REVENGE DOG OF THE DAY:
College of Charleston +4
First off, I am pressed for time…so this write-up, compared to the others, will have to be a short one.
In this game, you have two of the hottest teams in the nation that will be fighting to take the top spot in the CAA conference…UNCW is currently on a 6 game winning streak, while Coll of Charleston is riding a 7 game winning streak.
These two are the leagues top teams, however, both play contrasting styles of ball…For UNCW is all about the offense…while Coll of Charleston defense is the key….Tonight, I am siding with the Cougars as they have some Key EDGES that will propel them to a victory today.
EDGE #1:…The Cougars top rated smothering defense.
I am not going through all the stats, but there is no denying that the Seahawks offense is as potent as they come…They are currently have the number 1 scoring offense in the conference which averages 87.4 ppg…But countering that, is the Cougars defense that is currently ranked 1st in conference in scoring defense, where they are only giving up 59.7 ppg.
The Cougars defense is currently also ranked 6th in the nation in scoring defense…They are also ranked 2nd in the nation in 3pt FG% defense, allowing just 27.9% shooting from long range to go along with just 40.7% from the field…In addition, the Cougars offense supports their defense by ranking 11th in the nation in fewest turnovers committed per a game, with 11.
EDGE #2:….The Cougars are at home.
One situation that has value is backing a home underdog with a superior defense, that is also getting points as well.
Currently the Cougars at home is a solid 8-2, where their offense is averaging 67.6 ppg…which gives them a +8 scoring margin…In home games, the Cougars opponents are also only averaging 17 FT attempts and just 64.1% from the line…The Cougars, on the other hand, is averaging 27 trips to the line where they shooting 70%, averaging 19 made freebies and +9 extra points…This is important to note as the Cougars at home are doing a great job of getting opponents to commit an average of 23 personal fouls, which gives them the opportunity to score more points…The Cougars are best FT shooting team in the league averaging 72.2%…and they have 3 players with high FT% of 82.8%, 81.2% and 77.5%.
For teams like the Cougars, whose style of play limits possessions…it is important to be able to take advantage of any point scoring opportunities, while limiting oppositions…And getting to the line at home, an average of 10+ times more then their opponents, is something they are doing a good job at.
EDGE #3:…..The Cougars play is being recognized.
UNCW is the team that gets the most attention as they are the defending champs, who went to the Big Dance last season….But, the Cougars are being recognized also for their solid play and that gives me more confidence in backing this dog.
Currently the Cougars are No.57 in the NCAA RPI rankings….and they are also ranked 12th in the Mid-Major Top 25 poll as of Jan. 17th
Other things to note is that the Cougars are only 1 of 15 schools who are currently on a win streak of 7 games or more….Also, they have already beaten 3 of the pre-season Top 5 picks in the conference….In addition, what also should be noted is the fact that all 4 of the Cougars 4 losses on the season, have only been against major conference schools in…Villanova, UCF, WF and LSU.
EDGE #4:…..The Cougars are seeking triple revenge.
The Cougars are very motivated and focused on getting their revenge today, as they were beaten 3 times last season by the Seahawks…But, they only lost the third game by 2 points in last seasons CAA semifinals game in March…So with this one being at home, they are very confident that they can get their revenge and so am I.
One thing to also note is that the Seahawks have won the last 7 games between the two…and 4 of the last 7 games went into OT and double OT.
Bottom line with this game being at home for the Cougars, they should be able to dictate the tempo of this game and get their suffocating defense to smother the Seahawks attack…It won’t be easy thing to do as the Seahawks are a very talented team…However, this is only the 3rd season under the Cougars coach, so it is not like UNCW has a lot of game practice against them…This style of play by the Seahawks can really frustrate and keep teams like the Seahawks who are not used to it, out of sink and that is what I am expecting to happen.
The home crowd and the fact that the Cougars have a deep bench to rely on, should also help them to be able to keep that defensive pressure on the Seahawk attackers all game long….Tonight, l like this home dog….GO COUGARS!
Side Note: No strong past trends to support this one…But this is the present, and just the 3rd season under the Cougars coach…So, tonight we start one.