NCAAB January 11th

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NCAAB Yesterday: 1-0, (100.00%) +1.0 Units
NCAAB Season: 31-26-1, (54.38%) +2.4 Units

A pretty straight forward win with Georgia Tech last night and now working on a little 5-1 run in my last 6 plays. Nothing earth shattering but it’s nice to have things moving in the right direction. Here’s what I’ve got tonight…

Western Kentucky (+3):
¬†Things were a little shaky last year for Stansbury in his first season at WKU but this year he’s got himself a nice squad. The Hilltoppers are 11-5 and very well could be the best team in Conference USA. Tonight they’ll look to take a big step towards proving that at Old Dominion. Now WKU isn’t very deep and they really only play 7 guys, the 7 they play though are coming together very nicely. Led by Thompson the ‘Toppers have 6 players that are averaging between 8.3 and 15.2 points per contest. They don’t attempt a ton of 3 pointers but the ones they do attempt are high quality looks and go in 41% of the time, which is 17th best in the nation. Their true bread and butter however is inside where they score 58.6% of their points, that’s 8th highest in the nation. In short they prefer to do their damage inside but they are more than capable of stepping out and knocking down 3’s if you want to try and choke off the paint defensively. They start 3 seniors so there’s plenty of experience on hand and this isn’t the kind of team that will be rattled by tough road games. This year in the non conference they’ve already beaten Purdue, beaten SMU, and lost by only 8 to Villanova. Stansburys squad knows they can play with just about anyone and they’ve proven it over and over again this season. Old Dominion doesn’t nearly have the offensive firepower that WKU does, they will try and rely on their stout defense and slowing the pace of this game as much as they can. Defensively they will try and keep everything outside and take away baskets in the paint. I mentioned how WKU does as much damage down low as just about anyone, but also how they are more than capable of knocking down 3’s if that’s what you give them. Guys like Thompson, Hollingsworth, Johnson are all well above average 3 point shooters and Ohmer is respectable out there too. In other words for ODU it won’t just be as simple as make things tough down low and there’s nothing WKU will be able to do. Overall I won’t knock ODU though, they are a solid team and will be near the top of C-USA all year. I do however think WKU is slightly better and with 3 points in my pocket I’ll take my chances in a game I expect to come right down to the wire.

Omaha (+3.5): The records might lead you to believe that Western Illinois is the better team here but I don’t really think that’s the case. WIU is off to an 8-6 start but I attribute a lot of that to the 283rd toughest schedule in the nation. Omaha on the other hand is only 5-13 but they’ve done it against the 32nd toughest schedule in the nation. Omaha has already tested themselves against the likes of Oklahoma, TCU, Kansas, and Louisville. WIU started 7-2 but since then reality has slapped them in the face and they’ve only gone 1-4 with the one win coming against some team called Lincoln Christian who I know nothing about except they aren’t D1. In fact their best win this year came against an Eastern Illinois team that is ranked 244th by Ken Pom. Now you start to get the idea of what I mean when I tell you not to be impressed by that 8-6 record. What cripples WIU is a flat out horrid offense. They rank 306th in offensive efficiency, 337th in turnover rate, 335th in offensive rebounding, and 336th in getting to the FT line. When they actually get off FG attempts they aren’t horrid but their main issues are far too many turnovers, far too many one and done possessions, and very few free points at the line. Most of Omaha’s problems come on the defensive end but here they may have found an opponent that isn’t good enough to really take advantage of that weakness. Ultimately this is a game between two well below average teams I just think Omaha is slightly less flawed and I can get 3.5 points with them. That’s good enough for me to get involved.

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