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Monday’s NCAA Hoops Play – 3/6/17

Monday’s NCAA Hoops Play – 3/6/17

TOP RATED DOG OF THE DAY:

 

Stony Brook +3

 

This is one interesting line we got here… Stony Brook who is the #2 seed in the American East tourney…already beat Albany twice this season…and also is hosting this tourney game at home, is listed as the underdog in this one…This definitely qualifies as a line that make me go, hmmmmm.

What also makes me go hmmm, is the fact that Albany is better statistically in almost every major category between the two, but yet have lost in both games…Can Stony Brooks pull the Trifecta today?…I say they can and below are the Edges that will help propel them to their 3rd win over Albany today.

EDGE #1:…….Stony Brook knows how to beat Albany.

Ok first and foremost, I want to get this theory/myth out of the way…What theory/myth is that, you say?…Well the one which many seems to believe that it is hard for a team to beat another team three times in one season, theory/myth…This always comes up in the NFL and it has already been proven not to be true…Fact, since 1970, 20 times teams have met for the 3rd time in an NFL season…Out of those 20 times, 13 times the team which won the previous 2 games also won the 3rd game…Which gave them a winning percentage of 65% and a 13-7 record.

As for how this situation relates in college basketball…Per STATS LLC, there have been 981 similar matchups across Division 1 college basketball over the past 10 seasons…The teams entering the third game 2-0 are a combined 710-271 (.724 winning percentage) in the third meeting.

So basically it states that over a 10 year period in CBB, including almost 1,000 games, the team that won the first 2 games won the 3rd game 72% of the time…There are 2 possible reasons for this…1. The team which won the 2 regular season games, will likely have home court advantage in the third….And 2. The team which won the 2 regular season games, did so because they are simply the better team.

Stony Brooks has an advantage because they are playing at home…And as far as them being the better team, well they have already demonstrated that by beating Albany twice already…One thing to note about the 1st game between the two, was that Stony Brook was down by 13 points at the half…Then by as much as 21 points in the 2nd half… Albany had a 70-51 advantage with 5:55 left to play, but they couldn’t stop Stony Brook from scoring the final 21 points and eventually lost the game, 72-70.

Side Note: In the first game at Stony Brook…Albany had amazing statistics, shooting 56% from the field, 53.8% from long range and 70% from the FT line…compared to Stony Brooks, who shot 37.9% from the field and 28.6% from long range.

Again, Albany could not stop Stony Brook from making this epic 21 point comeback, even though they possess a scoring defense ranked 3rd in the conference and 52nd in the nation, allowing just 66.6 ppg…They also possess the 3rd ranked FG% and 3pt FG% defense, allowing just 43.5% from the field and 34.4% from long range…And, they couldn’t stop this Stony Brook offense who ranks 7th in the conference in FG% shooting just 40.7% from the field.

Albany ranks better than Stony Brook in almost every major categories, including overall wins…In fact, Albany is ranked in the top 50 in the nation in rebounding margin with +7.4…FT% shooting at 75.5%…FG% shooting 47.2% from the field…and scoring defense allowing just 66.6 ppg…Yet even with these top ranking statistics, they still couldn’t beat a poor offensive team like Stony Brook, who struggle to score averaging just 69.7 ppg, which ranks 261st in the nation…and who shoots just 40.7% from the floor as well.

Side Note: In the first game at Stony Brooks…Albany had the lead for 38:11 minutes to Stony Brooks 18 seconds.

And, let’s not forget that Albany also couldn’t beat Stony Brooks in their 2nd game played in Albany, where they lost 72-65…Again, this tells me a lot about who is the better team and also reminds me that sometimes stats don’t mean a thing.

EDGE #2:….. Stony Brooks ability to get to the FT Line.

Both teams are solid from the line, with Stony Brook currently shooting 73.5% from the FT line at home…while Albany shoots a solid 76.4% from the FT line in road games…If you compare the two stats, you would think that Albany has the advantage from the FT line because they have a better FT shooting %…However, in this matchup FT% stat is not telling the whole truth as to who has the real advantage here.

Albany may have the better overall FT% stats compared to Stony Brook, but Stony Brook does one thing better and more important than having a good FT%…And that is their ability to get to the FT line more often than Albany does.

In their first game at home, Stony Brook used their ability to get to the line, to helped them overcome a 21 point 2nd half deficit and win the game…In that game Stony Brook got to the FT line 14 more times than Albany did and because they are a good FT shooting team, they were able to make 20-of-24 FTs…Albany, on the other hand, although shooting 70% from the line in that game, only was able to take 10 FT attempts making 7.

Side Note: In the first game, Stony Brooks got to the FT line 24 times, making 20 FTs for 83%…while Albany went to the FT line just 10 times making 7 FTs for 70%.

In the 2nd game between the two, Stony Brook was again able to get to the FT line to attempt 24 shots…going 19-of-24 for 79.2%…Albany in this game though, was also able to get to the line for 23 attempts…going 20-of-23 for 87%…Both teams had solid days getting to the FT line in volume and with their ability to shoot a high% at the line was able to take advantage of that by scoring 19 and 20 points respectively.

But, with this game being played at Stony Brook, the edge here goes back to them as currently, they are averaging getting to the FT line 21 times in home games, while Albany averages just 16 trips to the line in road games…That is an average of +5 more attempts at the line, which equates to 5 more chances in which to put points to board.

Albany although having a good day getting to the line in the 2nd game, while also making 87% of their FT attempts, they still in the end lost to Stony Brooks once again…WHY?…Well, in their 2nd game, it was Stony Brook’s ability to launch the bombs in volume that ultimately allowed them to score more points and get the win…This leads us to the next edge.

 

 

EDGE #3:…..Stony Brook’s ability to shoot the Long Bombs.

Stony Brook currently has the 2nd worst 3pt FG% in the conf, averaging just 33.8% from long range…Albany has the 3rd best 3pt FG% averaging 37.6% from long range…So again, we have a similar situation to the FT% situation, where you would think that by looking at each teams 3pt FG% stat, that Albany would seem to have the advantage over Stony Brook…Well again, that may be true in some circumstances…However, after comparing the two teams, I believe Stony Brook has the advantage in 3pt shooting and it showed by helping them secure the win in the 2nd game between the two.

One thing to note, is that although Stony Brook has the 2nd worst 3pt FG% in the conference…they also have taken the 3rd most 3pt attempts as well…Albany, on the other hand, has the 3rd best 3pt FG% in the conf averaging 37.6%…But, they have taken the least amount of shots from 3pt range in the conference as well…In fact, after 32 games played, Albany has taken 466 shots from long range, which is 248 less shots attempts, than Stony Brook has taken from 3pt range.

In the first game, Stony Brook took twice as many shots from long range as Albany did, but luckily for them, Stony Brook only totaled 1 more 3pt shot made with 8 to their 7…In the first game, it was not Stony Brook’s 3pt shooting that got them the win, it was the volume of FT attempts that provided them the extra shots and points for that comeback win.

Side Note: In the first game, Stony Brook attempted 28 shots from long range making 8 for 28.6%…compared to Albany who only took 13 shots and made 7 for 53.8%.

In the second game though, Stony Brook ability to take a lot of 3pt shots is what helped them get the win…In that game, shots from the field and at the line between the two teams were somewhat equal…However, it was Stony Brook higher volume of attempts from 3pt land, which became the deciding factor in them getting the 2nd win over Albany…In that game Stony Brook took 18 three-pointers and made 7, while Albany took just 10 attempts making just 3.

In this comparison between the 2 teams…Albany takes far less 3pt shots and has a higher 3pt FG%…compared to Stony Brook, whose strategy is to take a lot of 3pt shots and regardless of what their 3pt FG% will be…For them, shooting a better percentage from 3pt land isn’t as important as being able to get a lot of open looks from 3pt land…And, simple math agrees that attempting 3 pointers in the long run, is better than attempting most mid-to-long range 2 pointers…Not mention that it will be worth 50% points more when made.

Side Note: 33.3% shooting from 3pt land is equivalent to 50% shooting from 2pt.

I feel that Stony Brook’s strategy of shooting more three’s compared to Albany, will simply translate in to them scoring more points…And this was proven true in the 2nd game where they took 18 three-point shots to Albany’s 10.

Again Albany’s higher FT% and higher 3pt FG% is not better or more important than having the ability to take a higher volume of attempts from the line and/or from behind the arc…It’s the ability to take more attempts from the line and also from 3pt land…which gives Stony Brook the Edge at scoring more points, over Albany who is weak at getting to the line and passive about attempting a lot of 3pt shots.

EDGE #4:…..Stony Brooks ability to protect the Rock.

Stony Brook is one of the best in the nation at protecting the rock…They are currently ranked 1st in the conf averaging just 10.1 turnovers per game…They are also ranked 1st in the conf and 30th in the nation in turnover margin with +2.80.

Stony Brook has also committed 10 or less turnovers in 19 games this season… Albany, on the other hand, ranks 4th in the conf in turnover margin with -0.09…And in their games on the road, they have averaged 13 turnovers, while forcing just 11.

Side Note: Stony Brook in home games average just 10 turnovers, while forcing 13 opponents turnovers.

Stony Brook, also has the edge in steals and blocks per game over Albany…This is yet another way which Stony Brook is able to maintain and increase their possessions while decreasing their opponents…More possessions means more opportunities to score.

Other THINGS & EDGES:…..That Favor Stony Brook.

*Stony Brook has the edge in Bench points, as their bench outscored Albany’s bench 20-to-13 in the 1st game…and 20-to-12 in the 2nd game.

*Stony Brook has the ability to make opponents commit a lot of fouls which thus sends them to the line more often…In their 1st game vs Albany, Stony Brook was able to get Albany to commit 21 personal fouls to their 14…And that also led to Albany’s leading scorer Nichols and leading rebounder Stire, both foul out with several minutes left in the game…In their 2nd game, Stony Brook again was able to get Albany to commit more fouls, with 25 to their 20…And again, both Nichols and Stive fouled out of the game with several minutes remaining…Getting Nichols to foul out was crucial because both games went down to final minutes, but Albany had to play without their leading scorer on the floor, both times.

Bottom line is Stony Brooks has already beaten Albany twice this season, so I don’t understand why they are installed as a dog, and especially since they are also at home in this game…But, I am not complaining here as I like Stony Brook to complete the 3 game sweep today as they have already demonstrated who the better team is by beating Albany twice already…And per the stats conducted over the last 10 years, it has shown that teams who beat an opponent twice has a 72.4% chance of winning the 3rd game as well.

Furthermore, this is one game where if you simply go by the stats, you would think this game should be a mismatch in favor of Albany…But the last two games between the two said otherwise…And, it is because of Stony Brook’s ability to get to the FT line a lot more frequently, along with their willingness to attempt a lot of three pointers, that has put them in position to score more points overall.

Stony Brook’s aggressive shooting from long range and their aggressive play to illicit Albany to commit fouls is what I see them continuing to do again in this game…If they get on a run, it will force Albany to a have to change their game plan and start opening up their offensive attack, which I don’t think they have the cohunes or the confidence to do…Launching the long bombs is not their forte and that leaves them very vulnerable if Stony Brook is able to match or surpass their average from long range…Look for Stony Brook to put the pressure on them by launching bombs early and often in this one…With that said, today I am definitely siding with the team who rather take a greater volume of attempts over one who has the greater stats…And in the end, I am expecting Stony Brook to show why stats sometimes don’t mean a thing………….GO SEAWOLVES!

Side Note:  Stony Brook is 7-1 in their last 8 home games.

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