Monday, December 11th, 2017

First Four Round 2

Published on March 16, 2011 by   ·   No Comments

I recently previewed the opening two games of the First Four. You should check out that article if you are unfamiliar with the premise behind the First Four games.

As for my predictions last night, I did get both of the winners right; but I went 0-1-1 on the line as UNC-Asheville won in overtime by 4 (push) and Clemson went on to destroy UAB 70-52 (I predicted Clemson winning by less then 4). Clemson now looks like a real threat to contend with #5 seed West Virginia in the first round.

So while Clemson has temporarily silenced the critics that say they should not have made it into the tournament, UAB proved exactly why everyone thinks that this is very much a down year overall for Conference USA. Memphis is now the lone representative and they are looking at 1 win in the tournament at most if they can win the 12 vs 5 upset against Arizona.

Tonight’s First Four Games


first-four-16-seeds-2The second night of the First Four begins at 6:30 PM ET, again the matchup of 16 seeds will kick off the evening. This will be a matchup between the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners (19-13) out of the Southland conference and the Alabama State Hornets (17-17) from the SWAC. These two teams are battling for the #16 seed in the East Region and a date to play #1 Ohio State.

Even though Texas-SA was a #7 seed in their own conference tournament, you couldn’t call any winner from the Southland conference a major upset. The 8 teams in the tournament had conference records between 11-5 and 8-8 and 6 teams were separated by one game in the standings. They finished the year with a 5 game winning streak.

As for Alabama State, there’s always one team that makes it into the NCAA tournament is a .500 record or worse. Alabama State did beat the number 1 seed and favorite Texas Southern in the second round of the SWAC tournament. Grambling State made the trip to the SWAC finals and we were only one game away from getting a 13-20 team in the NCAA tournament.

Alabama State stunk out loud in their non-conference schedule going 2-10 but they finished the year winning 11 of 12 games. The statistics all point towards Texas-SA being the better team as they are much better at scoring offense and field goal percentage then Alabama State. The Hornets are near the bottom of division 1 with a .397 field goal percentage for the year.

Right now, the sportsbooks have Texas-San Antonio as a 4 point favorite over Alabama State. This is really going to be nearly an impossible game to call unless you have some in-depth knowledge of these two teams. I’m going to take a stab in the dark and take the Roadrunners to win by more than 4 points, but I wouldn’t bet any money on it. The final score will be 70-60.


first-four-11-seedsIn the final game of the First Four the is a matchup between the Virginia Commonwealth Rams (23-11) out of the Colonial Conference vs the University of Southern Cal Trojans (19-14) from the PAC-10. These two teams are battling over the #11 seed in the Southwest Region and the right to play #6 Georgetown in the first round on Friday.

Out of all of the criticism that was levied at the tournament selection committee, VCU was by far the most talked about. They are the third team selected out of the Colonial league that usually didn’t have any business taking more then 1 bid until George Mason went to the Final 4 several years ago.

The Rams collapsed over the last 5 games of the regular season and had seemingly played their way out of the tournament. But a run to the CAA Finals past #1 seed George Mason and a close loss to Old Dominion in the finals got them into the tournament with one of the last four at-large bids. The one thing that VCU does have on its record is a non-conference win over UCLA, another PAC-10 team.

The Trojans were won of several of Power conference at-large teams that made NCAA tournament with 14 losses. USC advanced to the semi-finals of the PAC-10 tournament where they lost to Arizona by 5 points. USC started off the season fairly slowly, going 8-5 in their non-conference schedule and 13-12 overall. They lost a couple of embarrassing games early on as well. But the Trojans have made a late run to the tournament, winning 6 of 8 games to snag one of the final at-large bids.

USC has a better resume then VCU. They beat two ranked teams (Texas and Tennessee) and almost beat Kansas on the road. These two teams are otherwise very close statistically to each other. Southern Cal opened as a 4 point favorite, but that has since been raised at most sportsbook to 4 1/2.

I think that this one should be fairly easy. I think that USC should win this game by more than 5 points. Since VCU started there slide at the start of February, they have only played one really great game that just happened to be in the conference tournament against the best team in the conference (79-63 final score). Otherwise, they are 5-6 since Feb 1 and have wins of 1, 2 and 4 points and a double OT win as well.

Meanwhile, USC has been going the opposite direction over the past month, finishing 6-2 down the stretch. I’m going to predict that USC wins the game by the score of 71-64.

Would you like to know more about the 2011 NCAA tournament? Check out the first round schedule including which of the 4 TV channels (CBS, TNT, TBS, truTV) your favorite college team will be playing on at CasinoDave’s March Madness Blog.

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