NCAA Basketball: Coastal Carolina/Pepperdine Preview, Odds and Prediction - 03/24/2021

by Big Al Staff

Coastal Carolina battles Pepperdine in the Championship Game of the College Basketball Invitational. This three-day event has taken place at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach in Florida.

The Chanticleers advanced to the finals with their 77-72 victory in overtime against Stetson as a 7.5-point favorite yesterday. Essam Mostafa scored 22 points and added 12 rebounds with 8 of his points in overtime. It was the ninth double-double of the season for the redshirt freshman. He is scoring 12.0 points-per-game and averaging 9.0 rebounds-per-game. Tyrik Dixon scored 8 of his 17 points in overtime, as well. The senior scores 11.4 points-per-game coming off the bench. DeVante Jones leads the team with a 19.8 points-per-game scoring average and a 7.2 rebounds-per-game average. The junior had nine points with five assists on Tuesday.

Cliff Ellis’s team ranks 160th at kenpom with an 18-7 record after winning six of the seven games. They lost to Appalachian State in the semifinals of the Sun Belt Conference tournament. The Mountaineers went on to win the Championship Game against Georgia State. The Chanticleers' best victory on their resume was against the Panthers.

Coastal Carolina ranks 218th in adjusted offensive efficiency using the metrics at kenpom, and they finished sixth in offensive efficiency in the Sun Belt. They rebound 35.3% of their missed shots which is the 14th best mark in the nation. An area of concern is their ability to control the basketball. They rank 304th nationally with a turnover rate of 21.6%. The Chanticleers rank 123rd nationally and second in the Sun Belt in adjusted defensive efficiency. Their opponents' effective field goal percentage of 46.0%  is 26th in the nation. Their defensive 31.1% percentage from 3-point land and 45.5% mark inside the arc ranks 46th and 29th nationally. Coastal Carolina’s opponents have attempted 46.9% of their shots from 3-point range,  seventh-best in the nation.

Pepperdine won their semifinals game with Bellarmine yesterday by an 82-71 score as a 4.5-point favorite. Kessler Edwards led the team with 28 points. The junior is scoring 17.5 points-per-game. Senior Colbey Ross leads the team with a 17.6 points-per-game average after scoring 9 points yesterday.

The Wave ranks 105th nationally in the kenpom rankings. They have won four of five games to reach their current 14-12 record. They have qualities victories against BYU and Saint Mary’s. They got few favors in the abbreviated West Coast Conference schedule with two losses to Gonzaga and BYU and a setback to the Gaels. They also lost to UCLA and San Diego State in the non-conference portion of their schedule.

Pepperdine ranks 90th in adjusted offensive efficiency at kenpom while ranking third in the West Coast Conference. They make 52.0% of their 2-point shots, 82nd in the nation. The Wave are 128th in adjusted defensive efficiency using the kenpom numbers, and they finished sixth in the WCC in defense. Their opponents make 28.6% of their 3-pointers, the seventh-best mark nationally. But these opponents shoot 54.6% of their 2-point shots, ranking 315th nationally.

BetAnySports lists Pepperdine as a 4.5-point favorite with the total set at 150.5. The CBI tournament is not on national television.

Computer prediction: Pepperdine 77 Coastal Carolina 75

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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