A pair of college basketball games tonight, although they won’t get a lot of attention with the Final Four games being played on Saturday, followed by the NCAA Championship game on Monday.
San Francisco at North Texas: The game between San Francisco and North Texas is an interesting one, as the home teams have cruised to victories in both games and apparently have received a little help from the officials along the way, as North Texas was outshot 13-8 from the foul line in the Bay area and enjoyed a 16-7 advantage from the foul line in Game 2, which was played at North Texas State. North Texas opened as 3.5-point favorites and have been bet up to 4.5, with 80% of the early wagers coming in on the Mean Green.
North Texas had an 18-shot advantage in field goal attempts last game, as they grabbed 12 offensive rebounds and had a 43-31 advantage on the boards, as well as forced 16 turnovers and made just three themselves. San Francisco actually shot better from the field in the game, but not well enough to make up the difference in attempts. I have North Texas winning by four and wouldn’t be surprised to see the foul calls a little more even in this one, as it made it to Game 3, which I’m sure the tournament organizers wanted. Not a big play by any means, but will take a small stab with the road underdog to keep it close.
Illinois-Chicago at Northern Colorado: Northern Colorado is favored by on the overnight lines in this one, which is an interesting game, as NCU has cruised in the post-season, often getting teams to play their style, which is a little faster than some teams are used to playing. That won’t be a problem for Illinois-Chicago, who likes to play at that pace themselves, and removes one advantage Northern Colorado has enjoyed in the tournament. Illinois-Chicago is the better defensive team of the two, while Northern Colorado gets a bit of an offensive edge, scoring 5.4 more points than their opponents allowed over the course of the season. The Flames did allow 10 offensive rebounds per game and will have to keep NCU off the offensive boards, although that wasn’t particularly a strength of the Bears during the season. This is a game I’d be staying away from if it was played during the regular season, but will probably have a token play on the underdog in this one.