Tuesday, March 13, 2012

NCAA First Four Preview

6:40 Tuesday, Dayton71.3 possessions
16Miss. Valley St.32.9%66.044.321.731.623.1
16West. Kentucky67.1%71.749.023.133.332.1
How bad is the SWAC as a conference? So bad that the team that dominated the league en route to a 17-1 record not only gets sent to play in Dayton on a Tuesday night, but is nearly a six-point underdog (4.5 points according to Vegas) to the only team in the field with a losing record in the regular season.

9:10 Tuesday, Dayton76.3 possessions
President Obama will be attending one or both First Four games on Tuesday night, and while the BYU-Iona matchup won't necessarily pit two powerhouses it ought to at least be an entertaining game to introduce British Prime Minister David Cameron to the great American game of college basketball. With plentiful made shots and relatively few turnovers or fouls, this makes for one of the more aesthetically pleasing games on the docket.

6:40 Wednesday, Dayton63.3 possessions
Vermont sophomore forward Brian Voelkel is one of the best basketball players in Division I. According to PAPER, he's the 24th-best player in the nation in terms of value per possession; that puts him just ahead of Colorado's Andre Roberson and Robbie Hummel of Purdue, and just behind Jeffery Taylor of Vanderbilt and Iona's Scott Machado. Voelkel isn't a prolific scorer, though--he averages under points per game and doesn't even hit 35% of his shots--so the fact that he does just about everything else well tends to go unnoticed. He was only a third-team all-conference selection in the America East. When you watch this game, keep an eye on #23 in the Vermont jersey. He's one hell of a basketball player.

9:10 Wednesday, Dayton59.2 possessions
12South Florida44.4%56.346.822.430.819.0
Cal is a team that everyone knows is pretty good that just kept losing a whole bunch of games they had no business losing, and South Florida is a team that everyone rightly acknowledges isn't very good at all but somehow just keeps winning games. I love college basketball, but I can't find any compelling reason to watch this game.

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