The Battle 4 Atlantis has become a premier early-season tournament in recent seasons, as the field is always loaded with tremendous depth amongst its eight-team bracket. Why wouldn’t it be loaded? Everyone wants a trip to the Bahamas in late November. Per the norm, we have a first-round matchup between two teams that are considered Final Four-level clubs in Seton Hall and Oregon on Wednesday.
Oregon comes into the game with a perfect 5-0 record, with all five wins coming against teams ranked in the top 126 of Kenpom. The Ducks made short work of a Memphis team that had James Wiseman at the time and later dispatched a pretty good Houston team. It should be noted that both of those games were played in Oregon (the Memphis game was in Portland).
Seton Hall comes into the game at 4-1, with its only loss on the season coming at the hands of Michigan State, which was ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll. Since then, the Pirates have returned to their winning ways, beating both Saint Louis and Florida A&M with ease. Myles Powell has continued his torrid scoring pace from last season, averaging 22.6 points per game while shooting 42 percent from behind the arc.
Oregon is a one-point favorite in this game, with the over/under being set at 140.5 points.
Pirates Look To Pillage A Huge Victory
Coming into the season, there were concerns about Seton Hall being so highly regarded after the loss of Michael Nzei. The Pirates were good last season at 20-14 but only earned a 10 seed in the tournament, where they were quickly dispatched by Wofford in the first round.
With basically the same roster, how much better would they be? So far, the answer is: Much better. While Powell continues to put on a show scoring the basketball, Romaro Gill and Ikey Obiagu have combined to be one of the best rim-protecting duos in the country.
The twin towers are averaging a combined four blocks per game, and a Seton Hall team that ranked 60th in defensive efficiency and 189th in points allowed last season, currently ranks 34th and 109th, respectively, this season. If those numbers prove to be sustainable, the Pirates should find more success come March.
The V Is For Victory
Oregon has quickly become the darling of the college basketball world as it has been impressive in almost every game it has played. The Ducks destroyed what was expected to be a decent Boise State team during the first week of the season and, as noted above, picked up a couple of quadrant 1 wins in recent weeks.
Payton Pritchard has played nearly flawless basketball up to this point and looks like an All American, averaging 19.4 points, 5.6 assists and 5.4 rebounds. He will also toss in a steal and a half per game just for the fun of it. As a team, Oregon is shooting 42.7 percent from beyond the arc, while holding opponents to 20.5 percent from three.
Pick and Prediction
The total feels a bit low at 140.5, as Oregon surrendered 66 to Houston and 72 to Memphis. Seton Hall is better than both of those teams, and Powell has gotten up for big games already this season, scoring 37 points against Michigan State less than two weeks ago.
Seton Hall has the dominant scorer, while Oregon has a plethora of talent. Seton Hall protects the rim, while Oregon locks down the perimeter. Seton Hall has big-time potential when it comes to the tournament, but Oregon is the type of team that will probably take them out.
The Ducks simply have too many weapons and have looked unstoppable early on. This game should be a shootout that should hit the over. Oregon should cover if it can make its free throws at the end, as the Ducks are shooting just 67.7 percent on the season.
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