THE FIRST FOUR MARCH 17TH FREE NCAAB PICK

MISSISSIPPI REBELS VS BYU COUGARS

The Mississippi Rebels and The BYU Cougars meet in Dayton at the annual 4 play in games……. I MEAN 1st four games. These 2 teams are vying to get a win here and a shot at 6th seeded Xavier with hopes to make a run from The 1st four to The Final Four like VCU did in 2011. Ole Miss comes into the game with a record of 20-12 but losers of 4 of their last 5 including getting ousted by South Carolina in round 1 of the SEC tournament. The Rebels go 10 deep, they like to run up and down the floor and they do it well. Led by guard trio Stefan Moody, Jarvis Summers and Ladarius White The Rebels average 73 points a game, good for 52nd in the country. The Rebels have proven despite backing into the tournament they belong, beating 6 teams in the field.   BYU won 8 of their last 9 before falling to Gonzaga 91-75 in the WCC Championship game. The Rebels may play fast but are slow compared to BYU. The Cougars start running from the opening tip and don’t stop until they get on the bus. They are 2nd in the nation in scoring (84 points) 5th in assists, and 23rd in 3 point shooting. The Cougars are led by the schools all time leading scorer Tyler Haws (22 points a game) triple double machine Kyle Collinsworth (tied the NCAA record with 6 this season) and a bevy of 3 point snipers. BYU is not intimidated by the more athletic Rebels from The SEC and are looking forward to the challenge.

Prediction: Get ready for a track meet. These 2 teams play fast and are going to light up the scoreboard. The Cougars average possession lasts a little more than 14 seconds, fastest in the country and The Rebels aren’t too far behind averaging 16 seconds per possession. BYU’s defense gives up 73 points per game which is 315th in the nation. OLE Miss’s defense is a little better than that however The Cougars will not allow them to set up their half court defense and instead combat their slight size advantage by making them play transition defense all night. When BYU played more athletic teams this year they tended to foul a lot. OLE Miss is not a good team to put on the line. They are ranked 3rd in the country from the line hitting 78 percent. They have 4 players who hit over 80 percent including Moody who hits 90%. The total sits at 158 and for a college basketball season that seemed to have every game play in the 60’s that may seem high but not for these 2 teams. This game will play in the 80’s. I like BYU to win the game, take out Xavier on Thursday and maybe even make it to the 2nd weekend. But I’m going to sit back and enjoy the show watching these 2 teams run up and down the court trading baskets. THE PICK: OVER 158