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Author: [College Basketball] Topic: Thursday Hoops
nropp11
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#1
Posted: 3/22/2012 3:05:07 PM
November: 46-38, +5.20
November Leans: 39-38
December: 65-70, -9.45
December Leans: 67-79
January: 52-39, +15.80
January Leans: 40-37
February: 63-44, +65.90
February Leans: 56-49
March: 60-41, +87.15
March Leans: 35-37


Wisconsin/Syracuse
The focus on this match-up really relies with how well Wisconsin shoots the ball. Nothing more, nothing less. You have a really good three-point shooting team against a team that will play nothing other than zone. I could stop there, but there really isn’t any fun involved in that. So, let’s break this puppy down a bit further. First off, there is a really good article on the Wisconsin swing offense here (insert link here). It’s a very well written article, it’s long, but there are some really good well thought out stuff so read the entirety. Of importance first and foremost is how good the offense is utilized, but not only that, it’s something that just doesn’t work all that well against a tall and athletic zone. No ball screens, and very little movement when you’re not covered up. Now, all of these stats and data were derived from essentially one game, but it is the focal point of the offense and has been for years. If you get into the reading, you’ll find that Wisconsin passed up multiple shots, and over 60% of their shots came after passing up three different scoring options and close to 60% of their plays had at least four passes. This is a team that does not want to score quickly, they want to wear you down with great ball movement.  Now, this game was against a man-to-man a majority of the time, so against a zone, I would hinge on the fact that there will be even more passing going on in this one. More importantly, in those 58 plays, Wisconsin had some decent offensive rebounding, otherwise that 60% would be quite a bit higher. Getting away from the stats and the swing offense, taking a look a bit more at the game yields a few things. For starters, Wisconsin struggled immensely against the zone when Vandy went to it. Do I think they struggle tonight? It’s certainly possible, but having a few days to prep for the zone isn’t all that bad of a scenario. If Wisconsin has a weakness, they are undoubtedly not being able to run their offense against a zone, a lack of offensive rebounding, and their ability to get to the foul line. Their ability to shoot the 3 really crosses all of them out. Yes, they can’t run the offense. This doesn’t change, they’ll move the ball like crazy and more than likely take a jump shot. Yes, they don’t offensive rebound all that well, but Syracuse is one of the worst teams in the country in terms of rebounding the ball from a defensive standpoint, and that was with Melo in the lineup. Yes, Wisconsin doesn’t attack (something I hate in teams when they face off against a zone), but again, this team’s going to be shooting three’s all night. Thus, Wisconsin’s offensive output comes down to the three ball. I think it’s really that simple. Defensively, there really isn’t a thing that I cannot like about Wisconsin. They’re physical, they defend exceptionally well, and if you’re going to beat them, it’s not going to be with dribble penetration, it’s going to be with the outside jump shot. With Syracuse, offensively, they’re about as good as they come, but they do have some weaknesses. No attacking, they settle for jumpshots (part of the reason I faded them with UNC Asheville in game #1), and they just aren’t the same team without Melo. Yah, they beat Asheville, but it wasn’t pretty. Yah, they beat Kansas State, and that game wasn’t pretty at times and also was done against a team missing one of its top performers. Simply put, they haven’t been tested as of late, and they sure haven’t played a style like this all that often. I’ve hit on the zone enough, defend it well out top, lose people on the wings and in the corners, and can’t rebound for the life of them. In terms of pace, and here is where I’m pointing to the total, there is no reason this game is played anywhere close to 60 possessions. I don’t think Wisconsin lets this game go anywhere near that for a couple reasons. One, they’re methodical. While they pass, pass, pass, pass against a man-to-man, it’s probably going to get worse on the zone. And two, they just haven’t played many high possession games to begin with, and it’s been much slower against zones. Against a zone defense this year, Wisconsin has averaged just over 62 possessions a ball game, but it’s a bit lopsided b/c you have two Iowa games (which they coincidentally lost), and a Bradley game in there two. Both of those teams are fast paced, full court pressure style teams, something I cannot put Syracuse into the category of. Take those three teams out, and we fall at around an average of 55 possessions. This game is probably not going to be pretty. I think it has the possibility of a fast start, the nerves kick in, both teams get away from what they really want to do, but by game’s end, if this one is anything but a snail, I’d be shocked. Wisconsin using up clock against a zone (something they have sucked at) and Syracuse against a tough defensive style, something they just aren’t familiar with and don’t have the outlet of Melo to go to in tough circumstances as the clock runs down...
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#2
Posted: 3/22/2012 3:05:29 PM
Florida/Marquette
At this stage of the tournament, I really hate playing overs, especially one of the highest ones of the night, but this one is tough to avoid. If you look back at the Florida analysis on the year, you will find quite a bit of “Florida can’t play slow” and “Florida has to play up-tempo” if they want to score, and from the start of the year “Donovan has to speed up the game to fit the personnel of this team.” Nothing has changed. Last year they played a total of seven games over the average pace of 66 possessions. This year, they have played a total of 18. I really can’t expect him to go bonkers and flip the script here and think that he has to slow the pace of the game down for them to have a chance. I just can’t see it happening. Same game plan as usual, utilize the guards, get out in transition, and when you don’t, then jack up a 3-ball. Now here is where this gets sketchy with Marquette. As I pointed out in the Murray State game (which was a failure), they have really good defensive numbers in terms of defending the 3-ball, but they’re extremely skewed. They just haven’t faced too many teams who have relied on it throughout the year. In terms of pace, they’ve now played five straight 70+ possession ball games coming into this one. Yah, that Murray State game hit 72 possessions. Sort of crazy to think that in a 72 possession game, each team only scored 53 and 62 points respectively. Why the low scoring? Murray’s defense is good for one. And Marquette had just come off a week-long break after an 83 possession game into a 79 possession game with just two days of rest. Enough of the Murray game and back to hear. Again, the pace should be fast. I’m not all that impressed by Florida’s defense (I think it sucks something fierce) and I think they struggle to contain Marquette. This is certainly a case of weak and finesse against strength and physical at the guard spots, and I think both teams offenses will benefit from that. With about 5 days of prep under Buzz, Marquette’s averaging 1.21 points per possession, that’s pretty unreal considering that, many of those instances came against much better Big East defenses than what Florida brings to the table tonight. Other things that add value to the total – Marquette’s ability to attack comes to mind. If you’ve watched both of Florida’s tournament games, they’ve faced a couple of teams that just didn’t attack for whatever reason. That changes tonight, as Marquette has quite a few bodies who can finish at or above the rim against a weak interior defense. Against the top 100 teams that like to attack, Florida yielded the following point totals this year: 74, 74, 77, 68, 78, 65, 70, and 69. In only one of those games, a single team on the year did not score more than a point per possession and that was the 65 points scored from Vandy on the back end of a roady having just come off of high-tempo Arkansas. All in all, it really just comes down to speed. If Florida chooses to slow it down, they’re going to be forced to score in the half court against physicality. If Marquette chooses to slow the game, well, Marquette isn’t slowing anything down, so I don’t really need to worry about that. Florida’s going to have to hit some shots, but this is also the same Florida team that scored 71 points in the game with Virginia despite not hitting more than one three in the 1H. Hot or cold, good shot or bad shot, all I ask is that there is plenty of opportunities within the game to score, and I think within the match-ups, there will be plenty...
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#3
Posted: 3/22/2012 3:05:44 PM
Cincy/Ohio State
I’m not interested in this game, would have gone big on Ohio State in this situation against Florida State, but Florida State’s willingness to suck offensively against top 100 defenses came a bit early as they failed to cover both tournament games and ultimately lost to Cincy. I don’t see a single thing pointing to Cincy in the match-ups unless they’re hitting from the perimeter. They are a mini-Wisconsin. Run the clock, take a dumb shot, nowhere near efficient, in fact, not even close to efficient. They rarely get to the foul line, and they don’t shoot it well when they do get to the stripe. Team defense is good, but eh if you’re going to beat Ohio State you’re going to have to score. Cincy’s points per possession totals against top 50 defenses this year:

0.95
1.01
0.74
1.16 (hit 8/10 three’s to start game against Syracuse)
0.98
0.88
0.96
1.00
0.87
0.80
0.93

Simply put, that’s awful. I like Ohio State to advance, they’ve played the style enough in the majority of the snail B-10, that they really shouldn’t be phased in terms of style, and the team’s they’ve faced in the B-10 are quite a bit more efficient than what Cincy brings forth. Again, like Ohio State to win, just not sure about the big # in a snail...
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#4
Posted: 3/22/2012 3:06:44 PM
Louisville/Michigan State
When the brackets came out and I sat down to fill it out, there was one game that I wanted to see in the Sweet 16 happen. That game is this one.  I’ve been pretty firm with my thoughts on Louisville for the year, team’s offense hasn’t fired on all cylinders, defense has been one of the best in the country, addition of Blackshear has added much depth, another shooting presence, and some additional offense. And, they’ve been pretty consistent. I hate comparing teams of past years, but they’re currently on the same path where Uconn was at this time last year. Why Louisville? Why not. If I’m a trend player (which I’m the furthest thing from) I point to the fact that Rick Pitino has never lost a Sweet 16 game. Ever. He’s 9-0. In the past nine years, he’s 4-0 in Sweet 16 games. The scores in those:

Win 103-64
Win 79-60
Win 74-56
Win 93-79

Again, not a big trend guy, but it shows focus and preparation are a wonderful tool with some extra prep time. Rick Pitino with more than five days of prep this year: 

Win by 7
Loss by 7 (Lookahead to Syracuse)
Win by 8
Win by 3
Win by 12
Win by 11
Loss by 3 (Lookahead to Kentucky)
Win by 8
Win by 30
Win by 16

That was this year, 8 wins and 2 losses. Let’s go back a year:

Win by 14
Win by 30
Win by 19
Win by 4
Win by 3
Win by 25
Loss by 1 (Morehead)

That was last year, 7 wins and 1 loss. I’m going to skip 2010, that Pitino team couldn’t guard a team of fifth graders. Back to 2009:

Loss by 14 (WKU made the tourney this year and beat Illinois, Ville also dealing with PG Sosa injury here to start year)
Win by 19
Win by 20
Win by 6
Win by 13
Win by 18
Win by 20
Win by 39

In 2009, Pitino was 7-1. And on, and on, and on. Good coaches can not only make in-game adjustments, but they can prepare their teams in a fantastic manner prior to any ball being tipped in the air. Pitino qualifies as both. Now, Izzo isn’t all that bad himself. I won’t argue that at all. But what’s important and for possibly the first time all year, is losing Branden Dawson. In a game that should come down to defense, the loss is a tough one. He’s a combo Mr. Everything. Best shot blocker, best on ball defender, can play multiple positions, best offensive rebounder, and one of their most consistent scorers. With him in the lineup, he would have been the difference maker for MSU. Without him, I think Louisville matches up pretty well...
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nropp11
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#5
Posted: 3/22/2012 3:06:56 PM
...Much has been made of Draymond Green this year as he has been extremely efficient in terms of putting the ball in the hoop and defending in the paint. As he goes, so does this Michigan State offense. Big players show up in big games, and he’s as big as they come. He scores, he rebounds, and most importantly what people fail to realize is that he is the focal point of getting every other single player on the court wearing green involved. He leads this team in assist percentage. Yes, his assist percentage is greater than any other player on the court, including the PG. Before I get into where I’m talking like Green is a terrible player, understand this, he is not terrible, he is good, he is one of the best players in the country. I’m just not sure this is the best of spots. For one, Louisville’s full court pressure is relentless. I’ve been fairly consistent on it. And they play zone. This is a nightmare for Green. Simply put, he’s at his best when he’s in the half court where he can score, he can distribute, where he can do whatever he pleases. He’s still going to get opportunities to do that tonight when those situations arise, and when they do, they probably come against a zone that will collapse at every opportunity. You see, within the scheme here, Michigan State’s going to need other additional role players to step up and score outside of the norm. They’re going to have to focus on beating the press (without Green), and they’re going to have to focus on scoring in the half court (with limited touches by Green). Again, just one man’s opinion, but I don’t see how this match-up favors the most important player on the court in any way, shape, or form. Which leads me into my next point, and that is the fact that MSU hasn’t really played a style like this. Nothing in the B-10 is remotely close. Maybe the two matchups with Iowa, but comparing Iowa and Louisville is like comparing apples and oranges, really. In the non-conference, they did face the UNC and Duke’s and did lose, and again, comparing the pressure of those defenses to Louisville just not happening in my train of thought if you’ve followed the analysis there. They just haven’t had the experience of going up against anything close, and I’m not sure 3 days of prep is good enough to overcome that. Louisville has played two teams who actually are similar to them in makeup and style, and they’ve had an extra day here. Michigan State, not so much. They opened the tourney against one of the fastest and most erratic styles in Long Island, and followed that up with a snail in St. Louis and now come into one of the toughest defensive schemes and up-tempo offenses they’ll see on the year. Can MSU win? Sure, it is possible. Izzo has worked wonders with far less talented teams, so a MSU win here would not be out of the question. And if they do win, in a game that features two of the best defenses in the country, and some not so great foul shooting, will it be more than 5? We’ll find out.

5* Louisville +5
5* Wisconsin/Syracuse Under 121.5
3* Florida/Marquette Over 146

Lean: Wisconsin+3.5
Lean: Florida +2
Lean: Ohio State - 7.5

GL
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#6
Posted: 3/22/2012 3:14:25 PM
  Thanks for ur time and efforts.
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#7
Posted: 3/22/2012 3:14:39 PM
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#8
Posted: 3/22/2012 3:14:46 PM
Neil,

I was hoping you would be on the OVER 121.5 on CUSE/WISKY ? Damn ...  GL Brother!
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#9
Posted: 3/22/2012 3:16:19 PM
great stuff  BOL
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#10
Posted: 3/22/2012 3:17:05 PM
absolutely right on the money

another big night ahead
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#11
Posted: 3/22/2012 3:18:36 PM
like it nropp...
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#12
Posted: 3/22/2012 3:25:39 PM
lets roll...
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#13
Posted: 3/22/2012 3:26:35 PM
Surprised at your lean to Fla...your writeup seems to be pro-Marquette...
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#14
Posted: 3/22/2012 3:26:57 PM
With you on Louisville!  Thanks!
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nropp11
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#15
Posted: 3/22/2012 3:34:09 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by banshee826:

Surprised at your lean to Fla...your writeup seems to be pro-Marquette...

In terms of the total, it probably is. In terms of the lean, it's based off the fact that a 3 (Florida) is worth more than a 2 (Marquette).
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nropp11
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#16
Posted: 3/22/2012 3:35:12 PM
Forgot the link on the Swing Offense
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#17
Posted: 3/22/2012 3:41:01 PM

You're right on the money everything you said buddy

Wisky and Syracuse will both score in the 50's

I think Mich St has a great shot at going down tonight

Only thing I disagree on is one of your leans, as I'll give up a couple points and take Marquette.

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#18
Posted: 3/22/2012 3:47:11 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by nropp11:


In terms of the total, it probably is. In terms of the lean, it's based off the fact that a 3 (Florida) is worth more than a 2 (Marquette).


that makes sense...thanks
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#19
Posted: 3/22/2012 3:50:02 PM
Thanks for the write ups. Keep Slaying It!
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#20
Posted: 3/22/2012 4:14:25 PM
Louisville here too
Posted using a mobile device.
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#21
Posted: 3/22/2012 4:22:01 PM
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#22
Posted: 3/22/2012 4:24:50 PM

lets get the  today my friend.

Turtle

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#23
Posted: 3/22/2012 4:28:13 PM
like that you are leaning on Florida. I think me and you (and maybe 1-2) others are on Florida today. I think they match up pretty well against them and if they can get some offense going itll be a great game
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#24
Posted: 3/22/2012 4:29:23 PM
OVER OR UNDER IN MICH ST / LOU?

LEANING UNDER
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#25
Posted: 3/22/2012 4:29:55 PM
GL 
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