Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Day 2 Open Thread + Picking The Lines

So after spending a couple days making fun of the First Four games, you all watched that Ole Miss/BYU game last night, no? Two teams unable to play defense isn't always the best, but we had a wild game. With Dayton playing in front of effectively a home crowd, we could have one of the best NCAA Tournament crowds in a long time, so tune in tonight as well.

Once again, I encourage you to join me in the comments section on this post or tweet at me.

Remember, my full NCAA Tournament previews game by game are all posted here. Use that to guide your bracket picking.

Let's get to the games:

Yesterday ATS: 1-1
2015 Tournament ATS: 1-1
2014 Tournament ATS: 40-23-4
2013 Tournament ATS: 36-30-1
2012 Tournament ATS: 30-35-2
2011 Tournament ATS: 40-26-1
2010 Tournament ATS: 35-25-3

North Florida (-3) over Robert Morris: North Florida has been the better team this season, particularly late in the season. For a team out of the Atlantic Sun that plays a high tempo, they're very efficient and good on offense. There's not a huge gap between this team and the Florida Gulf Coast team that had its magical Sweet 16 run a couple of years ago. Robert Morris shoots the three well, but they really win games by forcing turnovers. North Florida has a bunch of experienced, low-turnover players who should be able to stop a defense that isn't exactly VCU or West Virginia. There's no obvious reason to pick against the favorite here.

Boise State (+4) over Dayton: Dayton/Boise State comes down, in a lot of ways, to what you think the crowd is going to be like here. These two teams are very even in the computer ratings (Pomeroy has this a PK and Sagarin has Boise St by half a point on a neutral court), and the four point Vegas line is due to assuming the full four point home court spread. That said, while I think home court will be a factor and Dayton is a deserved favorite, there's reason to believe Boise State is better than the metrics say. They had some injuries, including star Derrick Marks at below 100% health for a while, and have been playing far better basketball since getting healthy. They started the season 10-6 overall and 0-3 in Mountain West play, but since then they've gone 15-2 and slid up from 104th to 39th in the Pomeroy ratings. I think this game is just a little bit too close to lay four points. I'll pick the underdog to cover.


Anonymous said...

This has been a great 16 seed game. There have been a ton of momentum swings. With 5 minutes to go, I have no idea who is going to win. At least twice I thought North Florida was going to pull away for an easy win. Good effort from Robert Morris.

Jeff said...

Yeah, these 16/16 games are always wild and hard to predict. These teams are 16 seeds for a reason, which is that they've shown moments of brilliance but also make a ton of mistakes.