Once the brackets were announced, this battle of #11 seeds is our First Four Free Pick for March 15th. The 9PM start represents two of the best teams that were on the bubble. Criticism has been heavy on the committee for barring entry of many of the mid major teams. These two have a chance to make it right with a win here and one against Arizona on Thursday. The Shockers are -3 1/2 point favorites but are they the ATS moneymaker of the evening?
First Four Free Pick : KenPom Shocker
KenPom is a popular method of ranking college basketball teams. It is quite eyebrow raising that the Shockers are their 12th rated team in the country. The reason they are so highly ranked is their team defensive abilities. 5th in defensive rebound percentage plus first in all the land for defensive efficiency. Where the Shockers suffered this year was in outside shooting. Vandy has not faced a team this talented at man coverage. Bolstered by their senior back court, the Commodores had better have some ace up their sleeve for this one.
Three Point Orientated
Live and die did Vanderbilt (19-13) go with the three point. They shot it well at times as well as being above average at defending the perimeter. It is odd to see that Vandy has two seven footers down low but their height is not equal to their talent. Wade Baldwin must use his defensive ability to shut down Van Fleet of Wichita State. He shut down Tyler Ellis (5-20 from the field) but Nick Van Fleet has the poise and talent to not be styimed like the Kentucky player was at the hands of Ellis.
This is your typical experience of Wichita State against the talent of Vanderbilt. Sadly, the Commodores did not rise to the occasion much in the SEC regular season. The entry into the First Four was a gift for Vandy. So is the – 3 1/2 on the Shockers. Wichita State is not phased tonight and wins by nearly ten here. Good luck in your Shocker investment and we will see you later on today here at the HRW.