BANKER (Ohio State vs. Florida)
Florida comes into this matchup at 4-0 with 4 fairly impressive wins this season. They’ve won every game by double digits and blew out Florida state with an impressive 2H performance. Florida is led on the interior by their big man and former Michigan transfer, Colin Castleton who is averaging 17 PPG, 10 rebounds per game, and an impressive 3.5 blocks per game.
Castleton is protecting the rim at a high rate as Florida is 17th in the country in adjusted efficiency rating. They are too 56 in the country in 2P percentage, 3P percentage, FT%, block percentage and steal percentage so far on this young season so Florida really gets after it on the defensive side of the ball. Ohio State is almost the complete opposite as they want to win games with their offense and rely on their offense to bail themselves out of games.
They are 7th in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency but they struggle on the defensive side of the ball. They are 226th in the country in turnover percentage, 283rd in the country in defensive rebounding %, and 279th in steal percentage. Basically, this means that Ohio State does not force a lot of turnovers and they also give up a lot of offensive rebounds leading to extra possessions for their opponents.
Ohio State is led by EJ Liddell who is averaging an impressive (22/6/4/3) but other than him, there are no other players on Ohio states roster averaging >10 PPG so they rely on him a lot. I think Florida will be able to key on him and force other players to beat them. Couple that with Florida’s physicality and offensive rebounding abilities and I think they are going to out muscle Ohio State in this contest and come away with a hard-fought victory. Final score prediction: Florida 75-68
Syracuse comes into this matchup off a tough loss to Colgate where they gave up 100 points at home… yes 100 points. The Syracuse zone does not look as strong as it normally does but they get a very favorable matchup here vs a VCU squad who really struggles to score the ball and shoot the ball from outside. VCU is 233rd in the country in total offensive efficiency, 286th in offering effective FG%, 352nd in offensive TO%, 313th in 3P% and 327th in FT% so it’s pretty safe to say they have trouble scoring.
This matchup for Syracuse is completely different from Colgate because Colgate is a very good offensive team who can shoot the lights out and they got hot and ran Syracuse out of their own building. I think VCU will really struggle to score in this matchup and see Syracuse being able to score enough against a stifling VCU defense to come away with a victory. Score prediction: Syracuse 75-63
Let me start off my saying Air Force is not a very good team in their own right but they face a Denver team who is one of the worst teams in the country. Denver lost to a division 2 team at home, so they are really struggling this year. Air Force comes into this matchup at 4-1 but against weaker competition. Air Force slows the game down to a snail’s pace and likes to play in the halfcourt to run their sets.
Denver is 339th in the country in total offensive efficiency and 331stin the country in total defensive efficiency. This basically means they don’t do anything well and have really been struggling on both ends of the floor. Overall, I think Air Force is just the more talented and better coached team and think they’ll have no trouble winning this game. Score prediction: Air Force 72-60