When You Enter THE DUNK, Will You Hear "Welcome To Miami (bienvenido a Miami)"? [Game Previews]

dave@friarblog —  March 18th, 2009 5:34 AM
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INFO

Time: 7PM

Location: THE DUNK

TV: ESPN2

GAMBLING AND PREDICTIONS

Spread: Providence -2.5 [ProvidenceStats Twitter]

Ken Pomeroy: Miami W 77-76 (51% confidence)

PREVIEW

Tonight the Providence Friars will face the team formerly known as “Miami from the BIG EAST” in the first round of the NIT.  For some godforsaken unknown reason, Miami has a higher seed than PC, even though they put together an 18-12 season with a losing record in the ACC (7-9).  Oooh, they beat Wake Forest, FSU, and Maryland.   Despite being the lower seed, word is that Providence will wear their home white uniforms — and we don’t have to worry about Miami’s band doing the national anthem, because they are not bringing them.

Miami gets most of their scoring production from senior guard Jack McClinton (19.3 PPG).  However, he struggled toward the end of the season due to a squeaky knee (shot just 27 percent over the last 4 games).  However, THE U lost 8 of their last 12 games even with McClinton dropping 30+ in two of the losses.

Junior forward Dwayne Collins is the only other Miami player to average more than 10 points a game (10.5), and he also averages 7.1 rebounds.

Four Factors wise, the teams are actually pretty similar on offense.  The Friars are ranked #45 in adjusted offensive efficiency (111.2), and The Hurricanes are just ahead at #43 with a 111.3 rating.  Providence shoots a tad better (50.9 eFG% vs 49.4 eFG%), while Miami takes slightly better care of the ball (19.2 TO% vs 19.6 TO%).  Miami is better at getting offensive rebounds (38.5% OR% versus the Friars’ 36.5%), but PC is a little better at getting to the line.

Defensively, Miami has the advantage in defensive efficiency rating (93.9 vs. 99.7).  The Friars allow a much higher eFG%, but also tend to give up a lot of offensive rebounds (a strength of Miami).  Good news for Providence is that Miami is not very good at forcing turnovers, something that has directly led to their last losses to Villanova and Louisville.

NCAA Basketball Stats

AROUND THE WEB

StatSheet.com Pregame

Friars.com Men’s Basketball NIT Game Notes Vs. Miami

HurricaneSports.com: Miami Men’s Basketball Faces Providence in NIT

Providence owns the 15-14 edge in the all-time series between these former Big East rivals, however the Hurricanes have won four of their last six meetings– including a 64-58 win on Nov. 18, 2007, to claim the Puerto Rico Tip-Off Classic championship in San Juan.

Projo.com: Like PC, Miami plays in a tough league and fell just short of NCAAs

But despite wins over some heavyweight Atlantic Coast Conference foes this season, Miami is in town for a National Invitation Tournament opener against Providence Wednesday at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. This is Miami’s third NIT in five years so Haith knows all about the difficulty of closing the door and getting to the NCAAs.

Projo.com: Jim Donaldson — It’s time for teams with bruised feelings to suck it up and play

It’s time for all those schools that complained about their seeding, or bemoaned what they perceived as a raw deal from the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee, to prove just how wrong those ignoramuses in Indianapolis were.

Projo Hoops Blog: Miami coach faces questions, but they’re not about PC

Frank Haith, head coach of the University of Miami, faced reporters yesterday, but his opening statement had nothing to do with his team’s game in Providence tomorrow night.

Instead, it was meant to preempt questions about his future, after a report that Haith was interested in taking over the coaching job at the University of Alabama. This season was Haith’s fifth in Miami.

Pawtucket Times: Old School hoops still works

Looks like Providence College will have a short run in the NIT this month. The Friars should get past Miami in their opening game tonight. Then they’ll probably meet Billy Donovan’s University of Florida squad in the second round.  There’s no reason to forecast a winner of these games, or bet on them, unless you can figure out the mind-set of college athletes who have been denied their dreams of competing in the NCAA Tournament and instead are relegated to the NIT.

Miami Herald: Poor finish hurts Hurricanes, but UM earns NIT bid

If the fourth-seeded Hurricanes defeat their former Big East rivals, they could earn a bonus that might please their fans — a date with the top-seeded Florida Gators (23-10) in Gainesville in Round 2. UF is set to host Jacksonville (18-13) in its NIT opener.

A strong run in the NIT might be the only thing that makes the Hurricanes feel any better after a disappointing end to their regular season.

UM began the year ranked as high as 16th in preseason polls but lost a number of games in Atlantic Coast Conference play to finish 7-9 and in ninth place

Miami Herald: Miami Hurricanes mens’ basketball team ready for NIT tournament

Without much to play for, motivation and morale can sink and drive a team to come out flat. But University of Miami coach Frank Haith said his team has enough motivation after a poor Atlantic Coast Conference tournament to avoid falling prey to such a scenario Wednesday night against Providence (19-13) in a first-round game.

ColllegeHoopsNet: Providence: 2009 NIT

Why They Can Surprise:

Providence is not the best shooting team around, but Coach Keno Davis likes to run and take shots and that is something this group was used to doing under the previous regime. The team has four players who are always threats to hit the long ball and they are not afraid to hoist them up on a consistent basis. Weyinmi Efejuku takes the fewest three-point shots of the group, but he is also the best scorer on the team and the perimeter player that can get to the basket efficiently.

OffshoreInsiders.com: NIT: Miami-Providence Odds Preview

A few trends to consider:
Miami is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Providence
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Miami’s last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Miami’s last 7 games on the road
Miami is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing Providence
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Providence’s last 6 games at home
Providence is 15-3 SU in its last 18 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 12 of Providence’s last 18 games
Providence is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing Miami

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