These two teams actually have met once before, with the Aggies claiming a 74-55 decision in 1999.

Utah State hadn't scored more than 82 points in a game this season before dropping 105 on the Oakland Golden Grizzlies in the CIT semifinals, and it is now favored by five-points at home in the finale.

The FOX College Sports Network will have live coverage of this prime-time tip from the Beehive State.

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