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Sunday college basketball betting previews: Wichita State-Cincinnati and Big South title game

Greg Peterson  
VSiN.com

March 2, 2018 06:31 PM

Cincinnati at Wichita State (Noon ET on CBS)

Opening Line: Wichita State-1.5

Offensive Efficiency: Cincinnati #35, Wichita State #7

Defensive Efficiency: Cincinnati #1, Wichita State #72

Rebound Rate: Cincinnati #6, Wichita State #3

Percent of Shots are 3s: Cincinnati #232, Wichita State #133

Free-Throw Shooting Percentage: Cincinnati #260, Wichita State #195

Pace: Cincinnati #285, Wichita State #123

Wichita State was able to win the first meeting at Northern Kentucky in February and neither team has lost since.

This is a battle of strengths as Cincinnati has the most efficient defense in the country while Wichita State is among the top teams in the country in points per possession on offense. Both are also among the best in the nation in rebounding and were relatively even on the boards in the first meeting.

Wichita State is much more willing to shoot 3s as Cincinnati is built on big men while Wichita State's leaders are divided more equally between the guards and forwards.

Cincinnati uses its size to not allow any clean looks. The Bearcats are second in the nation in opponents’ field goal percentage. The team does this despite not fouling a lot and being among the top 10 teams in the country in blocked shots.

Wichita State will try to counter with good ball movement. The Shockers are fourth in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio, doing a good job of finding open players off of pick and rolls.

If Cincinnati can neutralize Wichita State’s cuts off pick-and-roll plays, the Shockers will find it difficult to score enough points to cover.

Wichita State is the better 3-point shooting team and if the Shockers can get clean looks for distance and break even on the glass, they will be in good shape to cover at home.

Liberty at Radford (1 p.m. ET on ESPN)

Opening Line: Radford -2.5

Offensive Efficiency: Radford #180, Liberty #109

Defensive Efficiency: Radford #89, Liberty #112

Rebound Rate: Radford #95, Liberty #58

Percent of Shots are 3s: Radford #104, Liberty #74

Free-Throw Shooting Percentage: Radford #109, Liberty #3

Pace: Radford #342, Liberty #341

This has the makings of a turtle race. Both play at the 10 slowest paces in the nation. Liberty is the more balanced team while Redford is a bit more efficient on defense than offense.

Liberty is unique in that the Flames are third in the nation in free-throw shooting and still manage to be a good team on the glass. As a team, Liberty does not have great size. Its tallest player who receives significant minutes is 6-foot-7, but Liberty has quality size at nearly every position.

Radford has a bit more height along its front line, but smaller guards. It's hard to get a grasp on the Highlanders as they do not have any true strengths or weaknesses.

Liberty has a leg up on shooting 3s. But because a lot of its shots are from distance, it does not reel in as many offensive rebounds. If Liberty has a cold-shooting night, it will play into the hands of Radford.

With both teams having a pretty good assortment of scorers and no one true dominant offensive force, the benches will play a big factor in which squad goes to the NCAA Tournament.

Follow Greg Peterson on Twitter for his top plays.

 

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