Here’s the GRT Four Factors Forecast for Tennessee’s first-round NCAA Tournament game against the Oregon State Beavers Friday afternoon.
What to Watch
It’s important to remind ourselves that season-long identities sometimes go on hiatus come tournament time. Hey, it’s spring. The temperature is going to fluctuate. It’s madness!
- As Will pointed out in his preview of this game, Oregon State turned into a different team in the Pac-12 Tournament, going from warm to white hot beyond the arc.
- The Beavers are pretty stingy and selfish with their stuff. (They don’t turn the ball over much.)
- Pretty good on the offensive glass, Oregon State will likely get a frustrating number of second chances on any of their own missed shots.
- For most of the season, the Beavers didn’t shoot very well. (How could they, with those short, stubby paws?) Although they got hot in the Pac-12 Tournament, they’ll be going up against an elite Tennessee defense with a hoppy octopus playing goalie.
- The Vols should have a huge advantage at getting to the free throw line. They’re not only good at drawing fouls, the Beavers can’t keep their paws to themselves.
- Tennessee’s inconsistency on offense is well-documented, but the Beavers’ defense suggests that it’s more likely to be a good day than bad.
- The Vols are pretty good on the offensive glass themselves, so they should be able to erase any second chances Oregon State gets under their own basket.
Vegas has Tennessee as an 8.5-point favorite, and with an over/under of 130, that works out to something like Tennessee 69, Oregon State 61.
KemPom projects this one as Tennessee 69, Oregon State 62, which results in a 74% chance of winning.
Our Toddler likes the Vols by 9 (Tennessee 68, Oregon State 59).
Initial simplified takeaways: The difference in shooting percentages from the floor is negligible, but the Beavers are much better from three. The Vols, however, are much better defensively from inside the arc. Everything else looks pretty even, unless you consider 1.5 rebounds per game an advantage.
Four Factors: Straight-Up
Conclusion: Okay, so Oregon State is not especially good at shooting the ball. Most like Mississippi and Saint Joseph’s among former Vols’ opponents.
Conclusion: Dudes are stingy when they have the ball. Most like Arkansas, App State, Kansas, and Colorado in this regard.
Offensive Rebound %
Conclusion: Most like Colorado and Cincinnati among prior Tennessee opponents, Oregon State is a merely decent offensive rebounding team.
Free Throw Rate
Conclusion: The Beavers are not bad at getting to the free throw line.
Four Factors: Opponent impact
Okay, so Tennessee’s season-long identity is that of a team that is only mediocre shooting the ball. The good news is that Oregon State’s shooting defense isn’t any better.
On the other end, Tennessee should have a decided advantage, as the Vols are still bordering on elite in shooting defense, and the Beavers are bordering on bad at hitting shots.
Tennessee has an unnerving tendency to go on turnover sprees. Fortunately, Oregon State isn’t especially adept at forcing turnovers.
When the Beavers have the ball, they don’t tend to turn it over much, but the Vols are professional thieves, so we’ll see how that shakes out.
Offensive Rebounding %
Another big advantage here for the Vols on their end of the court, as they’re pretty good at earning second chances on the offensive glass while the Beavers are not a good defensive rebounding team.
However, it’s the same story under the Beavers’ basket, although not quite as compelling.
Free Throw Rate
Hoo-boy. That’s a nice recipe there, with a Vols squad decent at earning trips to the free throw line going up against an Oregon State team that can’t keep their hands to themselves.
The Beavers get to the stripe at a fair rate as well, but Tennessee’s not going to help them get there.