No. 7 seed Pacific Tigers got out to a 13 point lead in the first half against No. 10 Pepperdine and held onto it the whole way for an 84-71 win in the first round of the WCC tournament on Thursday night. Now, they’ll face the No. 6 seed, San Francisco Dons in the second round tonight.
Just last month, on February 16, the Dons took a 76-68 win over the Tigers on the road and a month before that, January 19, they beat Pacific, 78-57 at home. Both San Francisco and Pacific finished the year 7-9 in WCC play, but those two wins head-to-head earned the Dons the bye through round one of the tournament. Can they make it three-in-a-row for the season sweep?
Pacific vs. San Francisco odds, spread and total
Pacific vs. San Francisco prediction and pick
San Francisco had a lot of success against Pacific this year, but down the stretch that wasn’t the case for the Dons. In their last six games of the year, including that one against the Tigers, they were 1-5 against the spread.
Overall, neither team has any interest in getting stops. The Dons are 268th in opponent points per game and Pacific is 350th. San Francisco is 202nd in defensive efficiency and the Tigers are 311th. So, don’t expect a defensive battle, just expect a lot of points.
Pacific does have the profile of a team that can surprise in tournament play. They are eighth in the country in three point percentage, so they could get hot and shoot the lights out. However, sometimes these games become about who is the best player on the floor and that’s clearly Khalil Shabazz on San Fran. He averaged 17.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 2.2 steals. He led the Dons in all of those categories.
I think San Fran will advance, but because of the shooting of Pacific and after Keylan Boone went off for 25 points on 11-15 shooting yesterday, I’ll take the Tigers to cover.
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