Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 7:00 PM
A mixed blessing for the Dayton Flyers, who host the Boise State Broncos Wednesday Night in the grand finale of the “First Four” matchups that are annually played on their home court.
*They’re in the tournament
*They get to play at home
*They’re favored to advance to a Friday meeting with Providence
Now the bad news…
*They just played three games in three days in the A10 tournament
*That tournament ended SUNDAY rather than Saturday
*This is their fourth game in six days
*Winning would set up their fifth game in eight days!
While everyone else in the main brackets gets at least three days off, while others had more than a week off; Dayton is stuck in a brutal schedule stretch this is likely to wear them down.
*They only won a quarterfinal battle with St. Bonaventure by 4 points
*They only won a semifinal battle with Rhode Island by 4 points
*They lost in the championship game to exhausting VCU
*They have to face a Boise State team that has a chip on its shoulder
The Mountain West conference thought Boise Stat was a sure thing given their runner-up status during the regular season to San Diego State…and also was hoping Colorado State would sneak in. Instead, CSU was snubbed entirely, and Boise was fairly insulted with this play-in nightmare.
JIM HURLEY’S key indicator stats are just a starting point given the intangibles in play here. Let’s see what they have to say about this last appetizer before Thursday’s smorgasbord.
Adjusted Offensive Efficiency
Boise State: 109.4 per 100 possessions (#48 in the nation)
Dayton: 107.2 per 100 possessions (#73 in the nation)
Boise State brings the better offense to the floor…though neither team is particularly dynamic on this side of the floor by Dance standards. Some of you may believe that Eastern basketball is better than the West (somewhat justified by tourney results the past few seasons), which would shrink those differences a bit. Still, Dayton’s home floor may be counteracted right off the bat by having less weaponry.
Adjusted Defensive Efficiency
Boise State: 96.5 per 100 possessions (#64 in the nation)
Dayton: 94.7 per 100 possessions (#38 in the nation)
Dayton gets much of that back here. And, we all know that defense looms a bit larger in playoff style basketball. The key, of course, will be whether or not Dayton’s tired legs will prevent them from guarding with energy and passion for the full 40 minutes. Looks like we’d be fairly close to a toss-up on a neutral court given the stat rankings. That’s in line with market pricing in this matchup.
Boise State: #232
Both teams are slower than average, but not necessarily slow compared to the true tortoises in the sport. We should assume a slower game than those numbers would suggest because of what’s at stake…and potential fatigue concerns for the hosts.
Against the Spread
Boise State: 19-11
Boise State was the more underrated side during the season by the markets. Oddsmakers just refused to accept that this might be the second best team in the Mountain West. Though, that skepticism was somewhat rewarded when Boise fell to eventual MWC tournament champ Wyoming in the semifinals. If you can’t beat Wyoming on a neutral court, can you bet Dayton in Dayton?!
Early Line: Dayton by 4, total of 126.5
Because home court is usually worth three points in college basketball, we can assume Dayton would be -1 on a neutral court. Will their legs hold up? That’s probably the most important question. Note that the Over/Under suggests a slow but competitive game. That makes each point a little more valuable if you’re thinking about the dog.
JIM HURLEY will make sure his clients get the best options from the full tournament ticket Wednesday night. There’s a bunch of other great action (including some marquee matchups in the NIT!). You can purchase the final word right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155 during normal business hours. The games you’ve been waiting for are here!
The brackets go full blown beginning Thursday. Here’s what’s coming up the next few days in the NOTEBOOK…
Thursday: Harvard vs. North Carolina in a prime time showcase
Friday: Oklahoma State vs. Oregon in the most exciting evening matchup
Saturday: Best of the later tips in the Round of 32, which could be (barring upsets) Notre Dame vs. the Texas/Butler survivor, Villanova vs. NC State, or Arizona vs. Ohio State!
Sunday: Best of the later tips in Day Two of the Round of 32, which could be Virginia vs. Michigan State, Kansas vs. Wichita State, or Northern Iowa vs. Louisville.
The time to get on board is now. Months of college basketball coverage has all been building up to THIS. Don’t sit on the sidelines…get in the game! A true handicapping JUGGERNAUT featuring sources, scouts, statheads, computer programmers, trend historians, and Wise Guy sources is at your beck and call. So, get off your beck and call JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!
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