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Nebraska-Omaha Preview

March 18, 2014

For the third straight year, North Dakota will take part in the Collegeinsiders.com Tournament (CIT) and, while it will still be a bit of an uphill battle, this is their most winnable game in postseason play.

UND’s opponent, the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks, finished sixth in the Summit League but could not take part in the conference tournament due to having just moved up to Division 1. The Mavericks are favored by 9 and have a 76% chance to win according to KenPom, but hopefully fans won’t be turning out much for the CIT, which would lessen the home court advantage a bit.

When the Mavericks have the ball, UND will want to stay away from fouling. Omaha doesn’t draw many fouls, but they are the 4th best free throw shooting team in the country this year, converting 77% of their shots at the line. Unfortunately, UND is one of the most foul prone teams in the nation, ranking 308th in sending their opponents to the line.

Individually, Omaha doesn’t have any high usage, high efficiency guys. That is good news, as UND has struggled to guard shooters all year. Only one Maverick has taken over 100 threes, that being CJ Carter, who made fewer than 33% of them.

If you’re a bettor, take the over in this one. Omaha ranks 176th defensively and UND is at 297th. Additionally, Omaha takes just 15 seconds per offensive possession, which is one of the fastest paces in the country. This could turn into a track meet fast.

UND couldn’t go out on the high note of an NCAA tournament appearance, but they have the ability to make a deep postseason run into the CIT. It’s the last hurrah for Troy Huff, Aaron Anderson, Jamal Webb, and Alonzo Traylor, and might be for Jaron Nash as well. They’re the most successful class in UND’s Division 1 history (obviously) and they deserve a long run, and hopefully another home game, before they ride off into the sunset.

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