LSU or St. Bonaventure? Picking Michigan’s likely Round 2 opponent in 2021 March Madness bracket

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We know, we all know. You’re the 2021 NCAA Tournament field and also you’re questioning, what the heck am I going to do with these 9-8 matchups? Every 12 months, these coin-flip video games give individuals a number of hassle once they’re filling out their bracket and coming into March Madness competitions and workplace swimming pools.

This 12 months, the 9-8 video games are not any exception, and one of many tougher ones to select is the St. Bonaventure vs. LSU recreation. The two groups are polar opposites in their enjoying fashion, so whichever staff is ready to execute its recreation plan the perfect will likely emerge with the win. But how have you learnt which one which shall be?

St. Bonaventure (16-4, 11-4 A-10) is coming off an ideal season that noticed them play very nicely towards Atlantic 10 competitors. However, are the LSU Tigers (18-9, 11-6 SEC) peaking on the proper time? And is the No. 8 seed too low for them? It’s definitely potential, and their offense can definitely preserve tempo with anybody in the sector.

With that, this is all the things that you must know in regards to the matchup between St. Bonaventure and LSU, together with rankings, key gamers, season breakdowns and extra:

DeCourcy (Gonzaga) | Bender (Illinois) | Fagan (Gonzaga) | Lutovsky (Baylor)

LSU vs. St. Bonaventure odds

St. Bonaventure vs. LSU would be the twentieth general recreation of the 2021 NCAA Tournament and can happen on Saturday afternoon as one of many first video games of the day. According to FanDuel Sportsbook, LSU is the slight favourite in the competition. Below are the small print of their recreation, together with the betting odds, time, TV and venue.

  • Odds: LSU (-1.5)
  • Date: Saturday, March 20
  • Time: 1:45 p.m. ET
  • TV: TNT
  • Arena: Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall

St. Bonaventure (16-4, 11-4 Atlantic 10)

Over the final decade, St. Bonaventure has steadily grow to be probably the most constant groups in the Atlantic 10. They have made the NCAA Tournament thrice since 2012 and noticed among the best gamers in staff historical past, Andrew Nicholson, grow to be a first-round draft decide of the Orlando Magic in 2012.

During the 2020-21 season, St. Bonaventure was among the best groups in the Atlantic 10 convention. They cruised to a 16-4 document on the 12 months and the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. They gained every of their three video games in that match by no less than 9 factors and capped off a 6-1 document in their closing seven video games. Their solely loss was by three factors to Dayton.

The Bonnies posted a 2-0 document towards VCU, the one different A-10 staff to make the match, and had been 1-1 towards St. Louis, one of many first 4 groups out of the match area this 12 months. Thus, whereas they haven’t any marquee wins, per se, they carried out nicely towards the best degree of competitors that they confronted. That’s a part of why each the NET rating and KenPom rating seem like bullish on the balanced Bonnies.

  • NET rating: 23
  • KenPom rating: 25
  • Quad 1 document: 4-2
  • Quad 2 document: 3-1
  • Quad 3 document: 5-1
  • Quad 4 document: 4-0
  • Offensive effectivity rating: thirty eighth
  • Defensive effectivity: seventeenth

Key gamers

Kyle Lofton (6-3, 195-pound junior guard)
14.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 5.5 apg

Jaren Holmes (6-4, 215-pound junior guard)
13.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.0 apg

Jalen Adaway (6-5, 210-pound redshirt junior guard)
12.3 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.5 apg

Dominick Welch (6-5, 200-pound junior guard)
11.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.2 apg

Osun Osunniyi (6-10, 220-pound junior ahead)
10.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 2.4 apg

WEST | EAST | SOUTH | (*2*)

LSU (18-9, 11-6 SEC)

LSU almost was capable of win the SEC Tournament, however Alabama pulled away from them to squeak out a one-point win. During their match run, they beat the No. 8-ranked Arkansas, a 3-seed in March Madness, and Sporting News’ Bill Bender projected LSU to be a No. 5 seed in the match. So, evidently, they’re underseeded.

LSU had wins over Sixteenth-ranked Tennessee and the aforementioned Arkansas Razorbacks, however losses to 9-16 Kentucky and Saint Louis should’ve dropped them in the eyes of the committee. That and a quite unimpressive non-conference schedule. LSU does have a dynamic offense although, as they rank fifth in offensive effectivity, and they’re going to look to blow by the skilled Bonnies and their strong protection. 

  • NET rating: 28
  • KenPom rating: 29
  • Quad 1 document: 5-8
  • Quad 2 document: 3-1
  • Quad 3 document: 6-0
  • Quad 4 document: 4-0
  • Offensive effectivity rating: fifth
  • Defensive effectivity: one hundred and twenty fifth

Key gamers

Cameron Thomas (6-4, 210-pound freshman guard)
22.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.4 apg

Trendon Watford (6-9, 240-pound sophomore ahead)
16.7 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 3.0 apg

Ja’Vonte Smart (6-4, 205-pound junior guard)
15.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 4.0 apg

Darius Days (6-7, 245-pound junior ahead)
11.7 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 0.7 apg

Aundre Hyatt (6-6, 225-pound sophomore guard)
3.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 0.3 apg

BRACKET TIPS: KenPom | Play the odds | Idiot’s guide

LSU vs. St. Bonaventure prediction

This matchup goes to be a conflict of various types. LSU is a fast-moving, high-octane offense that likes to shoot rapidly and run up the rating. They’re not nice on protection and rank forty ninth in tempo, demonstrating how fast they’re to search out choices on offense.

Meanwhile, the Bonnies function at a considerably slower tempo. St. Bonaventure ranks 329th in tempo this season out of 347 groups. They maintain onto the ball and search for the right shot. The veteran-laden squad that primarily performs juniors is well-balanced and their protection is robust thanks largely to Osun Osunniyi, a shot-blocking machine who averaged 2.9 denials per recreation final season, tied for the eighth-most in the NCAA.

Because of the clashing types, this recreation shall be all about who can management the tempo. If the Bonnies can decelerate the Tigers offense and make them function out of rhythm, they will have an opportunity to win this one. Conversely, if LSU is ready to run their fast-paced offense, they may construct up a lead that will show insurmountable for a St. Bonaventure staff that averages simply 66.8 possessions per recreation.

It’s additionally price noting that neither of those groups is especially deep. St. Bonaventure tends to stay to a seven-man rotation whereas LSU depends on 4 gamers to do a majority of their scoring. That might create some critical volatility in this recreation, as if both staff has one participant out of rhythm, it might considerably hamper their scoring potential.

History of 8 vs. 9 matchups in NCAA Tournament

In fact, all through the historical past of the NCAA Tournament, the 9 and eight seed matchup has been comparatively even. It’s the most important coin-flip on any bracket, and it is the one one of many typical first-round matchups the place the underdog has a bonus over the higher-seeded staff. The No. 9 seeds maintain a slight fringe of 72-68.

If you are current historical past, the No. 8 seed has held a slight fringe of late. They have posted a 24-20 document over the past 11 NCAA Tournaments, however it’s price noting that No. 9 seeds gained all of the 9-8 matchups final 12 months.

For this recreation, LSU ought to be in all probability be favored. They had been underseeded and their current efficiency signifies that their offense is firing on all cylinders. St. Bonaventure could not be capable of preserve tempo with LSU if their offense comes out sizzling — or even heat.

Below is a breakdown of the wins 9 seeds have loved over 8 seeds the final 10 tournaments:

Year Result
2019 UCF 73, VCU 58
  Baylor 78, Syracuse 69
  Oklahoma 95, Ole Miss 72
  Washington 78, Utah State 61
2018 Alabama 86, Virginia Tech 83
  Kansas State 69, Creighton 59
  Florida State 67, Missouri 54
2017 Michigan State 78, Miami 58
2016 Butler 71, Texas Tech 61
  Providence 70, USC 69
  Uconn 74, Colorado 67
2014 Pittsburgh 77, Colorado 48
2013 Temple 76, NC State 72
  Wichita State 73, Pittsburgh 55
2012 St. Louis 61, Memphis 54
2011 Illinois 73, UNLV 62
2010 Wake Forest 81, Texas 80
  Northern Iowa 69, UNLV 66
2009 Siena 74, Ohio State 72
  Texas A&M 79, BYU 66

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