NCAA Game Analysis: Second Round, Thursday Evening

Posted by Brian Otskey, Andrew Murawa, Walker Carey & Bennet Hayes on March 20th, 2014

RTC_tourneycoverage

Half the day is in the books, and eight teams are headed home. We may not know what the Thursday evening sessions might have in store for us, but we can be confident in thinking there will be lots of excitement. Let’s continue our analysis of all of today’s games with the evening slate of eight contests.

#7 Connecticut vs. #10 Saint Joseph’s – East Region Second Round (at Buffalo, NY) – 6:55 PM ET on TBS

Shabazz Napier Looks to Do his Best Kemba Impression Starting Tonight

Shabazz Napier Looks to Do his Best Kemba Impression Starting Tonight

One of the better first round games in this tournament pits two of the nation’s better scoring guards against one another with Connecticut’s Shabazz Napier and Saint Joseph’s Langston Galloway. These two seniors each average over 17 points per game and their play will no doubt have an effect on the outcome of this game. The Huskies are a terrific defensive team and that could cause a problem for the Hawks, who rely heavily on three pointers and have a penchant for turning the ball over too much. That said, Phil Martelli’s team boasts a talented roster. Halil Kanacevic has been a warrior in his last go-around while freshman DeAndre Bembry looks uber-talented. As always with Connecticut, the question is the front court and whether DeAndre Daniels will continue his streak of better play in March. Over his last four games he has averaged 15.3 PPG on 50 percent shooting. Daniels will have to contend with Kanacevic and Ronald Roberts in the paint, where St. Joe’s was the No. 2 team in Atlantic 10 play when it came to defending two point shots (44.2 percent against). On paper this has the makings of a very strong 7 vs. 10 game and you would figure it will be close. If that comes to fruition, the advantage has to go to Connecticut. While both teams are experienced, the Huskies are a much better free throw shooting team and have more depth. Martelli’s Hawks rank dead last in the nation in bench minutes (14 percent) and shoot only 64.1 percent from the free throw line as a team while UConn connects 76.1 percent of the time (No. 10 nationally).

The RTC Certified Pick: Connecticut.

#2 Michigan vs. #15 Wofford – Midwest Region Round of 64 (at Milwaukee, WI) – 7:10 PM EST on CBS

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NCAA Game Analysis: Second Round, Thursday Afternoon

Posted by Andrew Murawa, Bennet Hayes, Brian Otskey & Walker Carey on March 20th, 2014

RTC_tourneycoverage

And so it begins. Today at exactly 12:15 PM in Buffalo, New York, the 2014 NCAA Tournament as we all know it will officially tip off, setting in motion a chain of events that will undoubtedly bust most people’s brackets by mid-afternoon. Nevertheless, the anticipation for the best two weekdays in all of sports is over. Savor it. Embrace it. Respect it. Let’s get things started with an analysis of all of today’s games, beginning with the afternoon slate of eight contests.

#6 Ohio State vs. #11 Dayton — South Region Second Round (at Buffalo, NY) — 12:15 PM ET on CBS.

Aaron Craft And The Buckeyes Have Had A Difficult Time Putting The Ball In The Hoop This Season; Can They Score Often Enough To Knock Off In-State Foe Dayton?

Aaron Craft And The Buckeyes Have Had A Difficult Time Putting The Ball Through The Hoop This Season; Can They Score Often Enough To Knock Off In-State Foe Dayton On Thursday? (AP)

You could ignore the fact that Dayton and Ohio State are separated by 70 miles of Ohio interstate, that the Flyer’s leading scorer is an Ohio State transfer, that Thad Matta has never had any interest in scheduling a regular season game with UD, and this game would still be one of the most intriguing matchups of the first round. Or you could, of course, take account of all those things and declare this the game to watch in the round of 64. Former Buckeye Jordan Sibert will be a marked man on Thursday afternoon, and not just because he used to don the scarlet and gray. Sibert (43% 3PT) leads a proficient Flyer offense that excels beyond the arc; Dayton has made 38% of their three-point attempts this season. Aaron Craft receives plenty of recognition for his defensive abilities on the perimeter, but Shannon Scott is nearly Craft’s equal when it comes to on-ball defense, and both will strive to make Sibert and the rest of the Flyers’ life difficult. Similar resistance is unlikely to be provided by a Dayton defense that is less than elite, but can the Buckeyes take advantage? Ohio State’s scoring struggles this season have been well documented, but look for LaQuinton Ross and Lenzelle Smith to get just enough done offensively for the Buckeyes to seize this battle for Ohio. Either way though, subplots abound.

The RTC Certified Pick: Ohio State

#2 Wisconsin vs #15 American – West Regional Second Round (at Milwaukee, WI) – 12:40 PM ET on truTV

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NCAA Game Analysis: Second Round, Thursday Evening

Posted by Brian Otskey on March 21st, 2013

RTC_final4_atlanta

It’s not been an insane day yet, but who knows what the Thursday evening sessions might have in store for us. Let’s continue our analysis of all of today’s games with the evening slate of eight contests.

#1 Louisville vs. #16 North Carolina A&T – Midwest Region Second Round (at Lexington, KY) – 6:50 PM ET on TBS

First things first — congratulations to the Aggies for taking care of business in Dayton, no matter how narrow the final margin was. Their reward is the number one overall seed in the Tournament, and a shot at history. This is the nice way of thinking about things in Aggie-land. Realistically, Cy Alexander’s team will be happy if they can hang around for a half. But if we are actually being realistic, I wouldn’t plan on that happening. A&T’s 73 point output on Tuesday marked just the third time in 2013 that they scored that many in a game, and rest assured they have not seen a defense near the caliber of Louisville’s during that time.

Peyton Siva and Louisville, the tournament's #1 overall seed, begin its quest for a title today against

Peyton Siva and Louisville, the tournament’s #1 overall seed, begin its quest for a title today against North Carolina A&T. (USA Today)

Only VCU turns teams over more often than do the Cardinals, and rest assured that Peyton Siva, Russ Smith and the rest of the gang will be salivating at the sight of the Aggies and their 292nd ranked turnover percentage. If this is to be a game, A&T must limit turnovers, keep it in the half-court, and hope to make as many shots as they did in Dayton. It’s the definition of a mission impossible, and A&T will find out fast that, despite calling Freedom Hall home for over 50 years, Louisville is most certainly not Liberty.

The RTC Certified Pick: Louisville

#8 Colorado State vs. #9 Missouri – Midwest Region Second Round (at Lexington, KY) – 9:20 PM ET on TBS

For those seeking to avoid watching a game in the 50’s at all costs, this matchup of top-15 offenses is your best bet in the second round. Missouri is led by the mercurial Phil Pressey, whose breathtaking moments of wizardry are too often eclipsed by mind-numbing late game decisions. He is my guilty pleasure in this Tournament: A point guard who I would not trust to run my own team, but who is too brilliant for my neutral observer eyes to ever look away. He should have his run of things on Thursday; that is, if Colorado State’s recent ineptitude covering scoring guards continues. We all remember Kendall Williams’ explosion in Fort Collins a few weeks back, but Derrick Marks (Boise State) and Deonte Burton (Nevada) have since had their own field days against the Rams. Pressey should get his (and his teammates theirs), but this will be a game decided on the backboards. Missouri is not a bad rebounding team at all (actually 7th nationally in offensive rebounding percentage), but compared to the Rams, they are. Colorado State is the single best rebounding team in the land, despite running out a starting frontcourt that features two players under 6’6”. Pierce Hornung, Greg Smith and Colton Iverson are all relentless in pursuit of missed shots on both ends of the floor. The onus will be squarely on Alex Oriakhi and Laurence Bowers to match that intensity. I’m not sold on that happening, and I’m also struggling to trust in a Missouri outfit that has looked unfocused all season long. Far easier to believe in a veteran Ram team that was in this same position a year ago – give me Colorado State in an entertaining battle.

The RTC Certified Pick: Colorado State Read the rest of this entry »

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NCAA Game Analysis: Second Round, Thursday Afternoon

Posted by BHayes on March 21st, 2013

RTC_final4_atlanta

And so it begins. Today at exactly 12:15 PM in Auburn Hills, Michigan, the 2013 NCAA Tournament as we all know it will officially tip off, setting in motion a chain of events that will undoubtedly bust most people’s brackets by mid-afternoon. Nevertheless, the anticipation for the best two weekdays in all of sports is over. Let’s get things started with an analysis of all of today’s games, beginning with the afternoon slate of eight contests.

#3 Michigan State vs. #14 Valparaiso – Midwest Region Second Round (at Auburn Hills, MI) – 12:15 PM ET on CBS

Adreian Payne Has Been One Of The Leaders Of The Stout Spartan Defense

Adreian Payne And Sparty Look To Turn Away Valparaiso’s Upset Bid Thursday

The Second Round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament tips off in Auburn Hills on Thursday, where Michigan State clashes with former March magician Bryce Drew and his Valparaiso Crusaders. Having been underseeded slightly by the committee, the Horizon League Champs now rest as a dangerous #14 seed. They are led by Ryan Broekhoff, a 6’7” senior and two-time Horizon League POY. The Aussie import does the bulk of his damage from three-point range, having made 82 threes this season. He will undoubtedly be the focus of the Spartan defense, a unit that has proven stingy as ever this season. Tom Izzo’s team ranks 8th nationally in defensive efficiency, in large part because of their defense of the three-point stripe, where opponents have shot just 30.8%. The physical, tough Spartan identity is not limited to the defensive end however, as Michigan State has played efficient (albeit slow) offense all season, despite a relative dearth of play-makers (apologies to the oft-dynamic backcourt of Keith Appling and Gary Harris). We can analyze this matchup all we want, but the final calculation is very simple. Despite Valparaiso being a tricky #14 seed, this is Michigan State, Tom Izzo and March. The home court advantage Sparty will enjoy in Auburn Hills is almost overkill – I like Michigan State to take care of business here.

The RTC Certified Pick: Michigan State

#6 Butler vs. #11 Bucknell — East Region Second Round (at Lexington, KY) — 12:40 pm ET on truTV.

One of Thursday’s better games pits two teams that have combined to win 54 games against one another. The key to Butler’s resurgence this season has been the addition of Rotnei Clarke. The 6’0” transfer from Arkansas has opened up Butler’s offense and made it easier for the other Bulldogs to operate. In this game, Brad Stevens and company face a particularly difficult matchup for an 11-seed. The Bucknell Bison have one of the best centers in the nation (Mike Muscala) and are a senior laden team that maximizes possessions and won’t be afraid to bang with Butler. In addition Muscala, a 6’11” senior and perhaps the best rebounder in the country, Dave Paulsen’s team defends with the best of them and has a pair of very capable three point shooters in Bryson Johnson and Cameron Ayers. The key for Bucknell will be to contain Clarke and keep him from dominating the game. For Butler, getting on the glass and limiting Bucknell’s top scorers will be critical. Bucknell has very little scoring depth with four players averaging about 53 of its 67 PPG. It’s probably not too smart picking against Stevens but we like the match-up for Bucknell in this one.

The RTC Certified Pick: Bucknell

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NCAA Tournament Game Analysis: Second Round – Friday Evening

Posted by EJacoby on March 16th, 2012

RTC Region correspondents Brian Otskey (East), Kevin Doyle (South), Evan Jacoby (Midwest) and Andrew Murawa (West) contributed to this preview.

#8 Memphis vs. #9 Saint Louis – West Region Second Round (at Columbus, OH) – 6:50 PM ET on TBS

Nice to See Rick Majerus Back in the Dance (AP)

It may be an 8/9 game, but according to advanced metrics, this is anything but your typical 8/9 game. Both teams are among the top 15 teams in the country according to Ken Pomeroy’s rankings, outscoring opponents by about 0.2 points per possession over the course of the season. Still, looking back over the schedules, the Billikens’ only have four wins over NCAA Tournament teams (Vermont, St. Bonaventure and two over Xavier), while the Tigers have just three (Belmont, Southern Miss and Xavier) – not exactly stunning resumes. However, SLU head coach Rick Majerus is no stranger to NCAA Tournament success, and his ability to scout and gameplan for an opponent is legendary. And while Memphis is used to playing at a fast tempo, you can bet Majerus will effectively slow this game down, using 25 seconds or more on every offensive possession, mostly forgoing any attempts at offensive rebounds in an effort to get back on defense, and making Memphis score over a stingy SLU defense. While Memphis has been killing teams over the past month or so, the two games they’ve lost have been down-tempo affairs (UTEP and Southern Miss), and if they get frustrated against the deliberate Billiken pace, it could spell an early end to the Memphis season. Still, the Tigers will have a significant athletic advantage and while Majerus has a decent matchup for lightning quick guard Joe Jackson in the form of Kwamain Mitchell (and Jordair Jett), it remains to be seen how effective they will be against sophomore win Will Barton. If Barton can find space inside the SLU perimeter defense, he could create serious problems. Of course, that’s a big if.

The RTC Certified Pick: Saint Louis

#2 Duke vs. #15 Lehigh – South Region Second Round (at Greensboro, NC) – 7:15 PM ET on CBS

Located less than an hour’s drive from Cameron Indoor, Duke will do battle with Patriot League champion Lehigh in what is practically a home game for the Blue Devils. Duke is limping into the NCAA Tournament have lost two of their last three games, one of these losses coming in blowout fashion against arch rival North Carolina. Despite having many holes on the defensive end and Ryan Kelly uncertain for the game against Lehigh, Duke does have one of the more potent offensives in the tournament. Austin Rivers and Seth Curry can score from virtually anywhere on the floor, and the Plumlee brothers make for a formidable frontcourt. It is not often that a Patriot League team can put a player on the floor that has the ability to go shot-for- with one of the best teams in the nation, but C.J. McCollum will prove he belongs running side by side with Austin Rivers. The junior guard from Canton, OH ranks top ten nationally in scoring and has the ability to take over a game for long stretches. Although Duke will no doubt focus much of their effort on the defensive end on McCollum, it is no secret that the Blue Devils struggle guarding around the perimeter. McCollum will get his points, but it is just a question if his teammates will be able to follow suit. If Lehigh gets production from Gabe Knutson and Holden Greiner, don’t be surprised if the Mountain Hawks hang with Duke for much of the game.

The RTC Certified Pick: Duke

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NBA Draft Picks by School Part II

Posted by rtmsf on June 27th, 2007

Thanks to everyone who took a few moments to look at our post from yesterday – NBA Draft Picks by School (1949-2006). There was an overwhelming response, and we appreciate all the commentary and advice, which is how we learn how to manage this thing a little better day-to-day.

First, let’s address a couple of the points we heard from you via email, msg boards and commentary.

  • The “modern draft” refers to the era in which the NBA began using a round-by-round system. Even though there was an NBA Draft in 1947 and 1948, the round system did not begin until 1949, which is why we decided to start there.
  • Following up on that point, we also chose to only review the first two rounds of the NBA Draft during this period. The current version (two rounds) began in 1989, and after a cursory review of the “extra” rounds – which totaled as many as twelve over this era, we realized very quickly that the vast majority of the players drafted in rounds 3+ never saw action in the NBA. For that reason, we decided to focus solely on the first two rounds.

Now, on with the data. We promised a breakdown by round and by decade, and we’ll deliver on half of that promise today. We also have sliced the first round into a “Top 10″ and “Top 5″ pick column, just for kicks. See Table B below.

Table B. NBA Draft Picks by School & Round Taken (1949-2006)

Notes: this table is sorted by the 1st Rd column, and is limited to schools with six first round picks since 1949. The yellow shading refers to the highest value in that column.

NBA Draft Picks by Round - 06 v.1

Observations:

Super Six. Remember what we were saying about the so-called Super Six yesterday? Well, these six schools – UNC, Duke, UCLA, Kentucky, Indiana and UCLA – take a larger piece of the action the higher up the draft board we go. They collectively comprise 13.4% (149 of 1115) of the all-time first-rounders, 14.8% of the top 10 picks (86 of 580), and 17.6% of the top 5 picks (51 of 290). In other words, more than a sixth of the top 5 picks in history came from one of the above six schools.

Jordan and Perkins

With Studs Like These, How do They Ever Lose?

Blue Heaven. The school with by far the most first-round picks, the most top 10 picks, and the most top 5 picks clearly resides in Chapel Hill. Let’s put this in perspective. UNC has had more top 5 picks than all but ten schools have had first round picks. It accounts for 6.2% of the top 5 picks in history all by itself, and dominates each of the above categories. That’s unbelievable. Nobody can ever say that Carolina hasn’t had a surplus of talent. Maybe that criticism of Dean Smith “only” winning two national titles at UNC has some legs after all.

Who doesn’t belong? Notre Dame, and again, Minnesota, seem to be the extreme outliers here. Was Digger Phelps really so bad of a coach that the Irish can produce twenty first-rounders (fifth on our list) and five top 5 picks but ND has only been to one F4 in its history? Guess so. We still can’t figure out Minnesota either. The Gophers are behind only UNC, Duke, UCLA and Kentucky in all-time top 10 picks. All we can guess is that Whitey Skoog, Ed Kalafat and Dick Garmaker must have been tremendous players back in the day. Also, a tip of the hat to Alabama and Missouri for producing a combined 27 first-rounders with nary a F4 to show for it. Nice work, gents.

Digger Phelps 2

Digger Must Have Been Even Worse as a Coach

We have a lot of good, but not great, players. The second round is always a fascinating hodgepodge of players who may have been fine collegians but were undersized, overslow or otherwise fraught with concerns about their transition to the League. Nothing says slow like Indiana, who coincidentally leads the way with 22 second round picks. Of course, Arizona follows up with 20 and UCLA with 19 second-rounders, so maybe that theory is a little half-baked. Nevertheless, it was cool to see the schools that consistently produce top talent vs. mediocre NBA talent (in the eyes of the GMs, at least). For UNC, it’s first round or bust, mostly (81% of its draftees went in the first round); for a school like LSU, either you’re drafted in the top 5 (8 of its 12 first-rounders) or you’re likely to end up in the second round (11 of the remaining 15 picks). One other neat example is Utah, where 9 of its 10 first-rounders went in the top 10 picks – maybe praying to Joe Smith (not the former Terp) or whatever it is that they do out there for a high NBA pick only works if you’re taller than 6’9 (e.g., Andrew Bogut, Keith Van Horn, Tom Chambers, Bill McGill).

Penn State Logo

Evidence that Penn St. Basketball Exists

Who is missing? Several schools with some solid history, including Marquette (5 first-rounders and 14 (!!) second-rounders), Pittsburgh (4/4), Xavier (4/6), Gonzaga (3/3) and UTEP (3/8), didn’t make our cut. Just for fun, the BCS schools with the least successful draft histories belong to… South Florida (only one second-rounder) and Penn State (two second-rounders). USF we understand – they’re new to the Big East and all – but Penn State? – that school has been in the Big 10 for almost fifteen years. That’s pathetic.

Coming Next: the final installment will take a look at draft picks by decade, so we can see how things have trended over the years. Which schools have consistently supplied talent to the NBA and which have long since passed or are rising fast? View Part III here.

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