Update: As of 5:00 p.m., here are the updated bet splits for the Conference USA Championship Game:
North Texas: +1.5, 25% of action, 24% of bets
Western Kentucky: -1.5, 75% of action, 76% of bets
The North Texas Mean Green and Western Kentucky Hilltoppers will battle for an automatic bid to March Madness when they meet for the Conference USA Championship Game on Saturday, March 13th. These two did not match up in the regular season, as both games they were scheduled to play were postponed.
North Texas (16-9, 9-5 C-USA) needed three wins in three days to get to this spot, and they grinded out a 54-48 victory over the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs on Friday. The Mean Green shot just 17.6% from the three-point line, but senior guard Javion Hamlet did it all with 18 points, six rebounds and five assists. He leads this team with 14.7 points per game and 4.5 assists, but North Texas is largely led by their defensive play.
Western Kentucky (20-6, 11-3 C-USA) received a double bye in this tournament, so they won two games to advance to the title game. On Friday, the Hilltoppers got past the UAB Blazers 64-60, thanks to a big-time performance from junior big man Charles Bassey. He scored a game-high 22 points on 9 of 12 shooting from the floor with seven boards. He is averaging 17.7 points and 11.7 rebounds per game to lead the Hilltoppers. Freshman guard Dayvion McKnight dished out nine assists and scored 13 in the win.
Let’s take a look at the matchup from Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.
No. 1E Western Kentucky vs. No. 3E North Texas, 9 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network
Point Spread: North Texas -1
Point Total: 128.5
In one of the rare conference title games in which there was no regular-season matchup, we don’t have the luxury of pointing to previous results. With the North Texas defense and style of play, we will go with the under in this one. This game will be played at the Mean Green’s pace, as they rank No. 330 in possessions per game. In addition, Western Kentucky shot 50% in their last time out and still only scored 64 points. The outside shooting will regress, and this game will go under.
The pick: Under 128.5
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