The Disappointment Zone

Musings from a Cleveland sports fan

College hoops thoughts

Posted by disappointmentzone on 22 March 2007

First: OSU-Tennessee: 9:57pm tipoff, San Antonio (not that anyone needs to be reminded)

So what will the outcome of the game be? If you canvas the Internets looking for predictions a pattern will emerge: Tennessee is a close game. The Dallas Morning News says Tennessee will win even though Tennessee will be throwing Fr. Wayne Chism (6-9) and Sr. Dane Bradshaw (6-4) at Greg Oden (27 years old, 8 feet tall 19 years old, 7 feet tall). SI scribe Seth Davis likes Tennessee (in OT) as well even though Tennessee finished the season last in the SEC in scoring defense and field goal defense, though he does make a good point that Tennessee’s defense is predicated on taking big risks. That said, even if Tennessee steals the ball they still have to score against Oden, which is no easy task.

My prediction: OSU wins by 4, although after the Xavier game I am very worried. One other quick note: in the first game between these two teams, Tennessee outscored OSU by eight when Oden was on the bench. I realize that the last game was the first time Oden has fouled out of a game this season, but he’s often been in foul trouble and Tennessee will probably go after him. The longer Oden is on the bench the more likely it is that Tennessee wins. I don’t care what happened in OT against Xavier, OSU is a better team when Oden’s on the court.

If you prefer more statistically-based predictions then you’ll be glad to know that Hack The Bracket has OSU winning. Hack The Bracket is a pretty fantastic website, using offensive and defensive efficiency to predict which teams will win. It’s also fantastic because it has noted that if you look at the effective field goal percentage of the final four teams in the past three seasons of the teams in the sweet 16 that lead their respective regions in both offensive and defensive eFG% — there were five — all of them made it to the final four. Of the four teams that were first in offensive eFG% and second in defensive eFG% three made it to the final four. The odd team out was St. Joe’s, a team that lost by two points in the elite eight. If you scan this year’s regions for teams that lead in both offensive and defensive eFG% you will find four such teams: Florida, Kansas, Georgetown, and Texas A&M (coincidentally the four teams I have in my final four bracket). The bad news is that OSU is not one of those four teams, but if there is a time for OSU to start bucking trends, the team may as well start with winning tonight to defy all those doubters and then move on to making the final four.

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