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JEFF ALLEN GAME PREVIEW: OLD DOMINION vs. UC SANTA BARBARA

JEFF ALLEN GAME PREVIEW: OLD DOMINION vs. UC SANTA BARBARA
 
The Vegas 16 which in it’s inaugural edition is the Vegas 8, opened play last at Mandalay Bay with the favorites winning and covering the first three games before underdog East Tennessee broke through in the nightcap. In tonight’s semis we have Old Dominion taking on UC Santa Barbara in the opener, the Monarchs slight -1
point favorites with the total opening at 124. Old Dominion pretty much cruised in it’s opener vs. Tennessee Tech. The Gauchos were down big early to Norther Illinois before downing the Huskies 70-63 with a big second
half.
 
Old Dominion is one of the better defensive teams in the country allowing just 61.8 ppg. and are ranked No.18 nationally in FG% allowed. Senior shooting guard Trey Freeman (22.1, 4.0, 3.3) accounts for almost a third of the Monarch scoring. Backcourt mate Aaron Bacote (12.8, 2.2, 2.1) is the other real weapon. Brandon Stith is a talented sophomore power forward (10.5, 9.6) who has continued the Old Dom M.O. of being a tenacious rebounding club,
especially on the offensive glass.
 
Santa Barbara is another veteran team that plays decent defense and can shoot the three when on. Michael Bryson
(18.1, 6.5, 2.5) is a 6’5″ swing man that has played 123 games for the Gauchos. Gabe Vincent (14.1, 3.2, 2.2) and John Green (10.8, 5.8, 1.5) form the other two thirds of the Gaucho three guard offense. All three players shoot better than 35% from beyond the arc and all three can get their own shots.
 
Both teams played extremely well down the stretch and something will have to give here. Old Dom won eight of nine games down the stretch with their only loss coming by a bucket to Middle Tennessee State in the CUSA Tournament Championship Game. UCSB finished 10-1 after getting off to a 9-12 start. Giving a slight nod to Old Dominion here who played just one player more than 28 minutes in their wire-to-wire rout of Tech. Santa Barbara was life and death to come back from 15 down to beat NIU with three starters playing more than 32:00 minutes. While neither team should be tired after not having played in almost three weeks, actual game conditioning could play a part here and and would
favor the team from Virginia.

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