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Sports news with a Vegas perspective.

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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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NCAA Basketball Picks Louisiana Tech Bulldogs vs Tulsa Golden Hurricane

NCAA basketball on Saturday afternoon and it is the Finals of the Conference USA Tournament. In this matchup we will see the Tulsa Golden Hurricane take on the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas. The game has a start time of 11:35 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on CBSSN. Vegas odds have the Bulldogs listed as 3.5 point favorites, while the total has yet t be set.

Stat Pack:  The Bulldogs are the number 1 seed in this tournament and they got to the finals by beating Charlotte by 21 points and Southern Miss by 18 points. The wins now have this team at 27-6 on the year. The Offense averages a healthy 81.3 ppg (13th), on 45.9% shooting (91st). The team is not good from long range (260th) or the FT line (256th). The offense is led by Alex Hamilton, who averages 14.7 ppg on 47.3% shooting. Rakeem Appleby (12.9 ppg), Chris Anderson (12.0 ppg) and Kenyon McNeil (10.7 ppg) also average in double digits for the Bulldogs. Defensively this is a solid team as they rank 60th in points allowed (65.3 ppg), 57 th in defensive FG% (40.9%) and 11 th in 3 points defense (29.5%)

The Tulsa Golden Hurricane got to this game by beating Tulane by 21 and Middle Tennessee by 7 points yesterday. The two wins gave them a 10 game winning streak and they are 20-12 overall on the year. Tulsa comes in averaging a modest 73.2 ppg on 44.0% shooting. They only hit 32.2% from long range (279th) and just 68.2% from the FT line (236th). The offense is led by James Woodward, who scores 15.3 ppg, while also leading the team in rebounding (5.9 rpg). Rashad Smith is the only other player that scores in double figures for the Golden Hurricane, as he averages 12.2 ppg on the year. This is a pretty deep team with 11 players that average at least 2.9 ppg. Defensively this is a solid group as they allow just 67.6 ppg on 40.5% shooting.

Pick: This Louisiana Tech squad is tough and even though Tulsa has won 10 in a row I still expect the Bulldogs to take this one by at least 6 or 7 points. The better offense and defense and have been the best team in Conference USA all year. Look For the Bulldogs to punch their Big Dance ticket today.  

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