Seton Hall To Win Evenly-Matched Pearl Harbor Game Vs. Cal

Joe Gavazzi

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 7:34 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016 7:34 PM UTC

The Seton Hall Pirates of the Big East meet the California Golden Bears of the Pac-12 in Day 2 of the Pearl Harbor Invitational in Hawaii on Wednesday. The game is set for a 7 p.m. ET tip and shown nationally in the U.S. on Fox Sports 1.

Seton Hall Vs. California

The first thing you will notice when you tune into this game is the unique environment.  Bloch Arena is an open-air gym (only in Hawaii in December!) that features needed ventilation.  Because of that, however, and its geographic setting sunlight streams onto the floor.  This light reflects off the glass backboard, creating a glare.  In addition, the highly-polished darkwood floor reflects the light. In the Seton Hall game on Tuesday, a 68-57 win over host Hawaii, the game played 15 points 'under' the posted total of 140.  In the other game between Princeton and Cal, the score was 62-51 with the 113 total well below the 130 posted O/U line on NCAA basketball odds. Despite these teams' familiarity with the floor and the shooting backgrounds, one can again expect a lower-scoring contest.

Cal played a nip-and-tuck first half vs. Princeton with the Tigers holding a 20-18 edge at the break.  Cal played much better in the second half.  Led by freshman point guard Charlie Moore with 15 points, four Golden Bears scored in double figures. They shot 67% in the second half.  Key to the game was an 11-1 burst after trailing Princeton 46-44.  The Bears held a rebounding edge of +13, which translated into a 34-12 edge in the paint. Cal also had a dominant 24-7 edge in bench scoring.  The 62-51 final would have been bigger, but the Bears were just 10-for-23 from the charity stripe.  Cal has now won 5 consecutive contests (the previous 4 were as a home favorite of -14 to -26 points) as they enter this clash against the Pirates.

Seton Hall had a far easier time in the Tuesday nightcap against Hawaii.  The Pirates were led by Khadeen Carrington with 19 points and interior force Angel Delgado with a 16/14 night.  The Hall out shot the Rainbows 48% to 32% with a +8 edge on the boards. Seton Hall is now 6-2 SU for the season with losses to Florida and Stanford in its Thanksgiving Day tourney.  In a similar way, Cal’s only loss came in its lone step-up game (a 65-77 neutral court loss to San Diego St.).  With each team predicted to finish in the middle of their respected leagues, this game could go a long way to deciding which gets to the Big Dance if either were “on the bubble” in March.  

In the final analysis, I favor the Pirates from what I consider to be the slightly tougher league, the Big East. In addition, technical numbers are on the side of seventh-year Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard.  Under his guidance, the Pirates are 23-11 ATS on NCAA basketball picks in the month of December, 33-20 ATS when coming off a double-digit win and 31-10 ATS in competitively priced games.  In what figures to be yet another lower than anticipated scoring event, I favor Seton Hall.

NCAAB Free Pick: Seton Hall +1Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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