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NCAA Tournament- Game 1- UCLA


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Not getting a lot of love from Jay Bilas.

 

https://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/insider/story/_/id/33497726/jay-bilas-picks-every-single-game-2022-ncaa-men-basketball-tournament

 

Akron played Ohio State to a one-point game early this season and should have won. But the Zips are ranked outside of the top 100 in offensive and defensive efficiency, and that will not beat UCLA. Akron is ranked 321st in experience (1.2 years) in Division I. Ali Ali is the top scorer at 14.2 points per game, and Xavier Castaneda has hit 73 3s on 37.6% shooting. But John Groce's team is not quite ready to take down the Bruins.

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15 minutes ago, zipsrule said:

Not getting a lot of love from Jay Bilas.

 

https://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/insider/story/_/id/33497726/jay-bilas-picks-every-single-game-2022-ncaa-men-basketball-tournament

 

Akron played Ohio State to a one-point game early this season and should have won. But the Zips are ranked outside of the top 100 in offensive and defensive efficiency, and that will not beat UCLA. Akron is ranked 321st in experience (1.2 years) in Division I. Ali Ali is the top scorer at 14.2 points per game, and Xavier Castaneda has hit 73 3s on 37.6% shooting. But John Groce's team is not quite ready to take down the Bruins.

 

Sounds like Jay has really studied Akron and watched a lot of games. I'd imagine he's a Script Akron fan and uses that as his cell phone background. Big Zips guy, Jay is. 

 

How do you do a Zips write up and not mention Freeman? Go big Coach K on his way out, Jay. 

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11 minutes ago, zipsrule said:

Not getting a lot of love from Jay Bilas.

 

https://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/insider/story/_/id/33497726/jay-bilas-picks-every-single-game-2022-ncaa-men-basketball-tournament

 

Akron played Ohio State to a one-point game early this season and should have won. But the Zips are ranked outside of the top 100 in offensive and defensive efficiency, and that will not beat UCLA. Akron is ranked 321st in experience (1.2 years) in Division I. Ali Ali is the top scorer at 14.2 points per game, and Xavier Castaneda has hit 73 3s on 37.6% shooting. But John Groce's team is not quite ready to take down the Bruins.

and they shouldn't. a month ago, the team was horrible.  Zips will need hit lights out from 3 to have a chance.  there is always an upset or two but last year Virginia was struggling coming into the tournament and played a slow, deliberate offense (high score in the 6 weeks prior was 73) like the Zips do and OU with Preston was a perfect foil much like the 2021 Zips would have been.  

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17 minutes ago, zipsrule said:

Not getting a lot of love from Jay Bilas.

 

https://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/insider/story/_/id/33497726/jay-bilas-picks-every-single-game-2022-ncaa-men-basketball-tournament

 

Akron played Ohio State to a one-point game early this season and should have won. But the Zips are ranked outside of the top 100 in offensive and defensive efficiency, and that will not beat UCLA. Akron is ranked 321st in experience (1.2 years) in Division I. Ali Ali is the top scorer at 14.2 points per game, and Xavier Castaneda has hit 73 3s on 37.6% shooting. But John Groce's team is not quite ready to take down the Bruins.

 

That's fair. We were playing with house money heading into the MAC Championship game and we're still playing with house money. Happy to be Dancing with no expectations. Was pleasantly surprised to get the #13 and feel we earned a bump from 14 with our work in the tourney. Maybe the stars and planets will align Thursday. Win or lose, looking forward to it.

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8 minutes ago, Let'sGoZips94 said:

 

Sounds like Jay has really studied Akron and watched a lot of games. I'd imagine he's a Script Akron fan and uses that as his cell phone background. Big Zips guy, Jay is. 

 

How do you do a Zips write up and not mention Freeman? Go big Coach K on his way out, Jay. 

We all know that had Mogadore East won with Sincere and the 15 game win-streak the media would be all over them.  Sincere has a name and an attitude that makes good copy.  Our star sent an email to the coaching staff asking for a try out.  If the Zip win, that will become a bigger story but for now the media sees it as quaint.

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To be honest if I wasn't an Akron fan and I just looked at their schedule/results I'd draw the same conclusion that we have no chance. That said I feel defensively we're a much better team now than what the metrics show and this is a single elimination tournament. No doubt in mind if this was a 5 or 7 game series UCLA would win, but we just need 1-2 players to catch fire to advance.

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6 minutes ago, ZippyRulz said:

https://www.reviewjournal.com/sports/sports-columns/todd-dewey/sharp-bettors-pound-ncaa-tournament-opening-lines-2544883/

 

Not that I'll bet it either way but I definitely wouldn't have taken UCLA -16. Of course I'm biased...

 

 

The line is huge. Even the casual fan should heavily consider taking Akron at -14 or more.

 

3 minutes ago, kreed5120 said:

To be honest if I wasn't an Akron fan and I just looked at their schedule/results I'd draw the same conclusion that we have no chance. That said I feel defensively we're a much better team now than what the metrics show and this is a single elimination tournament. No doubt in mind if this was a 5 or 7 game series UCLA would win, but we just need 1-2 players to catch fire to advance.

 

This.

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14 minutes ago, NWAkron said:

South Dakota State is like Wofford from a few years back.  All about the 3s.  That makes an exciting game to watch.  Eventually, Wofford's Fletcher Magee went cold and they were out in second round.

 

SDSU shoots the ball at a 44.9% clip. That's almost 10 full percentage points higher than the NCAA Tournament field average. Even if they have an off day, they'll fall around the norm of the field, which is interesting. Do they have enough fire power elsewhere to makeup for that? We'll see. 

 

I pulled all the stats of every team in the field into a spreadsheet, and compiled the field averages. I then applied points to teams - 1 pt per stat that is better than the average (turnovers would be below the average to receive a point). The average weight is 4.5. Akron has a weight point of 3, while UCLA has 6, for comparison. UCLA only shoots the 3 at a pedestrian 35.1% clip, and they're below the field average for FG% by a full point at 45% (Akron is a little of over 46% which is above the field average). It's interesting that they're supposedly incredibly efficient, but are very average shooters.

Edited by Let'sGoZips94
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1 hour ago, Let'sGoZips94 said:

 

SDSU shoots the ball at a 44.9% clip. That's almost 10 full percentage points higher than the NCAA Tournament field average. Even if they have an off day, they'll fall around the norm of the field, which is interesting. Do they have enough fire power elsewhere to makeup for that? We'll see. 

 

I pulled all the stats of every team in the field into a spreadsheet, and compiled the field averages. I then applied points to teams - 1 pt per stat that is better than the average (turnovers would be below the average to receive a point). The average weight is 4.5. Akron has a weight point of 3, while UCLA has 6, for comparison. UCLA only shoots the 3 at a pedestrian 35.1% clip, and they're below the field average for FG% by a full point at 45% (Akron is a little of over 46% which is above the field average). It's interesting that they're supposedly incredibly efficient, but are very average shooters.

They're really great mid-range shooters, but being really great at mid-range shooting is inefficient compared to being a team that puts up 2s near the rim and shoots the 3 ball a lot.

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1 hour ago, NWAkron said:

Saw a couple references on Twitter to Akron getting the worst draw along with St. Peters.  Colgate apparently has a better chance against Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

I'd rather draw UCLA over Tennessee & Purdue.

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Hitting a good percentage of 3's would be an obvious wish for having a shot at the upset.  One thing that could undo any potential advantage there is something Freeman, as fantastic as he has been, has had issues with - foul trouble.  I'm really hoping the combined height and movement in the Bruin's front court don't exploit this tendency, but I'm sure it's high on their list of game plan priorities.

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Here's an excerpt from another pundit who is high on Akron, and Ali (a subscription site I belong to, Staring At The Floorboards):

 

"The Zips really came together down the stretch run in the MAC, and were probably undervalued going into the MAC tournament with SQ judging three of their losses as analytical wins...UCLA wasn’t handed any favors by the committee. This Akron team can play, and we saw that in the early OOC schedule when they nearly knocked off Ohio State. Ali is a high major talent who will test Jaquez, but Freeman’s going to have a hard time getting established vs Johnson. Akron’s comfort level at a low 60s possession game combined with the ease in which their guards operate out of ball screens has big Purdue/North Texas energy."

The Pick: Play Akron +14 (sprinkle on the ML), under 128.5"

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Recently, Freeman seems to pick up 2 fouls early. That can't happen.  His offensive and rebounding capabilities are to valuable to lose.  Groce preferred to play 7 against  MAC competition, but Aziz may be called on to do more in this one.

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7 hours ago, a-zip said:

I Pick Z. Most badass logo of them all

2F1701B2-1287-418C-98C8-C3FD3314B480.jpeg

Agreed.  How lucky are we to have both Zippy - the most lovable and famous mascot on the planet - and the Z - the coolest, most bad ass logo in sports?!  Our marketing should be through the roof.  The kids love both!  (And so do I.)

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There's a video on ESPN that's 30-seconds in length of Joe Lunardi's thoughts on Akron. He says the MAC is far past the days of Shaq of the MAC, Ron Harper, and Dan Majerle. He then says the league hasn't had an at-large in over 20 years. He then says the Zips aren't going to end that streak (WTF is he talking about?) and they will struggle with the Bruins.

 

Okay, I don't give a crap what he thinks but this is just poorly made. Does he not know that it's been 5 years since the MAC lost a first-round game? I don't think we're going to win, but come on.

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