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Mid-Major Report

   by Ben Burns - 02/27/2009



No team has produced a higher percentage of games that gone over the total than Wisconsin-Green Bay and Creighton.

Will the oddsmakers pump up the totals down the stretch? Or will the Phoenix and Blue Jays remain over-producing machines?

Creighton (Over/Under 17-6)

Why they go over: The Blue Jays can flat out shoot. They rank in the top 20 in the nation in 3-pointers made and 3-point field-goal percentage.

Creighton also is deadly accurate from the foul line, shooting 76 percent.

But Omaha sports writer Floyd White says the tendency for the Blue Jays to get involved in higher-scoring games primarily stems from their defense, or lack thereof.

"They play lousy defense," said White. "They either play passive and leave players wide open, or they play overly aggressive and give up a heap of foul shots.† Either way, they are incapable of stopping other teams - especially other teams with good outside shooting.† They don't get around screens well and players get open outside looks off their zone defense all the time. They make good shooters look great."

The Math

Points per game: 75.1

Points allowed: 65.3

Average over/under total in conference games: 133.8

Have the oddsmakers adjusted?

Creighton’s offense is taken it up a notch in the second half of conference play.

Heading into Tuesday night’s game at Missouri State, the Jays have gone over the total is six straight games.

They averaged 83 points in their last three conference games, but oddsmakers have yet to post a total in a Creighton game over 140.

Wisconsin-Green Bay (Over/Under 18-7)

Why they go over: The Phoenix is practically a mirror image of Creighton. Actually, Green-Bay is a little better looking. The Phoenix is fifth in the nation in 3-point percentage and third in free-throw percentage.

The Math

Points per game: 73

Points allowed: 66.2

Average over/under total in conference games: 131.6

Have the oddsmakers adjusted?

The Phoenix finishes the regular season with games at Detroit and Wright State. But playing away from home hasn’t had a huge impact on Green Bay’s ability to shoot.

The Phoenix averaged 77 points in their last three conference road games.

Plus, Saturday’s 86-75 win at Long Beach State was their best offensive performance this season.

"Our team is finding a groove a little bit and playing well and playing confident," coach TodKowalczyk told the Green Bay Press Gazette. "I thought we got our swagger back after those two tough losses last week."

Totals in Green Bay games have climbed as of late, but it hasn’t stopped the Phoenix from eclipsing the numbers.

Four more over-producing machines

Over/Under

Austin Peay: 14-4

Portland State: 16-6

Southern Illinois: 18-9

Colorado State: 17-8

Four under-producing machines

Over/Under

Eastern Illinois: 4-14

Utah State: 6-14

Drake: 8-16

UC-Riverside 7-14

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