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NCAA Tournament Preview: Long Island Blackbirds

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The Basics

  • Record: 25-8 (13-3 Northeast Conference)
  • Best Wins: Vermont, Wagner
  • Worst Losses: Hofstra, Columbia, Norfolk State, Robert Morris, Monmouth
  • Admirable Losses: Iona, Old Dominion

Statistically Speaking (national ranking)

  • The good: 49.8 FTA/FGA (2nd), 74.4 Tempo (2nd), 26.8 Def. Rebs/game (7th)
  • The bad: 11.5 Off. Steal% (323rd), 74.4" Average height (343rd), 107.2 Def. Efficiency (271st)
  • The interesting: The Blackbirds attempted 941 free throws this season, the second highest total in America. Only four schools received a higher distribution of their points from the free-throw line. Drawing contact, it seems, is important for this bunch.
What to Expect

A loss. Startling revelation, I know. But the fact of the matter is that LIU didn't really beat anyone of substance in the regular season, so there's little reason to believe they can up their level of play and miraculously take down a top 15 program now. A heavy reliance on the whistle could also prove to be an Achille's heel for this team when the time comes, even if it may never reach that point.