Will Vanderbilt snap its recent two game slide in the NCAA Tournament's opening round? Will Richmond make it three in a row? Who has the edge? Let's take a look.
According to Kenpom, Vanderbilt will be the best offensive team and the eleventh best defensive team that the Spiders will have played this season. Richmond will be the thirteenth best offensive and fifteenth best defensive team that the Commodores will have played.
Based strictly on offensive and defensive efficiencies, the Richmond opponent the Commodores most resemble is Xavier, with Vanderbilt being better offensively and Xavier being slightly better defensively. Xavier beat Richmond 85-62 on Richmond's home court. The Commodore opponent the Spiders most resemble is Tennessee with Richmond being slightly better offensively and the Volunteers being slightly better defensively. Tennessee beat the Commodores 60-51 in Nashville and 77-74 in Knoxville. Both were games that Vanderbilt held large, double-digit leads but couldn't close out.
Based strictly on the tempo free statistics above, Vanderbilt has a solid edge at the starting positions. Kevin Anderson gets a lot of praise, and deservedly, but Brad Tinsley is the more efficient player. Vanderbilt's prime focus will need to be shutting down Justin Harper. Richmond appears to hold a slight edge at the bench. As a reminder, keep in mind that these individual statistics are not adjusted for the quality of the opponent.
Four Factors: Vanderbilt holds solid edges in OReb% and FTRate. Richmond holds a solid edge in TO% and a very slim edge in eFG%. Prediction: Vanderbilt wins OReb%, FTRate, and eFG%. Richmond wins TO%.
Traditional Statistics -
Tipoff is scheduled for ~ 3.10 CT and the game will be televised by TBS (Comcast ch. 23 or 221 HD), though the game will also be available via MMOD. Our open gamethread will go live about an hour before tipoff. Also, don't forget to head over to Stat-King to submit your predictions for the game.