As always, the NCAA Tournament delivered with great drama through the first weekend. We have a #15 seed in Princeton in the Sweet 16. We also have a team from Conference USA (Florida Atlantic) that is about to head to Madison Square Garden for their next game.
The Sweet 16 tips off on Thursday evening. The Thursday matchups are fantastic, and the Friday games are solid as well. I wanted to take a look at the venues for the Sweet 16 matchups. Are there any numbers from previous games played here that might help us as we handicap these games?
T Mobile Arena (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Postseason games played at T Mobile Arena in Las Vegas have gone 23-12-1 to the over in the last 36 games. The average postseason game played here has gone over the total by an average of 5.26 points. That’s a solid margin for a 36 game sample. There has been some talk in the past about the rims at T Mobile being soft. Arkansas/UConn and Gonzaga/UCLA will square off here. These are two must see games. I would argue that this location has the single best games of the week.
Madison Square Garden (New York City, New York)
Madison Square Garden has been one of the best under venues in the country. The under is 162-123 in the last 285 college basketball games played here. Postseason games at Madison Square Garden with a total of 127.5 or higher are 44-28 to the under. Those games have stayed under the total by an average of 3.55 points per game.
In the last 310 college basketball games played at MSG, the 1st half under is a whopping 185-125 (59.7% unders).
Florida Atlantic takes on Tennessee in an unexpected matchup at MSG, and the other game pits Michigan State against Kansas State.
Yum Center (Louisville, Kentucky)
The numbers for the Yum Center are a little more tricky to decipher. The under is 171-131 in games played here since 2006, but most of these have been home games for Louisville. That means the data could be more about the Louisville team than the facility itself. In neutral court games played at Yum Center the under is 12-16. That’s a small sample size, and most of those games have finished close to the total. The two matchups here are San Diego State/Alabama and Princeton/Creighton.
T Mobile Center (Kansas City, Missouri)
Not to be confused with the T Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, these are the games at T Mobile Center in Kansas City. The under is 29-18 (61.7% unders) in games played at this venue. All the games played here have been neutral site games. For a good while this looked like a wash for over/unders, but the under has hit in 12 of their last 14 games played here.
Is it statistical noise or is this an under venue? It’s a bit early to judge this one too much with a fairly small sample. Still, the under has cashed by an average of 2.94 points in this 47 game sample size.
It will be Miami/Houston and Xavier/Texas in the two games played here on Friday evening.