Vegas Odds: Pittsburgh -10.5 -- Bet at bodog
Why Oakland will win:
Oakland's lost only 1 game since New Year's and rolled through the Summit League championship with double-digit wins in each game. Keith Benson is as good a talent as anyone Pitt has.
Grizzly to Watch:
Keith Benson, F - 17 ppg, 11 rpg, 1 apg
The 6-11 junior is a bona fide pro prospect and a legit force down low. Oakland can be successful without Benson racking up points, but they can't win unless he dominates the boards and creates havoc in the defensive interior.
Why Pittsburgh will win:
Pitt's beaten Syracuse, West Virginia, and Villanova while Oakland's beaten.. IUPUI? Some of Pitt's early hiccups came w/o Jermaine Dixon and the Panthers haven't had a bad loss since.
Panther to Watch:
Jermaine Dixon, G - 11 ppg, 3 rpg, 2 apg
Pittsburgh hit their groove this year once Dixon returned to the court in mid-December. He's not a great outside shooter, but finds ways to score. Not nearly as consistent as Ashton Gibbs, Dixon runs hot and cold.
How it will go down:
Oakland got crushed against all of their named opponents, and although I think Pitt is over-seeded as #3, they shouldn't have much trouble putting the Grizzlies away in the 2nd half.
Betting Pick: Pittsburgh
Real Pick: Pittsburgh