Once again, we thank Alan for his game previews all season long. Having someone with his mindset, experience and success on the blogs non-existant payroll has been a significant asset, and his continued support and donated time is generosity in the extreme. Thank you, Alan.
This is difficult to write as I am genuinely sad that William and Mary did not win the end game. They went scoreless in their last 5 possessions, which allowed Hofstra to get by. Shaver, of course, credited Hofstra and payed his respects To Juan'ya Green for his excellence. I never root for Pitino or his disciples, which may be unfair to the latter, but guilt by association, so both games results are disappointing. UNCW was clearly the better team and deserved the win over Northeastern.
The two UNCW/Hofstra games were mirror images of each other. First Hofstra blew a 20 point lead at home and then rallied from a similar deficit to win at Wilmington. Both teams are playing their third game in three days, so Hofstra's short bench may cause them problems, but Austin Peay just won 4 four in four days, underdogs in all, playing a fresher team the last 3 nights. These kids play AAU tournaments where the winners may play nine games in five days. It is not the same intensity, but they are much fitter than players of old, so short bench may not matter.
I have to give Keats credit. He has done a terrific job at UNCW. He likely has a bigger job coming soon. He should pass for now. He has a great gig with a great fan base in a beautiful city. Sometimes less money is ok for a while.
Mihalich is a known quantity. His gives his teams more freedom than most. His teams over the years have been terrific offensively and shaky defensively. This team is not much different. Their defense yesterday was very good, helping them pull out the close win. This is a pick em game for sure. UNCW's pressure got to Hofstra in their first meeting. In the rematch on the road, Hofstra got worn out by pressing and short rotation, yet came from way behind to win. I think it comes down to that. If you think Hofstra cracks with their short bench playing for a 3rd day in a row, then UNCW likely wins, but Mihalich does a sneaky good job and I feel he has the edge in coaching and just think his seniors will come through when it matters.
Hofstra 66 UNCW 64