Let's take a look at this NIT semifinal matchup at Madison Square Garden, which will tip-off at 4 PM PT/7 PM ET on ESPN2 Monday night.
Ken Pomeroy says ... 71st best offense, 39th best defense, one of the faster paces in college basketball. Strong field goal offense and field goal defense. Good at ball handling, decent at forcing turnovers. Great at forcing team into shooting three pointers and keeping them out of the paint.
The weaknesses for WSU are average rebounding. One of the worst offensive rebounding teams in the country, and not much better on the defensive boards. Look at Washington State's losses this season, and you can pretty much look at the rebounding battle as the prescription for their downfall.
Ken Pomeroy says ... 37th best offense, 62nd best defense, one of the slowest tempos in college basketball. Great rebounding team, particularly on the defensive end. Great field goal offense and defense, particularly on two pointers. Strong free throw shooting team. Solid eight man rotation, with no player averaging more than 26 minutes. Good passing team, putting up assists on an average of 60% of their made field goals. One of the most experienced teams in college basketball.
The weaknesses for Wichita St. are they don't get to the line and they don't force turnovers. Also, an average three point defense.
Prediction: Wichita State should win this one by a smidge. They might have trouble with the Cougar defense and might be forced to settle for more three pointers than they'd like, but they should be able to win the rebounding battle and garner those extra possessions. Also, if they're up late, you have to like how good they are at the free throw line. Their solid and experienced rotation should be enough to wear down Wazzu as the game goes on.