Tomorrow, third-seeded William & Mary (18-11, 10-6 in the CAA) takes on sixth-seeded College of Charleston (14-17, 6-10) in the first round of the 2014 CAA Basketball Tournament. If you're looking for a prediction, you've probably come to the wrong spot. In the first place, we're not really known for the "accuracy" of our "prognostication". And more importantly, this game is a complete crapshoot, dependent almost entirely on one thing:
How well will William & Mary shoot the ball?
On the other side of the ball, W&M doesn't rebound (last in the CAA in Reb%) nor defend (worst defensive points-per-possession in the league) particularly well.
Meanwhile, Charleston is the CAA's best defensive team, and second in the league in Reb%. The Cougars are also reasonably awful on offense, near the bottom of the conference in most measures. The two teams are funhouse mirror images.
In the first meeting between the two teams this season, W&M rode a sizzling second-half shooting performance to a 74-63 home win. The Tribe shot 55.1% from the floor, and 53.8% from long-distance to overcome a nine-point halftime deficit.
The second game was more slaughterhouse than funhouse. The Tribe shot 37.3% from the floor (2-16 from deep), got outrebounded, 36-18, and let the Cougars (who, as we know, are for shit on offense) hit on 64.2% of their shots (80%(!) in the second half, when C of C scored 51 points). Charleston won, 87-54, in what turned out to be the most lopsided result in CAA play this season.
And so I submit to you once again, this game comes down to W&M's ability to put the biscuit in the basket. I have no way to know how to predict that variable.
|Canyon's Small for a D-1 Player|
Both teams are reasonably balanced - Charleston has seven players that average between 6.9 and 12.2 points per game, while four Wrens post double-figure points.
Charleston's a little bit loose with the ball, turning it over 25% more often than their opponents, but W&M's not the kind of team that creates a lot of pressure. At the same time, the Tribe won't likely beat themselves with mistakes - they average a reasonably low 10.4 turnovers/game.
So it comes down to this. If the Tribe makes a high percentage of their shots, they'll win. We've mentioned that, right?
We won't spend any time on the elephant over there in the corner wearing the NCAA Tournament banner. W&M's the third seed, winners of 18 games, with as much offensive talent as any team in the CAA. In a league where fully half of all regular-season games were decided by seven points or fewer, there isn't a team in the bunch that couldn't get hot enough to win three in a row. (Hofstra and UNCW ain't winning four in a row, but still.)
It's a simple game.