Tuesday, April 05, 2016

So You're Saying There's a Chance

Oddsmakers have Syracuse at +4000 in tonight's National Championship game against UConn. That means a $100 bet returns $4000. Also known as 40-1.
So essentially, if the two teams played each other 41 nights in a row, UConn would win 40 times, Syracuse once.
And that seems about right to me. This UConn team is great. They have great players, and they play great together. They have won 3 straight titles and 74 games in a row. Their average margin of victory is 40 points. They've played all the toughest teams and beat them, no, slaughtered, them all.
So that's the case for the 40 games, what about that other one time?
If tonight is to be that 2.5% chance come true, here's how it could happen.
UConn is thin, they really only play 7 players, and one of them, Katie Lou Samuelson broke her foot in the National Semifinal and will not play.
Syracuse is a great pressure team that routinely plays 9 players. It will be hard to press successfully with Moriah Jefferson running the point, but they need to force some turnovers and wear out UConn.
On offense Syracuse needs to attack the basket to draw fouls, and also to kick out for open 3s. Syracuse made 12 out of 33 3-pointers against Washington (36%) and 14-30 (47%) against Tennessee. They will need to shoot at least 40% to have a chance.
So if they can do that, press effectively, wear out UConn and get them in foul trouble, while shooting the lights out from distance, they may have a chance.

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