NCAA Basketball Pick: Tournament Play of the Day Monday

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, March 31, 2014 4:00 AM UTC

Monday, Mar. 31, 2014 4:00 AM UTC

Every day this NCAA post-season, LT Profits Sports seeks one single tournament play that has the best chance of cashing. Here is their Tournament Play of the Day Monday.

It could be a fairly low-scoring game with just one team doing most of the scoring in Game 1 of the CBI Tournament Championship Series Monday night when the Siena Saints (18-17, 5-9 away) pay a visit to the Fresno State Bulldogs (20-16, 13-5 home) at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, CA at 10:00 ET in a game televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.

The posted total at Bet365 is 138½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -110.

The CBI is unique in that it has a 2-out-of-3 championship series, and Game 2 is scheduled to be played at Siena on Wednesday while Game 3 if necessary would also be at Siena Friday. In case you are wondering, the Santa Clara Broncos won the CBI Championship last season in three games over George Mason, winning Game 3 on the road after the home teams exchanged wins in the first two games.

Fresno State got to this point by winning on the road at UTEP in the first round and then following that up with home wins over Princeton and Old Dominion. Siena meantime had the luxury of being home for all three of its tournament wins so far vs. Stony Brook, Penn State and Illinois State.

Which begs the question, why is Siena getting the preferred treatment between there two schools, especially with being assigned home court advantage for this series should it go three games? After all, we question how Siena even got into any post-season tournament after finishing below .500 during the regular season at 15-16 and not exactly coming out of some power conference or anything in the MAAC!

The Saints were actually two games under .500 overall after losing in the first round of the MAAC Tournament, and yet they were invited to this CBI and have rattled off three straight home wins to finally get over .500 at 18-17 and reach this championship round.

You cannot say that Siena had a tough schedule to fall back on either is it ranks just 164th in SOS overall, and yet it has been a struggle for Siena offensively even with that soft slate as it ranked just 254th in offensive efficiency, and the only reason the Saints ranks that high is because they are 10th in the country on offensive rebounding percentage, as they are an abysmal 319th in effective field goal percentage and 311th in offensive turnover percentage.

The Siena defense has been much more decent ranking 72nd in efficiency, so when you add everything up it makes perfect sense that the ‘under’ is a terrific 24-8-1 in all Siena games this season.

Fresno State is ranked 78th nationally in offensive efficiency, but just like Siena it is not good shooting that has fueled that good ranking as the Bulldogs are eighth in the country in offensive turnover percentage. Yes Fresno State is a better shooting team than Siena, but it does not exactly shoot lights-out either is it is just 161st on effective field goal percentage, thanks to ranking a miserable 239th in two-point shooting at just 47.0 percent.

The Bulldogs can get a bit of separation from beyond the three-point arc where they are a respectable 36.2 percent, but even if they do, they will probably be the only team managing a decent amount of points in this game.

With this in mind, go ‘under’ the total in the CBI at Fresno on Monday.


NCAA Basketball Pick: Siena, Fresno State ‘under’ 138½ (-110)

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