Mid-majors to watch | The Boneyard

Mid-majors to watch

shizzle787

King Shizzle DCCLXXXVII of the Cesspool
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I have a feeling we are going to end up somewhere between a 4 and 7 seed when all is said and done. This will result in us very possibly getting a tricky mid major in the first round.
I'm keeping tabs on the following teams that could be dangerous. I'm excluding teams from WCC, MVC, A-10, AAC, and MW as most are already familiar with them.

Vermont (9-4)- always a tricky team out of the America East
James Madison (9-2)- if they play as well in the CAA as they did OOC, this could be a 30-win team come tourney time
LaTech (13-3)- C-USA teams are usually dangerous and I expect them to win 25+
Cleveland State (9-3)- traditionally second-fiddle to Butler in the old Horizon, they play a 22-game conference schedule so they can pick up a lot of wins
Princeton (12-3)- Ivy teams are always dangerous in the first round
Iona (11-3)- coached by Pitino: going to be dangerous
Monmouth (10-3)- will battle with Iona for the MAAC crown
Ohio (12-2)- only loses are Kentucky and LSU; win over Belmont
Murray State (12-2)- always dangerous
Belmont (12-3)- see above
Chattanooga (13-3)- the Southern is arguably the #12 conference in the land; everybody in the league went at least .500 in OOC
SDSU (13-4)- the crown jewel of the Summit league
Utah Valley (11-4)- wins over BYU and Washington
Abilene Christian (11-4)- proved it already last year
NMSU (13-2)- wins over Davidson and Washington State
Grand Canyon (12-2)- win over San Francisco
 
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I have a feeling we are going to end up somewhere between a 4 and 7 seed when all is said and done. This will result in us very possibly getting a tricky mid major in the first round.
I'm keeping tabs on the following teams that could be dangerous. I'm excluding teams from WCC, MVC, A-10, AAC, and MW as most are already familiar with them.

Vermont (9-4)- always a tricky team out of the America East
James Madison (9-2)- if they play as well in the CAA as they did OOC, this could be a 30-win team come tourney time
LaTech (13-3)- C-USA teams are usually dangerous and I expect them to win 25+
Cleveland State (9-3)- traditionally second-fiddle to Butler in the old Horizon, they play a 22-game conference schedule so they can pick up a lot of wins
Princeton (12-3)- Ivy teams are always dangerous in the first round
Iona (11-3)- coached by Pitino: going to be dangerous
Monmouth (10-3)- will battle with Iona for the MAAC crown
Ohio (12-2)- only loses are Kentucky and LSU; win over Belmont
Murray State (12-2)- always dangerous
Belmont (12-3)- see above
Chattanooga (13-3)- the Southern is arguably the #12 conference in the land; everybody in the league went at least .500 in OOC
SDSU (13-4)- the crown jewel of the Summit league
Utah Valley (11-4)- wins over BYU and Washington
Abilene Christian (11-4)- proved it already last year
NMSU (13-2)- wins over Davidson and Washington State
Grand Canyon (12-2)- win over San Francisco
Monmouth is real good
Keep an eye on Towson
 
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@shizzle787, overall, good work. More than what you see from most publications about mid-majors.

All are good picks. I'm going to list a few teams whose records look like they are underperforming, but neither are teams I'd want to see in the tourney:

Liberty: 10-6, KenPom 113, losses to LSU, BYU, Stanford, Iona, Stephen F. Austin and Manhattan

Their pack-line D would force us to shoot threes, they shoot great and Darius McGhee is the type of bucket-getter who steps up in the tourney (21.5 ppg).

Buffalo: 7-6, KenPom 105, loses to Michigan, St. Bonaventure, Stephen F. Austin, Miami (OH), Akron, Canisius

Explosive, diverse offense led by three seniors who average 15.2 ppg+ (6'5 205 Jeenathan Williams, 6'7 220 Josh Mballa and 6'0 165 Ronaldo Segu). They also have excellent offensive rebounding when they aren't hitting shots.

UC Irvine: 6-4, KenPom 96, losses to USC, Fresno State, New Mexico State and Duquesne

High-major size and their zone D has helped them have the 11th best effective fg% in the nation. Offensively, they are not reliant on threes and they are led by 6'9 225 forward Collin Welp, who excels in the mid-range. Plus, the game would put Caron Butler in an awkward position...his son JC is their best perimeter defender. Who would he root for?
 
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JMU is banned from the CAA Tournament for joining the Sun Belt and they don't have an at-large resume, so they will not be a NCAA team this year.
 
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JMU is banned from the CAA Tournament for joining the Sun Belt and they don't have an at-large resume, so they will not be a NCAA team this year.
That’s pretty harsh
In the 2013 Big East Tourney pretty much everyone was leaving except us and yet we got banned.
 

gtcam

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Not sure if they will be a tourney team but Univ of Detroit-Mercy from Horizon League where Mike Davis is the coach - his son Antoine Davis is a dynamic 3 pt shooter and scorer.
If they can win their league tourney and go to the dance Antoine Cavis will make Richmond's spree vs UConn on Saturday look like kids play
 
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Keep an eye on Towson
Towson hosts Hofstra today at 5 PM on CBS Network.

Both teams are top-125 KenPom and overall, the CAA is the strongest its been since the 16-17 season (according to KenPom). Currently, the conference is ranked above the MAC, Ivy and the MAAC, among others.
 

CL82

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I feel like Syracuse should be on this list. I mean I know they are below 500 right now but they’re a gritty team that is worth watching. I feel like they’re only one Boeheim shy of being a competitive team.

It’s OK if we include Canadian mid-majors too right?
 
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Chattanooga (13-3)- the Southern is arguably the #12 conference in the land; everybody in the league went at least .500 in OOC
Chattanooga has a lot of ingredients that make up a Cinderella team.
  • They're experienced playing together. 69.2% of the minutes from last year returned including four returning fifth-year seniors.
  • They are comfortable playing at a slow pace. Everything slows down in March and their offensive tempo is 333th in the nation.
  • They have a legit bucket getter. Malachi Smith is a 6'4 205 junior who averages 20.8p, 53.6 fg%, 43.8 3p%, 82.9 ft%.
  • They have an experienced backcourt. In addition to Smith, their starting point guard is David Jean-Baptiste, a a fifth-year senior who averages 14.6 ppg.
  • They have three legit scoring options. In addition to Smith and Jean-Baptiste, Silvio De Sousa averages 12.7 ppg, which gives the team three scorers who average 12.7 ppg or more.
  • They hit free-throws. Their team FT% is 75.2.
  • They don't make a lot of mistakes. Their offensive turnover rate is the 70th lowest in the nation.
  • They rebound. Their offensive rebounding rate is 11th and their defensive rebounding rate is 145th.
The only thing stopping them from being a legit deep tournament threat is their just OK defense (143rd in KenPom efficiency).
 

shizzle787

King Shizzle DCCLXXXVII of the Cesspool
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Update:

Vermont (10-4, 2-0 AE)
LaTech (13-3, 4-0 C-USA)
Cleveland State (10-3, 6-0 Horizon)
Princeton (12-3, 2-0 Ivy)
Iona (12-3, 4-0 MAAC)
Monmouth (10-3, 2-0 MAAC)
Ohio (13-2, 4-0 MAC)
Murray State (12-2, 2-0 OVC)
Belmont (12-3, 2-0 OVC)
Chattanooga (13-4, 3-1 SoCon)
SDSU (13-4, 4-0 Summit)
Grand Canyon (12-2, 3-0 WAC)
NMSU (13-2, 2-0 WAC)
 
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For those who don’t care about NFL football, Iona has a 1 pm game Sunday vs Niagara.

In addition to the game, it’s a great opportunity to heckle Greg Paulus (he’s the coach of Niagara).
 
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Good A-10 matchup tonight against two former A-10 OOC opponents:

VCU (KP 62) @ Saint Bonaventure (KP 70)- 7:30 ESPN2. The Bonnie's efficient offense against VCU's disruptive defense.

Not sure which team to root for in terms of our resume, but based on the fact that I think the Bonnies will be considered a better team at the end of the year than VCU, a VCU will give the Rams their 4th top-100 win of the season.

Bottom line, should be a good one and on paper, it's probably the second best game tonight behind the 9 PM Michigan/Illinois game.
 

XLCenterFan

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Good A-10 matchup tonight against two former A-10 OOC opponents:

VCU (KP 62) @ Saint Bonaventure (KP 70)- 7:30 ESPN2. The Bonnie's efficient offense against VCU's disruptive defense.

Not sure which team to root for in terms of our resume, but based on the fact that I think the Bonnies will be considered a better team at the end of the year than VCU, a VCU will give the Rams their 4th top-100 win of the season.

Bottom line, should be a good one and on paper, it's probably the second best game tonight behind the 9 PM Michigan/Illinois game.
I took VCU +3. Was wondering why Michigan is getting 10...is that really a big mismatch?
 
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I took VCU +3. Was wondering why Michigan is getting 10...is that really a big mismatch?
I'm not betting (I try not to bet on games I plan to watch), but personally I'd pick the Bonnies at that line.

Why? VCU's success all about generating transition offense from turnovers but Saint Bonaventure is just so old, in sync offensively and play four-guard lineups. According to KenPom, they have the 42nd best offensive turnover rate in the nation.
 

XLCenterFan

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@Hey Adrien! VCU's resume is a tad more impressive IMO. They beat Cuse and Dayton, held Vandy to 37, and hung with both us and Baylor. Bonnies have a few good wins as well, but just scraped by Lasalle after a covid pause. Just watching both teams, I was more scared of VCU - not necessarily impressed by either though.
 
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Saturday's Mid-Major Viewing Guide:

All # rankings are KenPom ratings

1 PM - #83 Vermont @ #225 UMBC - ESPN3.

Vermont is the third most experienced team in the NCAA and it shows with their 12th best offensive turnover rate. They rank top-100 in both offense and defense. Big Ryan Davis (17.1 ppg, 40.8 3p%) and Burlington's own, guard Ben Shungu (14.4 ppg, 38.1 3p%) are a nice inside/outside duo.

It's 5'2 Darnell Rogers' fifth year of college, so anytime you have a chance to watch him play against a good team, it's something special (11.9p, 3.3a).

3 PM - #116 Furman @ #73 Chattanooga - CBSSN

Yet again, the SoCon is one of the best mid-majors in the nation. Whenever two of Chattanooga, Furman or Wofford match up, it's recommended basketball. Read my previous post about what I think about Chattanooga while Furman is the 24th best shooting team in the nation with the fifth highest 3PA/FGA ratio in the nation. They roster three 15+ ppg scorers between their starting backcourt of Alex Hunter and Mike Bothwell, as well as their starting center Jalen Slawson, all three of which are seniors. Two offensively minded and defensive deficient teams = LOTS of points and generally aesthetically pleasing basketball.

5 PM - #69 Murray State @ #42 Belmont - ESPN+

The two best teams in the OVC, and soon to be MVC, face off. Two balanced teams, both within the top-90 in both offensive and defensive efficiency. Murray State have the advantage of elite offensive rebounding (16th best rate in the nation) while Belmont is elite at preventing teams from getting to the line (11th in the nation).

Lots of stars in this game. Both teams roster two 16+ ppg players whose respective matchups are very interesting:

Belmont's 6'11 240 senior Nick Muszynski vs Murray State's 6'10 245 senior KJ Williams

Belmont's 6'6 190 junior Ben Shepperd (Andre Jackson-esque athleticism) vs 6'5 175 senior Tevin Brown.

11 PM - #27 BYU @ #34 San Francisco - CBSSN

Surprisingly, BYU's strength this year is their defense (#22 efficiency) while the typically smooth shooting Cougars have the 173th best fg%. FIfth year senior Alex Barcello is their stud (16.8 ppg, 47.9 3p%), but their ceiling is limited until they have a true #2 option (their #2-#9 scorers average between 6.4-10.1 ppg).

Moneyball tells San Francisco to shoot, shoot, shoot (12th best fg% and 35th highest 3PA/FGA ratio). Interesting team makeup as all but one of their rotation players are either between 6'0-6'3 or 6'8-7'2. Jamaree Bouyea (17.8p, 41.7 3p%) is their fifth year stud bucket getter, but the biggest addition to this year's squad is bruising 6'9 240 San Diego transfer Yauhen Massalski (14.4p, 8.2r, 2.1b).

Other good ones:

2 PM - #146 Delaware @ #125 Hofstra - Only on FloHoops (need subscription)
4 PM - #80 North Texas @ #110 Western Kentucky - Free on Stadium
5 PM - #165 Louisiana @ #143 Texas State - ESPN+
6 PM - #142 Abilene Christian @ #97 New Mexico State - ESPN+.
8 PM - #106 Northern Iowa @ #130 Southern Illinois - ESPN+.
9 PM - #85 Wyoming @ #65 Utah State - Free on Stadium
 
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JMU is banned from the CAA Tournament for joining the Sun Belt and they don't have an at-large resume, so they will not be a NCAA team this year.
Hopefully karma is served and JMU wreaks everyone else's season in the CAA. They beat Virginia, so they're pretty capable and definitely have a chip on their shoulders.
 

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