BANKER (BYU vs. Gonzaga)
This is a scary bet just because of Gonzaga’s firepower and how they usually blow out every team in the west coast conference, but I really feel as though BYU has the talent and firepower to keep this game close or even win. BYU is 14-3 on the season and they have really excelled on both sides of the ball. They are ranked 18th in overall adjusted defensive efficiency, 9th in effective field goal percentage defense, and 6th overall in the nation in defensive 3-point percentage so they have done an excellent job on the defensive side of the ball this season. On offense, BYU is 50thin overall adjusted offensive efficiency which is very respectable.
They are led by Alex Barcello at the guard position who is averaging 17/4/3 on 47 percent shooting and 47% from deep as well. Barcello can take over a game with his outside shooting ability and if BYU is able to make at least 10 threes tonight then I think they have the ability to keep this game close. Gonzaga has somewhat struggled this year in games against top tier competition. They dropped games to Duke and Alabama, struggled on defense vs Texas tech, and had a very weird game against Tarleton state that was single digits Pretty much the whole game where they were 30-point favorites.
BYU has also played a tough schedule to this point as well as they are ranked 32nd in the country in overall strength of schedule while Gonzaga is only ranked 274th in that category. I think BYU’s tough schedule to this point will have them ready to play. BYU has a very experienced starting lineup which I think will help them in this tough atmosphere against one of the nation’s best teams. 15 seems like too many points here for a BYU team that can light it up from the outside. Score Prediction: 82-72 Gonzaga
North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG) is a team who has been playing their best basketball as of late. They had a blowout win on the road vs a very solid VMI team and then had a 15-point comeback on the road against Wofford who is one of the best teams in the southern conference. UNCG lost their best player from last season, but they’ve done a good job of scoring by committee.
They have 8 players that average over 5 points per game and 4 players who average over 8 PPG, so they don’t rely on one guy for offense. UNCG is always a very solid defensive team, and this year is no different. UNCG is ranked 92nd in overall adjusted offensive efficiency and 77th in effective field goal percentage defense. Citadel has a potent offense, but I believe UNCG will be able to hold them down. Citadel really struggles defensively as they rank 299th in adjusted defensive efficiency. Score Prediction: 71-61 UNCG
Colgate is a team who has not lived up to expectations this year, but they still have a very solid chance at winning the patriot league due to their level of talent. Colgate has a very explosive offense as they rank 15th in the country in 3-point percentage, 64th in effective FG% and 84th in overall adjusted offensive efficiency. They face a solid navy team who comes in with a good record, but they haven’t really been tested this year as they are 250th in the country in terms of strength of schedule. Navy has taken care of the bottom feeders on their schedule and struggles against better competition, so I think they’ll struggle to defend Colgate’s high-powered offense in this contest. Score Prediction: 81-75 Colgate