Some Monday NCAA Hoops Helpful Information
5 Replies | 237 ViewsOn 03/11/2013 06:30 AM in NCAA Basketball
CBB Monday Cliff Notes
Central Michigan at Buffalo: I get from a stat standpoint why Buffalo is so heavily favored, and I get that Central is just super young. But this is a Buffalo team that turns the ball over almost as much as anyone in the nation, and aside from beating Akron have really just feasted on the bottom of the MAC this season. It's a sub-.500 team overall, for the season and in the conference, which certainly makes it hard to lay these points. The upside to perhaps taking the points is that although CMU is young, Kyle Randall, their do-all guy, is a Senior. Buffalo beat them badly early in the year, but for the last few weeks they've been in most of their games. What I do like about CMU is that although they're primarily an outside shooting team, they do get to the line a fair bit and shoot well over 70%. CMU doesn't turn the ball over, but I'm certainly not going to trust their pitiful defense on the road, yet, because as a matter of principle I won't lay chalk with a sub-.500 team that turns it over, home or not.
St. Mary's at Gonzaga: Clearly the uber-public Zags, for whom we are going to pay the price for playing. Gonzaga doesn't have any weaknesses, so we need not go there. For them it's simply a matter of is their eye on the bigger prize or do they really want to win the Conference Tournament as well. I suspect so, but clearly they've got the target on their back. St. Mary's only two Conference losses were to Gonzaga, and they were destroyed at home, so they DO have some motivation here. That could be why they struggled against San Diego, looking ahead to this game. Clearly opening at only -5 it seems they're begging for Gonzaga money early. St. Mary's has certainly got the experience, but not the length nor the balance. Their one weakness has been defending the three ball, but that's certainly not what Gonzaga really want to do offensively. I do love that St. Mary's is actually the better rebounding team, and that will certainly be the point of emphasis here as in that blowout loss at home they were seriously outrebounded. Although they contained Olynyk, they let Pangos go off, and they themselves hit 12-35 from deep. Last year, they beat Gonzaga in OT in this Tournament, so clearly that's got to be something Few uses as motivation, I would think. But, I guess if you want to give me a Top-25 (or so) team with points, I'd have to take them. The only thing stopping me at this point is that because they blew out LM, nobody for the Zags played a ton of minutes. That SHOULD mean fresher legs and perhaps better defense, so I do lean under in this one.
Miami OH at Bowling Green: The first thing that struck me was that Miami had played the toughest schedule in the MAC. But, Bowling Green played the second toughest. Miami did beat them earlier this season, and actually played them fairly tough at BG, so I would rule out taking the 3-13 team that aside from the Akron loss was actually in most of their games down the stretch. Apparently I wasn't the only one thinking this way, since the line opened at -8 at CRIS is fairly quickly is at -7. BGSU's two home losses were to Akron and Ohio. They (BGSU) may be a little more keen in this game because last year they lost at home in the first round to CMU, which was clearly an embarrassment. But, they are simply not the same team this season without Scott Thomas and Dee Brown. My issue here is that Miami lost Roberts, one of their best and only outside threats, to a season ending injury, as well as Drew McGhee, who although playing sparingly, was a big man. The issue with that, for me, is that BGSU score about 60% of their points inside. However, they don't get to the FT line that much, indicating softness, perhaps. The game will be played fairly slow, and although BGSU plays great team defense, they don't create a ton of turnovers, while Miami is almost the opposite. They gamble a fair bit and DO create turnovers, but have a terrible overall defense in Conference. We'll have to see what shakes out as far as line move confirmation, but it's already lost some. This is yet another case of me simply not laying three possessions with a sub-.500 team against a team that has nothing at all to lose. If BGSU weren't quite so experienced, I'd have already been all over Miami.
Northern Illinois at Eastern Michigan: I know Northern Illinois has a hard time scoring, but in a game that will be played at a snails' pace and perhaps not see 100 points, there is no chance of laying those points, I don't care how big or how experience Eastern Michigan is, or how young Northern Illinois is. They scored a mere 25 points when last these teams met, so there's certainly nowhere to go but up for them. They almost beat Ball State on the road Saturday, and gave Buffalo a game on the road, so I would contend it's EMU that might have more pressure here, and that's just not something I can back. EMU losing their final home game to Toledo fairly solidly just cannot be a good thing headed into this game, so it's the (gulp) Northern Illinois or nothing here.