March 19, 2016

NCAA Basketball Betting: Stephen F. Austin vs. Notre Dame

NCAA Basketball Betting:  Stephen F. Austin vs. Notre Dame&h=253&w=372&zc=1

We were all over the Lumberjacks of Stephen F. Austin for their first round upset of West Virginia. And ‘on paper’ they’ve got a decent chance to get past Notre Dame since the Irish don’t have the dynamic, in the paint rim shattering athleticism that can be the antidote for a well coached and regimented team like SFA. I didn’t have an opinion about the Irish’s opening round game but a lot of people thought that the Golden Domers wouldn’t make it to this point.

First of all, do me a favor–when Stephen F. Austin shows up at this tournament again next year after having laid waste to the Southland Conference and are getting points from an overrated ‘power conference’ school just bet them. And then you can act smug when the no-nothings in the mainstream sports media have a fit over what a huge upset it was that SFA actually won. Here’s the deal with the Lumberjacks: they create havoc on defense and take care of the ball on offense. (+7 assist to turnover ratio). SFA’s Brad Underwood might not be after this year (see Marshall, Gregg) but for now he’s one of the most underrated head coaches in college basketball.

But there’s one big difference between Notre Dame and West Virginia–the Irish are a much more disciplined team. More significantly, they do a lot of the same things well that SFA does. Notre Dame excels at taking care of the basketball and if the Lumberjacks aren’t generating turnovers they won’t win. It’s one thing to do it against a careless West Virginia team that wasn’t as good as they thought they were. It’s another entirely to do it against a side that takes pride in their ability to protect the rock.

Stephen F. Austin is now the ‘darling’ of the NCAA tournament along with Middle Tennessee State. The public thinks that SFA is more capable of advancing to the ‘Sweet 16′ than MTSU. We have the utmost respect for the Stephen F. Austin program–like we said above, in the right set of circumstances they’re an easy ‘play on’. This is a horrible tactical matchup for them, however, and we’ll take the less hyped Notre Dame side at a ‘gimmie’ price.