NCAA Basketball Picks: Charleston vs. Davidson

Steven Suarez

Monday, March 11, 2013 4:16 PM GMT

The Southern Conference final is here, pitting the Davidson Wildcats against the College of Charleston Cougars. The Wildcats are the favorites, but could we in for a surprise tonight?
Odds Overview 

Having already beaten the Cougars twice this season, we clearly see why the NCAA Basketball odds makers are favoring the Wildcats by seven points here.

Davidson has been on fire offensively recently, but College of Charleston has looked very good on the defensive end, which could explain a reasonably low O/U of 127.5. That said, the OVER has cashed in four straight meetings between these teams. Will that be the case again tonight, or should we look the other way with our College Basketball picks tonight?

[gameodds]14/224417/43/us[/gameodds]

College of Charleston Cougars

The road to the finals has not been easy whatsoever for the Cougars, who came in with the #3 seed in the tournament.

They had a BYE in the first round, but then barely got past Western Carolina 78-70 in the quarter-finals. Balanced scoring, with four different Cougars reaching double figures, keyed them in the victory.

In the semis, College of Charleston survived a back-and-forth game to win 68-60 over Elon University. The Cougars had coughed up a sizable lead in the second half, but regained their composure and scored the W. Willis Hall's 16 points and 10 rebounds were big, as were Andrew Lawrence's 19 points on 5-of-10 shooting.

Lawrence has been leader of this team throughout the season. A member of Great Britain's Olympic team last summer, his wealth of experience has come in handy for the Cougars. Lawrence led the team in scoring with 13.3 PPG, but his supporting cast has been right there with him.

It's College of Charleston's defense that has been their life-line as of late though. They've allowed 57.0 PPG in their last five games, while holding teams to 34.6 percent shooting.

Gear up for March Madness with SBR's NCAA Tournament Betting page.

Davidson Wildcats

With a 25-7 overall record and 17-1 conference mark, the Wildcats had no issues locking up the number one seed in the Southern Conference.

That dominance was rewarded with a BYE in the first round and was followed up with a meeting with #9 seed Georgia Southern, whom the Wildcats trounced by 27.

There was no semblance of a blowout in the semi-final round though, as Appalachian State gave Davidson all they could handle. The Wildcats were actually trailing at halftime, but found their offensive groove in the second half en route to a 65-62 win and a spot in the championship game.

Jake Cohen (14.9 PPG and 5.5 RPG) and De'Mon Brooks (13.5 PPG and 6.2 RPG) have been the go-to guys inside for Davidson, while the team is also getting productive minutes out on the perimeter from the likes of Nik Cochran, Chris Czerapowicz, Tyler Kalinoski, JP Kuhlman and Tom Droney. As you can see, depth isn't an issue for these guys.

Heading into tonight's matchup though, the Wildcats have gone 1-3-1 ATS in their previous five neutral site games. They're also just 1-4 ATS in their past five games against teams with a winning SU record.

Check out my NCAA Basketball Picks of the Day for more free plays.

College Basketball Pick 

The Cougars haven't been able to figure out Davidson this year, but we believe they'll fare much better the third time around.

We like how College of Charleston has been defending the three lately, holding teams to 27.8 percent from beyond the arc over their last five. Considering the Wildcats love shooting from deep, that could play into the Cougars favor here, especially with so much on the line.

Oftentimes these finals games end up being much closer than people expect. Davidson is sure to get a lot of love from the public considering they're more of a household name and are the one seed, but we like the points that come with the superior defensive team in College of Charleston.

NCAA Basketball Pick: College of Charleston Cougars +7