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Charlotte and Eastern Kentucky meet tonight to decide the Discount Tire CBI championship from Daytona on ESPN2 tonight. Handicapper WeBeatTheSpread is here to break down his prediction, pick, and odds.
ANALYSIS

Charlotte vs. Eastern Kentucky Prediction, Pick Against the Spread, and Latest Odds

Both teams have already won three games in this single-elimination tournament to get to this stage. Still, Eastern Kentucky has the more challenging path to the final, playing in three consecutive overtime games in three days to get here.

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Charlotte vs. Eastern Kentucky Time, Where to Watch, Odds

  • Date: March 22, 2023
  • Time: 5:00 p.m. ET
  • Where to Watch: ESPN2

Click here for Charlottle vs. Eastern Kentucky odds

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Charlotte vs. Eastern Kentucky Prediction

Charlotte enters the final after getting one additional day of rest, as they had a rest on Sunday while Eastern Kentucky played Cleveland State. In that game, the 49ers' defense was dominant, holding Radford to 56 points and 41% shooting from the field. Charlotte's two-point offense was efficient, making 63.6% of their shots inside the arc, but they struggled from three, shooting just 6-21 (28%) behind the arc. Their leading scorer, Brice Williams, had 14 points and 11 rebounds. He is Charlotte's best player and has been a force throughout the tournament, averaging 19.6 points per game in this tournament.

On the other hand, Eastern Kentucky is fatigued, having played 140 minutes of basketball in the last three days, including a double-overtime victory over Southern Utah yesterday in the semifinal. The Colonels rely heavily on a fast-paced offense, ranking 44th in tempo, and full-court press, which has proven to be effective for them throughout the season. However, their fatigued players will find it challenging to keep up with the pace in this game, especially against a strong-shooting team like Charlotte that can wear you down with a slower pace and decent defense that doesn't give up easy looks. Charlotte ranks 17th in the assist-to-field-goal ratio on defense, meaning Eastern Kentucky will have to find decent looks isolated.

Eastern Kentucky's shooting has been subpar this season, ranking 288th in effective field goal percentage. In contrast, Charlotte is one of the strongest shooting teams in the country, ranking 22nd in effective field goal percentage. Additionally, the 49ers have two big men, Aly Khalifa, and Igor Milicic, who can guard the rim effectively and prevent Eastern Kentucky from scoring under the basket, where Eastern Kentucky has thrived on offense all season.

Charlotte's bench players have also had more time on the court in the tournament due to the fewer close games they have played. This advantage gave Charlotte's starters additional rest, which added furthermore to the fatigue advantage.

While Eastern Kentucky has had an impressive run in the tournament, playing three overtime games in a row, including a double-overtime last night, is extremely tough. They are fatigued and face a strong-shooting team with better defense. Charlotte is more rested and has a more talented and deeper roster while having good size down low to match up against Eastern Kentucky's rim attackers that run their offense. Charlotte will win the CBI championship game, but props to Eastern Kentucky for the fight they have shown in the tournament.

Charlotte vs. Eastern Kentucky Pick

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Article Author

NCAABBoxing/MMAMLBNHL

Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.

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