All posts by Oliver Mauntel

5 Bold Predictions for the NCAA Tournament

  1. At Least One 14 Seed Will Topple a 3

While Yale over LSU has been the trendy upset pick, the other 3/14 matchups have been widely overlooked. Texas Tech should take care of business vs Northern Kentucky, but due to the Red Raiders’ heavy reliance on Jarrett Culver to carry the offensive load, the Norse might be able to give Tech some trouble if they can force Culver’s teammates to knock down shots. Led by D’Marcus Simonds (18.4 ppg), Georgia State is equally capable of troubling their opponent, Houston. Houston is a predominantly guard-oriented team, and at 6’3 195, Simonds is much bigger than Houston’s guards. Also, Georgia State played well against power 5 teams in the non-conference slate. The Panthers defeated Georgia, Alabama, and Saint Bonaventure and had a good showing at Kansas State too. Lastly, the sneakiest 3/14 matchup to keep an eye on is Purdue vs Old Dominion. Recently, Purdue had been Carsen Edwards-or-bust on offense. If Edwards struggles from the field once again (he is 23-102 on 3s since February), the Boilermakers will struggle to score on Old Dominion’s stellar defense, which ranks 9th in the country in defensive efficiency. Earlier this season, the Monarchs overcame double digit halftime deficits to upend both VCU and Syracuse. Continue Reading!

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Canada’s College Basketball Movement

Until recently, the college basketball landscape had been dominated by American players, and understandably so. Compared to the NBA, college basketball garners far less international attention. It was uncommon for players from other countries, including Canada, to become stars on big time college basketball teams. Since the high school class of 2015 entered the college ranks, a class that featured Kentucky’s Jamal Murray of Ontario, Canada, the college level has become increasingly saturated with Canadian talent. Based on the performance of these Canadian players in college so far, don’t expect this trend so slow down anytime soon. Continue Reading!

Which Western Conference Teams are Most Apt to Give the Warriors Trouble in the Postseason?

Denver Nuggets

Although they were one win away from earning a playoff bid last season, the Nuggets are sneaky contenders for the title of “Best Team in the West Besides Golden State” this year. Denver has been firing on all cylinders on both sides on both ends of the floor thus far, as they rank 9th in the league in both offensive and defensive efficiency. What makes the Nuggets dangerous to a team like Golden State is their style of play. Denver features a soon-to-be All-Star at the 5 in Nikola Jokic, but the whole offense doesn’t revolve around him. Jokic has a phenomenal statline (17.5 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 6.9 apg), and he isn’t doing it alone. Alongside Jokic are FIVE other double-figure scorers, including Jamal Murray, who recently poured 48 on Boston. As dominant as Denver has been, the Nuggets are still nowhere near full strength. Will Barton, Isaiah Thomas, and Michael Porter Jr. are all currently out with injuries, so just imagine Denver’s potential with a healthy lineup. Continue Reading!