UC Riverside Highlanders vs. UC Irvine Anteaters Pick
The UC Irvine Anteaters (27-5) will take on the UC Riverside Highlanders (10-22) in the quarterfinals stage of the Big West Tournament. The clash is set to take place on Thursday, March 14th, 2019 with a scheduled tip-off time set for 9:00 PM ET. The game will be available for viewing on ESPN3. The Anteaters and Highlanders have met on four occasions in the Big West Conference Tournament, and Irvine has won all four matches. These two teams last met in March with UC Irvine winning and covering as a 9.5-point favorite against the Highlanders. The final tally was 68-47 Anteaters.
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UC Riverside Highlanders at UC Irvine Anteaters Overview
UC Riverside Highlanders
The Highlanders come into the Big West Tournament bearing an eight seed. On the year, UCRV has gone 4-12 SU in conference play. The Highlanders concluded their regular season on a high note when they took down defending Big West Champion UC Davis on March 9th, staging a 71-70 upset as a nine-point underdog.
UC Irvine Anteaters
The Anteaters come into this competition as the present top dog of the Big West, losing just one game in conference play this season. UCI has an opportunity to make history here as a win allows the Anteaters to win 28 games for the first time in school history. UCI steps into this contest riding a 13-game winning streak.
Reasons To Avoid UC Riverside
The Highlanders are in the position to be set up for an overreaction here after staging an upset over what is a marquee opponent in the Big West Conference. After beating the defending champion of this conference, the Highlanders may look like too easy here taking back the extra points. However, Riverside beat a team that did not have a winning record this season. Summarily, Davis is just a name. Irvine, on the other hand, seems like a force to be reckoned with. The difference in competitive quality is significant, and Riverside is very much prone to coming in flat against a better opponent after playing its tail off in a hard-fought thriller.
Reasons To Back UC Irvine
Embellishing upon this principle, some sources have indicated that an overreaction may indeed be in the works. According to some other books, the Anteaters are prone to being extremely undervalued here and could be justified as being priced as high as a 23-point favorite in this market. Playing on this premise, the price then would predicate the play as we are getting the superior team at a better price.
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UC Riverside at UC Irvine Prediction 03/14/2019
There is a reason why so many "Bracketologists" have already penciled the Anteaters into March Madness. Very simply, this team has ruled the Big West with an iron fist, and they have been quite an impressive side all season long as they lost just four games against the 115th ranked non-conference strength of schedule according to KenPom. This venue will be an opportunity for Irvine to legitimize the acclaim and I suspect they will take full advantage.
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