I haven't posted a play since 3/4, but I am 13-7 on posted plays year to date. I've had less time to do full write-ups since I changed jobs recently, but have been still making unposted plays. I had some extra time today and this game jumped off of the page to me.
Nevada team total over 73.5
First, Nevada comes into tonight's game 14th in the country in ppg averaging 79.5 --- but there is much more to this game than this.
Nevada's pace and offensive efficiency fits a profile that has thrived playing vs URI this year. URI has played 12 games vs 9 opponents ranked in the top 100 in the country with respect to pace (teams averaging 68.6 possessions per game or more). In eight of those games, the teams exceeded scoring 73.5 pts.
But the key to tonight is more correlated to offensive efficiency in my opinion. Six teams in the Atlantic 10 play at the 68.6 poss / game pace or above. Of these six, five of them (St Joes, Fordham, Duquesne, Lasalle, and UMass) all rank in the bottom half of the A10 with respect to offensive efficiency. Nevada however, comes into the game ranked 42nd nationally in the country averaging 1.114 pts per possession.
The mix of pace and offensive efficiency should rival that of any opponent that URI has yet to see this year and all signs point to a shootout. Coach Baron for URI was quoted in today's Providence Journal:
“They can really
score the ball, they have a legitimate pro prospect in
Luke Babbitt. They have big guards that can score. They run the floor.
They’re a very good team."
It also spring break for URI students so the environment should not be that hostile for Nevada to come into.
Best of luck to everyone tonight
When looking at recent history, these teams have played under tonight's total 9 straight times dating back to 2003 (133, 127, 115, 124, 125, 129, 127, 120, 136)
When looking at Georgetown this year, the numbers indicate that their pace has been dictated by the opponent they are playing. During their Big East schedule, 6 of the 7 teams that GT has played with a pace rating of 68.0 possessions or less per game went under tonight's total (only game that didn't was vs ND who has the 2nd worst adj. def. eff. rating in the conference). West Virginia comes into tonight's game ranked in the bottom 20% nationally in terms of pace at #282, averaging only 64.8 possessions per game.
Just to complete the argument, of the 8 games they played in the Big East vs teams with pace ratings 68.0 possession or more, 7 of them went over tonight's total. This is a very strong correlation in my opinion.
But it is not all about pace tonight. Both teams come into tonight's game in the upper half of the Big East with respect to adjusted defensive efficiency, and top 50 nationally. Georgetown is only allowing 0.922 pts per possession, while West Virginia is even stingier, only allowing 0.911 pts per possession.
Situational speaking, I also believe we are catching both teams coming off of a game where their defensive intensity was questioned by their coach. Huggins was so disappointed in Saturday's game vs Cincinnati that he pulled every starter after falling behind by 13. Georgetown is coming off a similarily disappointing effort on the defensive end allowing a Harangody-less ND squad to shoot 57.1% from the floor. I expect both teams to come out with their A-game tonight with respect to defense.
In a game that should see limited possessions with respect to pace (kenpom predicts 64), and both teams bringing a defensive intensity to the table, I can't see either team getting to the 70 point plateau, which should keep tonight's total under 136.5.
As always, BOL tonight to everyone
Continue to pick my spots in the last couple of weeks, 3-1 during that time (1-1 last week)
Georgetown / Syracuse Over 146
To start, I'd like to go back to some points from my post on 1/14 with respect to the Georgetown/Seton Hall over I played:
Georgtown's pace rating this year has been severly effected by it's opponents to date. Five of their games have been against teams with national pace ratings #297 or lower. In the five games that they have played teams that like to "open it up" a little more (teams ranked in the top 200), the totals are averaging 146.6 ppg (Lafayette, MSM, Washington, Harvard, and UConn).
That game vs Seton Hall landed on 158. Since then, GT has played to games 159 vs Villanova (#11 in pace), 140 vs Pitt (#318), and 151 vs Rutgers (#116). So I think it's safe to say that the trend has continued.
Syracuse plays at the 21st fastest pace in the country and only 5 of it's 20 games have totaled less than tonight's total of 146 (and only 1 Big East game has -- WVU at 143)
Last year's two matchups had a lined total of 142.5 and finished at 162 and a lined total of 144.5 that finished at 166 in regulation. Furthermore, Georgetown's adjusted pace has actually increased +3.3 (63.6 vs 66.9) year to year and 'Cuse's has increased +2.5 (73.0 vs 70.5).
I don't see this game having less than 70 possessions per team, and with both teams ranked in the top 20 (GT 1.156, #16 and Syracuse 1.175, #7) in the country in terms of pts per possession, it shouldn't be any problem getting over 146 tonight.