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Rhode Island Rams – March Madness Team Predictions, Odds and Preview 2017

Rhode Island Rams – March Madness Team Predictions, Odds and Preview 2017

Rhode Island Rams (Overall: 24-9, Conf: 13-5)

College Basketball News and Previews

Team Strengths:

With eight-straight wins capped off by an automatic berth into the Big Dance as the Atlantic 10’s conference champs, Rhode Island is definitely one of the hottest teams in the tournament as we speak and is rightfully deserving of its +10,000 odds of winning the national title.

An experienced core of upperclassmen starters, led by E.C. Matthews and Hassan Martin, can easily compete with the rest of the field’s starting units. Matthews, in particular, is on quite a tear with an average of 19 points scored in his last four outings. Considering that Creighton – the team’s first-round opponent in the tournament – has been rather dysfunctional without team leader Maurice Watson Jr. in the lineup (torn ACL), the Rams should be able to flex its cohesive muscle and send the Bluejays packing right from the onset.

Team Weaknesses:

Big-game jitters will be Rhody’s Achilles heel, as the team has not been in the March Madness picture since the 1999 season with Lamar Odom as its star player. The school, by the way, has seen five first-round exits in eight lifetime trips to the NCAA tournament.

Furthermore, the Rams are one of the worst programs when it comes to three-point and free-throw shooting. Opposing teams can very well expose these pitfalls, making the possible second-round date against Pac-12 champions Oregon a total nightmare. The Ducks, who lead the nation in blocks this season, could easily turn the Rams into a one-dimensional, mid-range shooting team at the worst possible time.

Team Stats:

Points 73.5 157th
Rebounds 37.5 68th
Assists 13.5 151st
Steals 6.5 127th
Blocks 6.1 3rd
Field goal percentage 45.2 113th
Three-point percentage 33.7 229th
Free throw percentage 65.5 315th
Turnovers 11.4 43rd

Starting Lineup:

F Hassan Martin 14.3
F Kuran Iverson 9.4
G E.C. Matthews 14.8
G Jared Terrell 12.3
G Jarvis Garrett 6.7

Writer’s Prediction:

Rhode Island (+10,000) rides its momentum towards a huge win over Creighton before getting humbled by No. 3 seed Oregon in the following round.

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Written by Mark

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