BYU COUGARS (23-11)
vs. OREGON DUCKS (23-9)
NCAA Tournament - Round of 64
BMO Harris Bradley Center - Milwaukee, WI
Tip-off: Thursday, 3:10 p.m. ET
Line: Oregon -5.5, Total: 157.5
Two of the most prolific offenses in the nation will test their skills on Thursday as No. 10 seed BYU seeks to outshoot seventh-seeded Oregon.
The Cougars rank third nationally with 84.2 PPG, pushing the ball like few other teams in the nation. The Ducks arenít quite as quick on the offensive end, but still pour in 81.8 PPG, 11th-most nationally. Oregon went an impressive 18-12-1 ATS this season, including 3-1 (SU and ATS) in neutral site games. The squad did not lose in non-conference play all season with a 12-0 SU mark (9-2 ATS), and now faces a BYU squad that is 2-14 ATS as a neutral-court underdog (or pick) since head coach Dave Rose took over the program. The Cougars struggled with a 13-18 ATS mark this year, failing to cover in their last three games. They went a terrible 1-6 ATS on neutral courts (4-3 SU) and 4-6 ATS against non-conference foes, and will certainly miss 6-foot-6 swingman Kyle Collinsworth (14.0 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 4.6 APG) who tore his ACL in the WCC Tournament loss to Gonzaga. But not all is bleak for the Cougars, who are 14-4 ATS under Rose after two straight games which they outrebounded their opponent by double-digits. When these two teams met on Dec. 21, Oregon prevailed, but did not cover the nine-point spread in a 100-96 overtime barnburner. The Cougars outrebounded the Ducks 51-40 and shot much better from the field (47.2% FG versus 40.7% FG), but Oregon hit four more threes and two more free throws to seal the deal.
Which high-scoring team will advance to the next round? For the latest college basketball picks, check out The Platinum Sheet for all the StatFox Experts selections every week throughout the entire 2013-14 season. The StatFox Experts opened the NCAA Tournament with a perfect 7-0 ATS mark in First Four games, making them a stellar 60% ATS (278-185-16) in college basketball Best Bets this season. StatFox Brian is on an amazing Best Bets run of 23-3-2 (89% ATS) since Feb. 6, 32-6-3 (84% ATS) since Jan. 17, and 74% ATS (57-20-3) since Nov. 26 to give him a robust 70% ATS (64-27-4) record in Best Bets for the season. StatFox Dave is 65% ATS (41-22-1) since in Best Bets Dec. 18 and 61% ATS (58-37-2) this season, while StatFox Scott is 70% ATS (14-6-2) since Feb. 16 and 59% ATS (54-38-4) for the season. StatFox Gary is 61% ATS (50-32) on Best Bets since Nov. 22 and 57% ATS (54-40-2) for the season, while StatFox Zach 64% ATS (7-4) since March 2.
The BYU offense puts up its 84.2 PPG on 46.7% shooting (57th in Div. I), adding 15.6 APG (23rd in Div. I). The key is its 41.2 RPG (6th in Div. I), where it outrebounds opponents by a healthy +5.4 RPG margin. The Cougars pay the price of their pace on the defensive end however, giving up a whopping 77.0 PPG on 42.8% shooting. Their offense is led by one of the nationís top scorers, junior SG Tyler Haws (23.4 PPG). Heís making 47% FG and 41% threes this season, scoring at least 20 points in the teamís final four games of the season. His best asset is his ability to get to the line, hitting 88% of his 7.8 free-throw attempts per game. He dropped a game-high 32 points on 13-of-21 shooting in the teamís loss to Oregon. Junior PG Matt Carlino (13.7 PPG, 4.3 APG) joins him in the backcourt as the teamís best passer at the guard position. Freshman PF Eric Mika (11.7 PPG, 6.4 RPG) plays like a traditional big man, and grabbed 10 rebounds in each of the teamís two final games of the season.
Oregonís offense shoots 46.8% from the field (54th in Div. I), but pulls down only 34.3 RPG (204th in Div. I), outrebounding their foes by just +1.3 RPG. But that wasnít too much of a problem in the first meeting against the Cougars, when the team won despite a minus-11 rebounding margin. Defensively, the Ducks give up 74.0 PPG on 44.2% shooting. Their top asset is SG Joseph Young (18.6 PPG), who scored a team-high 25 points on 10-of-23 shooting to lead Oregon to that December victory. Heís hitting 2.3 threes per game on an impressive 42% clip, and finished the season with a strong 29-point effort (10-of-18 FG) in the teamís Pac-12 Tournament loss to UCLA. PG Jonathan Loyd (7.2 PPG, 4.7 APG) takes care of the ball-handling without too much scoring pressure, allowing him to post a solid 2.6 Ast-to-TO ratio. SG Jason Calliste (12.4 PPG) joins Young as a lethal shooter, making an incredible 51% of his threes this season. He enters the tournament red hot, making 68% of his three-pointers over his past six games. Senior PF Mike Moser (13.5 PPG, 8.0 RPG) has the pressure of being the teamís only reliable rebounder, but was able to pull down nine boards in the Dec. 21 victory against BYU.