3/6 Sunday Thoughts

6 Mar

PREDICTIONS (1975-1526-97):

HOLY CROSS +9 (I’m rolling with Bill Carmody again. His offense is going to force you to defend a myriad of screens, and Army frequently gets lost defensively, and you know Carmody’s going to pick on Kyle Wilson today. Robert Champion’s ability to exploit Wilson on that end is going to keep Holy Cross in this, and defensively, Holy Cross is going to focus exclusively on getting back in transition, and forcing Army to work in the halfcourt. They already downed one transition reliant team, and I think they have a good chance at doing it again today. The Crusaders’ win over Army did come with Plomb and Ferguson out)

SMU +1.5 (I don’t trust Cincy’s offense any farther than I can throw it, and if Cobb is out again for Cincy, who can hit jump shots against Cincy’s zone? I’m sure Larry wants to end the season with on a “I can’t believe this team can’t play in the Tournament” note. A lot dependent on Cobb’s health though, and it sounds like he’ll give it a go)


HOFSTRA -1 (Hofstra on back to back days is a little terrifying, but W&M can’t contain Gustys in the paint. Too many holes in the Tribe defense that Hofstra can exploit where JMU couldn’t, especially with Tarpey and Dixon not 100%)

MILWAUKEE -2.5 (I don’t think the Panthers have much of an issue handling RP40 with the outstanding Jordan Johnson at the helm. Panthers saved some legs with an easy win vs NKU, and despite Milwaukee’s lack of depth, I’m more concerned about RP40 on back to backs, although Darner toned it down vs Cleveland State. Doesn’t get much better than a rivalry game in a conference tournament)

LEHIGH -11 (Simply put, American is incapable of guarding Tim Kempton on pick and pop action)

NORTHERN IOWA -1 (At their best, UNI’s defense cuts out entire regions of the court, forcing you into jump shots you don’t want to take, and Jacobson is a mastermind at defending against Simmons’ motion offense without fouling. These games between UNI and the Aces always turn into grinders where Evansville gets pushed further and further out of their comfort zone)

UCONN -16.5



WINTHROP +2 (Incredibly interesting game. UNCA and Winthrop traded a pair of 1 point wins with each winning at home, but Winthrop blew big leads in both because of UNCA’s relentless pressure and 14% steal rate. Winthrop is an outstanding rim protection defense with Cooks, Price, and Okeke, but they HAVE to stay out of foul trouble against the attacking Smith/Sutton/Thomas trio. Price picked up 2 quick ones yesterday, and the Eagles can’t afford that today. Winthrop, the best shooting team in the Big South, hasn’t shot the ball well in this tournament yet, and they’ve actually been winning with their defense, which was a major concern heading into Buies Creek. Pat Kelsey’s squad has lost in the title game two years in a row, but if they can handle that aggressive zone press from UNCA, they can finally break through again)

NORTHEASTERN +2.5 (On paper, this is a brutal matchup for the Huskies. They don’t have a “true” PG against UNCW’s press, and they rely heavily on the 3, which UNCW takes away. Coen has been going with a smaller, guard oriented lineup though, and I think they handle the Pitino matchup zone press a little better the third time around. The Huskies beat UNCW at Trask at the horn in the second meeting after getting blown out at Matthews in the first. Really interesting game)

WRIGHT STATE -1 (Detroit pulled a Detroit with Paris Bass serving a 1H suspension for “academics”, and his presence wasn’t really needed against YSU anyway. Watching Wright State’s defense yesterday was awe inspiring. Granted it was against UIC, but Donlon has this team prepared. They’re completely clogging up the lane. Wilson and Jenkins have to hit jump shots today, or else UDM has no chance)


INDIANA -5 (Sag off Melo and take away penetration and you have a great chance at beating Maryland. Hoosiers finish off an undefeated home season if they force the Terps into jump shots. Looks like Juwan Morgan will give it a go, and the FR has been an underrated defensive cog)

MONMOUTH -8 (Again, I love Sydney Johnson’s game planning, but this is a game where they’re really going to miss Curtis Cobb, and Monmouth gets that extra day of rest/prep)

WESTERN CAROLINA +8 (Cats off 2OT with no depth, and Mike Brown played all 50 minutes, but UTC has proven repeatedly they struggle to run offense against extended pressure, and when teams swarm their bigs, they can’t pass out of help side defense. Mocs had a 36% TO rate in WCU’s win in Culowhee)

FGCU -9 (Eagles get revenge for a loss on their home court that cost them the 2 seed. Dooley used that as a rallying point for this tournament. FGCU should dominate the paint with their modified flex offense. Sorry UNF, but welcome to the NIT)

IONA +1 (HCA for Siena of course, but their transition defense gets exposed by Iona again when they’re not able to come up with the offensive rebound. Again, I note that AJ English is actually playing defense)

NORTH DAKOTA STATE -4.5 (Went into detail on this one in Summit preview, but IUPUI can’t handle NDSU wings, and Richman realized that he has to be less aggressive on the three point line defensively. That said, I really want to see IUPUI/IPFW III after Jason Gardner’s actions following their win over the Dons to close the regular season. Just don’t think it’s going to happen because NDSU can simply sag off/box and one Combs) UPDATE: COMBS IS SUSPENDED FOR A VIOLATION OF TEAM RULES


FURMAN +2 (ETSU can’t stay in front of Croone, and they don’t have the frontcourt to expose the Paladins in the paint. I predicted ETSU in the SoCon finals, but only because I had UNCG beating Furman (like a moron). Tough matchup for the Bucs)

OMAHA -4.5 (Went into detail on this one in Summit preview. Obvious contrasting tempos here, but Omaha’s pressure is pretty hellish for Joe Scott’s Princeton offense that doesn’t utilize a primary ball handler)






One Response to “3/6 Sunday Thoughts”

  1. jwayne111 March 7, 2016 at 8:34 am #

    just a word of appreciation for your insight…not just informative but of value looking for an edge > selective sportsbetting

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