NCAA Preview: Utah State Aggies

Posted by rtmsf on March 18th, 2009

Utah State (#11, West, Boise pod)

vs. Marquette (#6)

Fri. 3/20 @ 12:10 pm

Vegas Line:  Utah St. +4.5
General Profile

Location: Logan, Utah

Conference: Western Athletic Conference, Tournament Champion

Coach: Stew Morrill

08-09 Record: 30-4, 14-2

Last 12 Games: 9-3

Best Win: vs. Utah, 66-64, 12/22

Worst Loss: @ St. Mary’s, 64-75, 02/21

Off. Efficiency Rating: 116.8, 13th

Def. Efficiency Rating: 101.3, 169th
Nuts ‘n Bolts

Star Player(s): Gary Wilkinson (17/7/4 assts); DeShawn Sims (16/7)

Unsung Hero: The freshmen corps of Laval Lucas-Perry, Zach Novak and Stu Perry

Potential NBA Draft Pick(s): None

Key Injuries: None

Depth: 23.9% (#313)

Achilles Heel: Turnovers, In two of their four losses this season they committed 17 or more turnovers. Holding onto the ball is the key to their efficiency

Will Make a Deep Run if…: They can get Cornell to upset Mizzou.

Will Make an Early Exit if…: Gary Wilkinson has an off night.
NCAA History

Last Year Invited: 2006, lost 1st round to 5th seed Washington 75-61

Streak: 1

Best NCAA Finish: 2001, 2nd round

Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present): +0.38 Ws per appearance


Other

Six Degrees to Detroit: None.

Distance to First Round Site: 291 miles to Boise.

School’s Claim to (Dis)Fame: Currently… mascot Big Blue accepting a $100 bribe from a Nevada fan to steal New Mexico State mascot Pistol Pete’s fake mustache.

School Wishes It Could Forget: The 2003 season when they finished 25-3, tied for the regular season title but did not get an at-large bid after losing in the semifinals of the Big West tournament.

Prediction: Utah State is a dangerous 11 seed playing close to home in a familiar arena and facing a team that has lost five of its last six since losing a key player to injury.

Major RTC stories: n/a

Preview written by… Sam Wasson, bleedCrimson.net

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NCAA Preview: Portland State Vikings

Posted by jstevrtc on March 18th, 2009

Portland State University (#13, East, Boise pod)

vs Xavier (#4)
Fri., 3/20 at 7:25 pm
Vegas Line:  +10.5

General Profile
Location: Portland, Oregon
Conference: Big Sky, automatic
Coach: Ken Bone, hired 2005.  Record at PSU = 77-48
08-09 Record: 23-9 (11-5)
Last 12 Games: 8-4 (won 6)
Best Win: At Gonzaga, 77-70, on 12/23/08.
Worst Loss: vs Cal Poly, 62-65, on 12/17/08 (six days before winning at Gonzaga).
Off. Efficiency Rating: 107.4 (79th)
Def. Efficiency Rating: 103.0 (201st)

Nuts ‘n Bolts
Star Player(s): Jeremiah Dominguez (12.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.8 spg)
Unsung Hero: Jamie Jones (8.9 ppg, leads team in rebounding at 5.9 rpg)
Potential NBA Draft Pick: None.
Key Injuries: No significant injuries.
Depth: 34.5% (87th nationally); percentage of minutes played by reserves
Achilles Heel: Defense.  Opponents shoot 45.5% from the field which ranks 271st nationally.
Will Make a Deep Run if…: They can forget about the TV cameras; if they can hit their 3s (they shoot 38%, 33rd nationally); and if they maybe catch Xavier napping.
Will Make an Early Exit if…: The rest of the roster doesn’t contribute a little more.  PSU will throw a lot of guys at you but they have four guys averaging double-figures, and that barely.

NCAA History
Last Year Invited: 2008; lost to Kansas in the 1st round
Streak: Two years.
Best NCAA Finish: 2008, as above.
Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present): n/a

Other
Distance to First Round Site: 428 miles
School’s Claim to Fame: Considered one of the nation’s “greener” colleges; called a “college with a conscience” by the Princeton Review; Holly Madison (“The Girls Next Door”) went there.
School Wishes It Could Forget: The fate of MLB pitcher and alum Steve Olin, killed in a boating accident during spring training of 1993.
Prediction: It’s possible to catch Xavier a little complacent to start games sometimes, but even though PSU will be a popular pick for a R1 upset due to lack of national focus on Xavier during the season, in the end the Musketeers will probably be too much for the Vikings to handle.
Major RTC stories: Checking in on the Big Sky

Preview written by Rush The Court.

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NCAA Preview: Michigan State Spartans

Posted by nvr1983 on March 18th, 2009

Michigan State (#2, Midwest, Minneapolis pod)
Vs. Robert Morris (#15)
Fri., 3/20 at 9:50 PM
Vegas Line:
Michigan State, -17

michigan-state-vegas

Thanks to Vegas Watch for providing these graphs that measure the moving average of a team’s spread (moving avg.) over time vs. the spread for each individual game (indiv).  If a team’s moving average is higher than zero, then Vegas currently has a higher opinion of them than Pomeroy, and vice versa.

General Profile
Location: East Lansing, MI
Conference: Big 10, At-large
Coach: Tom Izzo, 14th season, 331-135
08-09 Record: 26-6 overall, 15-3 in the Big 10
Last 12 Games: 9-3
Best Win: At Illinois on March 1st (74-66)
Worst Loss: Playing what was essentially a home game in Detroit on December 3rd against #1 UNC, the Spartans lost by 35 in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score indicates.
Off. Efficiency Rating: 112.7; 34th
Def. Efficiency Rating: 88.4; 10th

Nuts ‘n Bolts
Star Player(s):
Kalin Lucas (14.8 PPG and 4.4 APG); Raymar Morgan (10.8 PPG and 5.7 RPG)
Unsung Hero: Goran Suton (9.5 PPG and 7.6 RPG)
Potential NBA Draft Pick(s): Morgan (42nd in 2010). Delvon Roe has the potential to be a late first or early second round pick. Lucas and Durrell Summers will probably be 2nd round picks as well whenever they comes out.
Key Injuries: None
Depth:
36.6% (48th nationally); percentage of minutes played by reserves
Achilles Heel: Inexperience. Despite having 2 seniors and a junior in the starting line-up many of the Spartans are quite young. Will they be able to hold up under the March pressure?
Will Make a Deep Run if…: Raymar Morgan returns to the form he showed before he had atypical pneumonia, which sidelined him for more than 2 weeks and it took him a while to play well after he returned.
Will Make an Early Exit if…: Their inexperience leads to too many turnovers.

NCAA History
Last Year Invited:
2008; lost to Memphis in the Sweet 16
Streak: 12th straight year
Best NCAA Finish: National champions (1979 and 2000)
Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present):+0.23. The Spartans win 0.23 more games per year than they would be expected to based on the historical performance of teams with the same seed.

Other
Six Degrees to Detroit:
Besides the fact that it’s a 91.2 mile drive from the Breslin Center to Ford Field where the Final 4 is this year? The Spartans roster features 9 players from the state of Michigan. Durrell Summers takes home the prize as being the closest to Detroit having gone to high school at Redford Covenant.
Distance to First Round Site: 628 miles
School’s Claim to Fame: A former Spartan point guard holds the record for most assists in a NBA game (Scott Skiles) while another Spartan point guard holds the unofficial record for being the most supportive teammate in NBA history (Mateen Cleaves). They also had a point guard named Magic Johnson who wasn’t too bad at either of those two things himself.
School Wishes It Could Forget: The John L. Smith era, which can be summed up in this amazing meltdown by a local sports radio host.
Prediction: The Spartans have all the pieces in place to make a storybook run to play in the Final 4 in what would be essentially home games, but I get the funny feeling that USC is going to make a run and take them out in the 2nd round because I think that it’s a bad match-up for the Spartans.
Major RTC stories: N/A.

Preview written by Rush the Court

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NCAA Preview: Boston College Eagles

Posted by nvr1983 on March 18th, 2009

Boston College (#7, Midwest, Minneapolis pod)
vs. USC (#10)
Fri., 3/20 at 7:20 PM
Vegas Line: Boston College, +2

bc-vegas

Thanks to Vegas Watch for providing these graphs that measure the moving average of a team’s spread (moving avg.) over time vs. the spread for each individual game (indiv).  If a team’s moving average is higher than zero, then Vegas currently has a higher opinion of them than Pomeroy, and vice versa.

General Profile
Location: Chestnut Hill, MA
Conference: ACC, At-large
Coach: Al Skinner, 232-148
08-09 Record: 22-11 (9-7 in the ACC)
Last 12 Games: 7-5
Best Win: At UNC (when they were undefeated and “unbeatable”), 85-78 on January 4th. A close second is their victory at home against Duke, 80-74 on February 15th.
Worst Loss: Following their win at UNC, they lost to Harvard 82-70 at home on January 7th.
Off. Efficiency Rating: 113.9, 27th
Def. Efficiency Rating: 99.3, 132nd

Nuts ‘n Bolts
Star Player(s): Tyrese Rice (17.1 PPG and 5.4 APG); Joe Trapani (13.5 PPG and 6.6 RPG)
Unsung Hero: Rakim Sanders (13.0 PPG and 4.5 RPG)
Potential NBA Draft Pick: Rice, projected at #43 (in 2009). Trapani and Sanders are potential late 2nd round picks when they decide to leave.
Key Injuries: N/A
Depth: 29.7% (200th nationally); percentage of minutes played by reserves
Achilles Heel: Inconsistency. See their January 4th/7th Jekyll and Hyde where they knocked off #1 UNC on the road and then lost the next game to Harvard at home.
Will Make a Deep Run if…: Rice can play consistently and within himself. He tries to get too fancy sometimes with the alley-oops when a simple bounce pass will do.
Will Make an Early Exit if…: The supporting cast (outside of Rice, Trapani, and Sanders) doesn’t step up.

NCAA History
Last Year Invited:
2007; lost to Georgetown in the 2nd round
Streak: N/A
Best NCAA Finish: Elite 8 (1967 and 1982)
Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present): +0.28. On average, the Eagles win 0.28 more games than they would be expected to based on their seed compared to historical norms.

Other
Distance to First Round Site:
1,389 miles
School’s Claim to Fame: The Eagles boast three famous QBs (Heisman trophy winner Doug Flutie, one-time All-Pro Matt Hasselbeck and the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year Matt Ryan)
School Wishes It Could Forget: The 1978-79 basketball point shaving scandal, but Bill Simmons won’t let them.
Prediction: The Eagles have played well at the end of the regular season, but they drew a hot USC team. They should be competitive against the Trojans, but in the end Taj Gibson, DeMar Derozan, and Daniel Hackett will be too much.
Major RTC stories: RTC Live: Wake Forest @ Boston College and RTC Live: Clemson at Boston College

Preview written by Rush The Court.

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NCAA Preview: Oklahoma Sooners

Posted by nvr1983 on March 18th, 2009

Oklahoma (#2, South, Kansas City pod)

Morgan State (#15)
Mar. 19 @ 9:40pm

Vegas Line:  Oklahoma -16.5

oklahoma-ncaa-graph

Thanks to Vegas Watch for providing these graphs that measure the moving average of a team’s spread (moving avg.) over time vs. the spread for each individual game (indiv).  If a team’s moving average is higher than zero, then Vegas currently has a higher opinion of them than Pomeroy, and vice versa.

General Profile

Location: Norman, OK
Conference: Big 12, at-large
Coach: Jeff Capel, 66-32
08-09 Record: 27-5, 13-3
Last 12 Games: 8-4
Best Win: 87-82, Purdue, November 28th at Preseason NIT
Worst Loss: 96-88, at Arkansas, December 30th
Off. Efficiency Rating: 117.8; 7th
Def. Efficiency Rating: 93.5; 46th

Nuts ‘n Bolts

Star Player(s): Blake Griffin 21.9 ppg, 14.3 rpg; Willie Warren 14.7 ppg, 3 apg, 1.2 spg
Unsung Hero: Taylor Griffin 9.6 ppg, 6rpg
Potential NBA Draft Pick(s): Blake Griffin, 1st overall; Willie Warren 15th
Key Injuries: none
Depth: 20.7% (332nd nationally); percentage of total minutes played by reserves
Achilles Heel: Poor point guard play
Will Make a Deep Run if…: the guards play like they did in January and early February
Will Make an Early Exit if…: the guards play like they have the past 3 weeks

NCAA History

Last Year Invited: 2008, 2nd round
Streak: 2
Best NCAA Finish: 1988, runner up
Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present): -0.47; on average they win 0.47 less games per year than you would expect from a team with a similar seed based on historical performance

Other

Six Degrees to Detroit: Coach Jeff Capel played for Duke; Duke’s former football coach is Steve Spurrier; Steve Spurrier coached Heisman trophy winner Danny Wueffel; Billy Sims who won a Heisman was drafted number 1 by the Detroit Lions in 1980; which leads us to the Final Four site of Detroit
Distance to First Round Site: 368 miles (Kansas City, MO)
School’s Claim to Fame: Being that Oklahoma is a football school mainly; our claim to fame is 7 football National Championships and 5 Heisman winners. This year however we will be able to say we are the only school to have both the Heisman winner and The Naismith College Player of the Year for the same school calendar year.
School Wishes It Could Forget: Any ties to Kelvin Sampson and recent BCS bowl games
Prediction: If you had asked me for a prediction two weeks ago, I would have said Final Four or bust for this team. However the way this team has played over the last few games has me wondering if they will make it out of the first weekend.

Major RTC stories: Former Oklahoma Great Wayman Tisdale Loses a Leg
Preview written by… Nick Juby of Crimson and Cream Machine

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NCAA Preview: Syracuse Orange

Posted by nvr1983 on March 18th, 2009

Syracuse (#3 seed, South, Miami pod)

Stephen F. Austin (#14)
Mar. 20 @ 12:15pm

Vegas Line:  Syracuse -12

syracuse-ncaa-graph

Thanks to Vegas Watch for providing these graphs that measure the moving average of a team’s spread (moving avg.) over time vs. the spread for each individual game (indiv).  If a team’s moving average is higher than zero, then Vegas currently has a higher opinion of them than Pomeroy, and vice versa.

General Profile

Location: Syracuse, NY
Conference: Big East, at-large
Coach: Jim Boeheim, 797-287
08-09 Record: 26-9 (11-7 in the Big East)
Last 12 Games: 8-4
Best Win: vs. UConn, 127-117 in 6 OT on 3/12 (You may have heard about this one.)
Worst Loss: At Providence, 100-94 on 1/28
Off. Efficiency Rating: 117.7; 10th
Def. Efficiency Rating: 92.7; 42nd

Nuts ‘n Bolts

Star Player(s): Jonny Flynn, 17.5 PPG, 6.7 APG, 37.2 MPG)
Unsung Hero: Kristof Ongenaet, his stats couldn’t possibly measure his importance as SU’s intangibles guy
Potential NBA Draft Pick(s): Jonny Flynn, N/A. Has said he plans to stay but left the door open based on NCAA Tourney
Key Injuries: None.
Depth: 30.9% (314th nationally); percentage of total minutes played by players coming off the bench
Achilles Heel: Arinze Onuaku’s free-throw shooting – 30%
Will Make a Deep Run if…: Jonny Flynn controls the tempo, Andy Rautins and Eric Devendorf’s three-pointers fall, and the zone defense confuses teams)
Will Make an Early Exit if…: they are completely burnt out from the Big East Tournament

NCAA History

Last Year Invited: 2006, L-1st Round
Streak: N/A
Best NCAA Finish: 2003, National Champion
Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present): +0.25. On average, the Orangemen win 0.25 more games per year than would be expected for a team with a similar seed based on historical data.

Other

Six Degrees to Detroit: Legendary Syracuse player Dave Bing is currently running for mayor of Detroit.
Distance to First Round Site: 1,417 miles (Miami, FL)
School’s Claim to Fame: Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim, who has played for or coached Syracuse since 1963
School Wishes It Could Forget: The 1987 National Championship game and Keith Smart’s shot to win it for Indiana.
Prediction: Syracuse is hitting it’s groove at the right time and I fully expect the team to make it at least to the Sweet Sixteen. An assumed match-up with Oklahoma awaits there and I’m hopeful, but realistic.

Major RTC stories: ATB: Syracuse Gets “Jacked” From 60 Feet, Paul Harris Will Eat Your Food, Six OTs in New York, Revisited, ATB: Epic Night in MSG, and Sweetest NCAA Memories #7: Two Shades of Orange(men)
Preview written by… Sean Keeley of Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician

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NCAA Preview: UCLA Bruins

Posted by nvr1983 on March 18th, 2009

UCLA (#6, East, Philadelphia pod)

vs. Virginia Commonwealth (#11)
Mar. 19 @ 9:50pm

Vegas Line: UCLA -7

ucla-ncaa-graph

Thanks to Vegas Watch for providing these graphs that measure the moving average of a team’s spread (moving avg.) over time vs. the spread for each individual game (indiv).  If a team’s moving average is higher than zero, then Vegas currently has a higher opinion of them than Pomeroy, and vice versa.

General Profile

Location: Los Angeles, CA
Conference: Pac 10
Coach: Ben Howland, 149-53
08-09 Record: 25-8 (13-5 in the Pac 10)
Last 12 Games: 8-4
Best Win: 85-76 vs. Washington, February 19
Worst Loss: 82-81 vs. Washington St., February 21
Off. Efficiency Rating: 121.2, 3rd
Def. Efficiency Rating: 92.5, 40th

Nuts ‘n Bolts

Star Player(s): Darren Collison, PG, senior- 14.8 points, 5.0 assists, 1.6 steals, 54% FG, 92% FT; Josh Shipp, SF, senior- 14.4 points, 1.3 steals, 51% FG, 44% 3PT
Unsung Hero: Alfred Aboya, C, senior- 10.1 points, 6.0 rebounds, 58% FG
Potential NBA Draft Pick(s): Darren Collison, 1st round, 24th overall
Key Injuries: None
Depth: 31% (165th nationally); percentage of minutes played by payers coming off the bench
Achilles Heel: 250th out of 330 in field goal percentage defense
Will Make a Deep Run if…: Jrue Holiday steps up his game on both ends of the court and the perimeter defense improves, while the Bruins continue to shoot at the 50.6% that leads the nation.
Will Make an Early Exit if…: The perimeter defense allows easy penetration so opponents shoot at a high percentage and Alfred Aboya gets in foul trouble early.

NCAA History

Last Year Invited: 2008, Final Four (Lost to Memphis)
Streak: 4 consecutive years
Best NCAA Finish: National champions 11 times, 1995 most recent
Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present): +0.31. UCLA wins 0.31 more games on average each year than would be expected based on this historical performance of teams with a similar seed.

Other

Six Degrees to Detroit: UCLA has played a team from the state of Michigan in every year since 2002.
Distance to First Round Site: 2,709 (Philadelphia, PA)
School’s Claim to Fame: UCLA has more applicants than any other school in the country and counts Jack Black, Francis Ford Coppola, James Dean, Will Forte, James Franco, Heather Locklear, Rob Reiner and Ben Stiller among its enterainment alumni.
School Wishes It Could Forget: Their loss to Princeton in the first round of the 1996 NCAA Tournament as defending champions.
Prediction: Can the Bruins make it to a fourth consecutive Final Four if a couple higher seeds in their bracket are upset? Sure, but a Sweet 16 appearance sounds like a better guess, which isn’t too bad for a down year. Is it?

Major RTC stories: Yeah, You Might Be Better than a UCLA Player
Preview written by… Ryan Rosenblatt of Bruinsnation.com

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NCAA Preview: North Carolina Tar Heels

Posted by nvr1983 on March 18th, 2009

North Carolina (#1 seed, South, Greensboro pod)

vs. Radford (#16)
Mar. 19 @ 2:50pm

Vegas Line: UNC -26.5

unc-ncaa-graph

Thanks to Vegas Watch for providing these graphs that measure the moving average of a team’s spread (moving avg.) over time vs. the spread for each individual game (indiv).  If a team’s moving average is higher than zero, then Vegas currently has a higher opinion of them than Pomeroy, and vice versa.

General Profile

Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Conference: ACC, at-large
Coach: Roy Williams (170-37 at UNC, 588-138 overall)
08-09 Record: 28-4 (13-3)
Last 12 Games: 10-2
Best Win: A good case can be made for the thirty-five point stomping of a future two-seed, when UNC topped Michigan State 98-63 back in November in the ACC-Big Ten challenge. Of course it doesn’t really have the emotional resonance of the two wins over Duke (101-87 and 79-71, respectively.)
Worst Loss: With only a few to choose from, I’d go with the loss to Boston College, 85-78, on January 4th.
Off. Efficiency Rating: 123.9 (#1 in the nation)
Def. Efficiency Rating: 90.8 (#20 in the nation)

Nuts ‘n Bolts

Star Player(s): Tyler Hansbrough (21.4 ppg, 8.2 rbg, former Player of the Year, multiple record holder), Ty Lawson (15.9 ppg, 6.5 apg, ACC Player of the Year).
Unsung Hero: Ed Davis (6.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg) only gets 18.8 minutes a game, but has come on strong in recent weeks and is a solid third big man for when Hansbrough or Thompson needs a spell.
Potential NBA Draft Pick(s): Ty Lawson (23rd), Tyler Hansbrough (25th) , Danny Green (42nd), Wayne Ellington (unranked).
Key Injuries: Ty Lawson, injured toe (missed ACC tournament, should play in the NCAA’s) and Marcus Ginyard, left foot stress fracture (out for the season).
Depth: 27.3% (257th nationally); percentage of total minutes played by reserves
Achilles Heel: Penetrating guards that can also pull up the three, lapses on defense.
Will Make a Deep Run if…: Ty Lawson is healthy and the team plays like the experienced and talent-laden squad they’ve been all season.
Will Make an Early Exit if…: Lawson does not return, or rocks fall on the team bus and everybody dies.

NCAA History

Last Year Invited: 2008, Final Four team
Streak: 6 years running
Best NCAA Finish: They’ve won it a couple of times; it made the local paper. (1957, 1982, 1993, and 2005)
Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present): +0.34. On average, the Tar Heels win 0.34 more games per year than they would be expected to compared to the historical performances of other teams with a similar seed.

Other

Six Degrees to Detroit: (1) UNC has never played a basketball game in Detroit. (2) No current UNC player is from Detroit, or the state of Michigan. (3) They have supplied the Pistons with a number of players, including Robert McAdoo, (1979-81), Pete Chilcutt (1993-94), Kenny Smith (1996-97), Eric Montross (1998-2001), Jerry Stackhouse (1998-2002), Hubert Davis (2002-03), and Rasheed Wallace, and coaches Larry Brown (2003-05), Phil Ford (2004-05), Dave Hanners (2003-05), and Pat Sullivan (2004-05). (4) All of these people know where the secret button is on the court of the Palace that releases the attack bears trained to devour your opponents, and have told that secret to the current UNC team. (5) Doug Moe was drafted by the Pistons in 1960, but chose instead to matriculate from Elon College. The next year he was drafted by the Chicago Packers and went instead into the ABA. (6) There is no six.
Distance to First Round Site:
55.6 miles
School’s Claim to Fame: UNC is the first state university, founded in 1793. And we don’t really care what Georgia has to say about it.
School Wishes It Could Forget: That among its notable alumni currently employed in broadcasting are Rick Dees and Stuart Scott. Yep, we brought you both “Disco Duck” and “Boo ya!” So yeah, that’s our bad.
Prediction: A Final Four appearance is pretty likely, provided everyone is healthy and they can maneuver a tough bracket. Beyond that, it’s a tough weekend; there are good four or five teams who could the Heels fits in Detroit. But what kind of biased blogger would I be if I didn’t pick Carolina to win it all?

Major RTC stories: UNC: #1 With a Bullet, UNC: Let’s Not Go Sucking Each Other’s [redacted] Just Yet, Tyler Hansbrough Out Indefinitely, Hansbrough – For Your Own Good, Play or Get Out, #1 UNC Already Dodging Bullets, UNC Picks Up Another Piece, RTC Live: Take II (Gameday: Miami @ UNC), ATB: Carolina Gets Teague-Bagged, ATB: #1 Goes Down as BC Flies Like an Eagle Over UNC, and Who’s Driving the Ford Now?.

Preview written by… T.H. of Carolina March

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NCAA Preview: Florida State Seminoles

Posted by rtmsf on March 18th, 2009

Florida State (#5, East, Boise pod)

vs. Wisconsin (#12)
Mar. 20 @ 9:55pm

Vegas Line: Florida St. -2.5

fsu-ncaa-graph

Thanks to Vegas Watch for providing these graphs that measure the moving average of a team’s spread (moving avg.) over time vs. the spread for each individual game (indiv).  If a team’s moving average is higher than zero, then Vegas currently has a higher opinion of them than Pomeroy, and vice versa.

General Profile

Location: Tallahassee, Florida
Conference: ACC, at large
Coach: Leonard Hamilton, 125-90 (as of 3/10)
08-09 Record: (25-9), 10-6)
Last 12 Games: 8-4
Best Win: 73-70, North Carolina, 3/14/2009
Worst Loss: 73-59, Northwestern, 12/3/08
Offensive Efficiency Rating: 105.3 [106]
Defensive Efficiency Rating: 88.0 [8]

Nuts n Bolts

Star Player: Toney Douglas – 20.8 ppg/3.0 apg
Unsung Hero: Toney Douglas – He could be an All-America candidate if he played at UNC or Duke, and has good reason for feeling left out after losing the ACC POY to Ty Lawson.
Potential NBA Draft Picks: None
Key Injuries: No injuries to report
Depth: 36.5% (#49)
Achilles Heel: Turnovers – the Seminoles are 290th in the nation when it comes to turnover percentage.
Will Make a Deep Run if: They take good care of the ball on offense. On defense, FSU could be a big problem for teams like Wake Forest and UConn that can’t, or don’t, shoot the three ball well – FSU’s defense is strongest when opponents are inside the arc.
Will Make an Early Exit if: Douglas goes cold – the other Seminoles are much better defenders than scorers.

NCAA History

Last Year Invited: 1998 – Round of 32
Streak: 1
Best NCAA Finish: 1972 – National Runner-Up
Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present): n/a

Other

Six Degrees to Detroit: Current Pistons Assistant Coach, Dave Cowens, is the highest drafted Seminole in NBA history, going 4th overall to the Celtics in the 1970 draft.
Distance to First Round: 2,432 miles.
School’s Claim to Fame: It isn’t surprising that FSU’s most famous alumni played football for the Seminoles. However, the fact that that alumni happens to be the mustachioed actor that your mom still swoons over, Burt Reynolds.
School Wishes it Could Forget: FSU wishes we would all forget the NCAA report that recently said 61 Seminole student-athletes from the football, baseball, softball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s swimming, men’s and women’s track and field and men’s golf teams committed academic fraud during 2006 and 2007.
Prediction: FSU is coming off the school’s best showing ever in the ACC tournament, and could definitely take Wisconsin and then four-seed Xavier to make the Sweet 16. However, Toney Douglas & Friends would likely meet Pitt at that point, and although their big men could make things interesting for Blair, expect FSU to fall to Pitt in the Boston.

Major RTC stories: None.

Preview written by... Matt the Intern

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NCAA Preview: Kansas Jayhawks

Posted by rtmsf on March 18th, 2009

Kansas (#3, Midwest, Minneapolis pod)

vs. North Dakota State (#14)
Fri. 3/20 at 12:30 pm

Vegas Line: -10

ku-graph

Thanks to Vegas Watch for providing these graphs that measure the moving average of a team’s spread (moving avg.) over time vs. the spread for each individual game (indiv).  If a team’s moving average is higher than zero, then Vegas currently has a higher opinion of them than Pomeroy, and vice versa.

General Profile

Location: Lawrence, Kansas
Conference: Big 12, at-large
Coach: Bill Self, 167-39
08-09 record: 25-7 (14-2)
Last 12 Games: 10-2
Best Win:
90-65, Missouri, 3/1/2009
Worst Loss:
61-60, Massachusetts, 12/13/2008
Off. Efficiency Rating:
114.7 (19th nationally)
Def. Efficiency Rating:
89.5 (16th nationally)

Nuts n Bolts

Star Players:  Cole Aldrich: 14.6 ppg/10.6 rpg; Sherron Collins: 18.3 ppg/5.0 apg
Unsung Hero:
Tyshawn Taylor: 10 ppg
Potential NBA Draft Picks
: Cole Aldrich: 6th overall in 2010 / Sherron Collins: 36th overall in 2010
Key Injuries:
No injuries to report
Depth:
27.3% mins. (250th nationally)
Achilles Heel:
The current group of Jayhawks are relatively unproven in tournament play. No starters return from 2008’s championship run, and KU bowed out early in their preseason tournament against Syracuse in November and last week to Baylor in the Big 12 conference tournament.
Will Make a Deep Run if…:
Cole Aldrich is involved in the offense. In Kansas’ last three losses, Aldrich is averaging 8 points. In their wins over the same time span, Aldrich has averaged 17.8 points per game.
Will Make an Early Exit if…:
An inexperienced Kansas team meets a senior-led team in the first weekend that’s been dancing before and can match up with Aldrich.

NCAA History

Last Year Invited: 2008 National Champions
Streak
:   This is Kansas’ 20th straight year in the dance
Best NCAA Finish:
National Champions in 1952, 1988, 2008
Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present): +0.27

Other

Six Degrees to Detroit: Before Kansas won their 1988 title in Kansas City, they had to beat rival Kansas State in Pontiac, Michigan to win the Midwest Regional final.
Distance to First Round Site:
480 miles
School’s Claim to Fame:
In 1905, University of Kansas researchers were the first to discover helium.
School Wishes It Could Forget
:  The KU football and basketball programs have been under self-imposed probation since 2006, mostly for academic fraud.
Prediction
: Though Kansas should win, look for their matchup with NDSU to the best 3 vs. 14 game of 2009, with both teams featuring great offenses and exciting players. Though, a wilder game than that will likely be six-seed West Virginia knocking off KU in the Round of 32.

Major RTC storiesBig 12 Wrap & Tourney Preview
Profile Written by:   Matt the Intern of RTC.

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NCAA Preview: Arizona Wildcats

Posted by rtmsf on March 18th, 2009

Arizona (#12, Midwest, Miami pod)

vs. Utah (#5)
Mar. 20 @ 7:20pm

Vegas Line: pick

General Profile

Location: Tucson, Arizona
Conference: Pac-10, at-large
Coach: Russ Pennell (interim), 19-13
08-09 Record: 19-13, 9-9
Last 12 Games: 8-4
Best Win: 84-67, Kansas, 12/23/2008
Worst Loss: 79-64, UNLV, 12/20/2008
Off. Efficiency Rating: 117.9 [6]
Def. Efficiency Rating: 99.4 [132]

Nuts n Bolts

Star Players: Jordan Hill – 18.5 ppg/11.0 rpg; Chase Budinger – 18.2 ppg/6.4 rpg
Unsung Hero: Nic Wise – 15.0 ppg
Potential NBA Draft Pick(s): Jordan Hill: 3rd overall in 2009 / Chase Budinger: 16th overall in 2009 / Nic Wise: 52nd overall in 2010
Key Injuries: Garland Judkins: out indefinitely (suspension)
Depth:  18.3% (#339)
Achilles Heel: Interim Head Coach Russ Pennell is in his first year leading a team, and has kept the Wildcats out of a collapse that so many predicted after Lute Olsen’s departure. However, Pennell’s inexperience could prove troublesome in a high pressure tournament environment.
Will Make a Deep Run if...:  The defensive pressure elevates to the Wildcat’s level of offensive output.
Will Make an Early Exit if…: They meet a team with great guards – Arizona’s halfcourt D is a feast for drive and kick point guards with wings that can shoot from outside.

NCAA History

Last Year Invited: 2008 – Round of 64
Streak: 24
Best NCAA Finish: 1997, National Champions
Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present): -0.22 wins per appearance

Other

Six Degrees to Detroit: Arizona alum Bison Dele had his most productive year in the NBA while playing with the Pistons in 97-98, averaging 16 points and 9 rebounds per game.
Distance to First Round Site: 2,246 miles.
School’s Claim to Fame: The 1997 National Championship team is the only one in NCAA history to defeat three number one seeds (Kansas, North Carolina, Kentucky). Academically, the University of Arizona is recognized as one the strongest land-grant institutions in the nation.
School Wishes It Could Forget: Things haven’t always been cheery in the Arizona family during the past couple years: Lute Olsen’s ugly divorce made news frequently, and the first interim coach, Kevin O’Neill, was largely disliked by the fanbase.
Prediction: Arizona is the most questionable at-large team to make the tournament. Considering they were 0-10 against top 100 teams away from home, don’t expect a lot from the Wildcats when they travel to Miami. Bet on a one and done trip.

Major RTC storiesLute Olson Retirement Wrapup

Preview written by…  Matt the Intern

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NCAA Preview: California Golden Bears

Posted by rtmsf on March 18th, 2009

California (#7, West, Kansas City pod)

vs. Maryland (#10)
Mar. 19 @ 2:55pm

Vegas Line: California -1

cal-ncaa-graph

Thanks to Vegas Watch for providing these graphs that measure the moving average of a team’s spread (moving avg.) over time vs. the spread for each individual game (indiv).  If a team’s moving average is higher than zero, then Vegas currently has a higher opinion of them than Pomeroy, and vice versa.

General Profile

Location: Berkeley, California
Conference: Pac-10, at-large
Coach: Mike Montgomery, 22-9
08-09 Record: 22-9, 11-7
Last 12 Games: 6-6
Best Win: 86-71, Washington, 2/5/2009
Worst Loss: 69-65, Oregon State, 1/22/2009
Off. Efficiency Rating: 117.4 [10]
Def. Efficiency Rating: 97.2 [87]

Nuts n Bolts

Star Player(s): Jerome Randle – 18.4 ppg/4.9 apg
Unsung Hero: Patrick Christopher – 14.6 ppg
Potential NBA Draft Pick(s): Patrick Christopher: 44th overall in 2010
Key Injuries: None to report
Depth: 27% (260)
Achilles Heel: Cal doesn’t have much going in the paint on offense or defense. Currently, they’re 89th in the nation in 2-point shooting percentage, and an appalling 324th when it comes to blocking opponents’ shots.
Will Make a Deep Run if…: The three point shot is working well and their opponent doesn’t have a powerful big man.
Will Make an Early Exit if…: Live by the three, die by the three. Cal shoots a higher percentage from behind the arc than anyone in the nation, but the regular season showed that if the three pointers aren’t going in (like when they shot 15% from three and lost to Oregon State) the Golden Bears are most likely going to lose.

NCAA History

Last Year Invited: 2006, Field of 64
Streak: This is Cal’s first year back.
Best NCAA Finish: 1959 National Champions
Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present): -0.13 wins per appearance

Other

Six Degrees to Detroit: In 1995, former Cal star Jason Kidd shared NBA Rookie of the Year honors with Grant Hill of the Detroit Pistons.
Distance to First Round Site: 1,802 miles.
School’s Claim to Fame: Besides once being the epicenter of collegiate activism and free thought, UC Berkeley is considered to be one of the top public universities in the United States.
School Wishes It Could Forget: Recently, UC Berkeley students who were camped out in campus trees to protest the building of new athletic facilities gained national media attention by biting and throwing their feces on university officials. Poop-throwing among the student body is generally not good for the school’s image.
Prediction: If Cal can keep Greivis Vasquez in check, they should win a tight game against Maryland. That theoretically puts them up against Memphis in the Round of 32, so the Golden Bears should be headed home after the first weekend.

Major RTC stories: n/a

Preview written by…  Matt the Intern

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