Cokin’s Corner, Saturday 1/23/16

  • January 23, 2016

The usual commentary-free Saturday, with the concentration here focused on trying to weed out winners and losers on the mammoth Saturday CBB slate.

Quick Friday recap: 1-1 college hoops, 0-1 NBA, 1-0 NHL. Good week going, and would like that to be maintained today. The free play on the Knicks was not good, which snapped a 5-0 run on the daily comps. Inquiries welcome via email to cokin@cox.net.

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719 NEBRASKA OMAHA  @  720 ORAL ROBERTS

Take: NEBRASKA OMAHA +1

One of the day’s more entertaining games could well be this Summit League clash between the Mavericks and Golden Eagles. The game figures to be very fast-paced and as the betting line suggests, this should be highly competitive.

I’m looking at the Omaha side as I like the way they match up with Oral Roberts from a categorical standpoint. The most important edge to me is ball security, which in a potential racehorse duel, could be really key. The Mavericks take better care of the ball than do the Golden Eagles, and they’re also stronger on the defensive side of this equation.

Oral Roberts is dangerous as they’re very adept at knocking down the three-ball, although the Eagles are by no means solely dependent on the long shots. But that’s clearly the one big advantage for ORU, as the visitors are one of the poorest teams in all of D1 on three-point accuracy. But I think it’s important to note that the Mavericks are well aware of this shortcoming and do an excellent job of getting good looks from closer range. UNO is nailing  very impressive 53% of their deuces, and they’ve actually gotten even better in that regard since conference play got underway.

Oral Roberts had won three straight prior to losing in lopsided fashion on Thursday against South Dakota State. It should also be noted that the two losses prior to the modest winning streak were without Obi Emegano, so in spite of the bad loss against the Jackrabbits, ORU is in okay form.

But the Mavericks have been even better. They’ve won seven of their last eight, with the only defeat a game in which they just came out really flat against a shorthanded IPFW entry and fell way behind. Even in that game, however, UNO came roaring back and forced OT before falling to the Mastadons.

This is the first of a critical two-game conference trip for Omaha. Next up is a visit to South Dakota State in a game likely to have big ramifications as far as the league race is concerned. As for this game, it’s looking to be anything but easy. Nevertheless, the data I give the most weight to favors the visitors, and I don’t see Oral Roberts being able to successfully discourage the Mavericks from forcing their preferred tempo. I’ll side with Nebraska-Omaha as the smallest of dogs tonight.