2016 NIT Quarterfinals
#2 Florida Gators vs #4 George Washington Colonials
Wednesday, March 23, 2016, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Charles E. Smith Center – Washington, DC
Opening Line: George Washington -2
Current Line: George Washington -2
Opening Total: 146
Current Total: 148
Opening Money Line: GWU -140 / Florida +120
Current Money Line: GWU -135 / Florida +115
Even though the Florida Gators are the #2 seed in their section of the NIT Bracket, the Gators have to travel to the #4 seed George Washington Colonials for the quarterfinals Wednesday night. This is because the Gator’s home arena in Gainesville is being renovated. Anyway, the winner between George Washington and Florida will move on to the semifinals next week in New York to face either the San Diego State Aztecs or Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Brigham Young and Valparaiso already punched their tickets Tuesday night.
Florida leads the series 2-1 against George Washington, but they haven’t played since 1995.
Florida is 21-14 this season under first year head coach Mike White. The Gators tied for eighth in the SEC at 9-9 with Arkansas. Florida beat Arkansas in the second round of the SEC Tournament, but lost to Texas A&M 72-66 in the quarterfinals. Florida beat #7 seed North Florida 97-68 in the first round of the NIT and #3 Ohio State 74-66 in the second round Sunday, both on the road. Florida is playing in the NIT for the tenth time and has reached the semifinals three times, but has never won it.
Florida has a neutral site loss to Purdue in Connecticut, plus road losses at Miami-(FL), Michigan State, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, South Carolina, and LSU. The Gators have home losses to Florida State, Alabama, Vanderbilt and Kentucky. Florida has neutral site wins over St. Joseph’s in Connecticut and Oklahoma State in Miami, plus road wins at Navy, Ole Miss, Georgia, and Missouri. The Gators have home wins over Vermont, Florida Gulf Coast, Richmond, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State, Auburn, West Virginia, Arkansas and Ole Miss. Florida is 17-15-1 ATS this season and the total is 19-14 this season. Florida was a 1.5 point favorite against Ohio State.
George Washington is 25-10 under coach Mike Lonergan. The Colonials were in third place in the Atlantic 10 behind four other teams at 11-7. George Washington beat Saint Louis in the second round of the A-10 but lost to St. Joseph’s 86-80 in the quarterfinals. GWU beat #5 Hofstra 82-80 in the first round at home, and then beat #1 Monmouth 87-71 in the second round Monday on the road. This is the sixth time in the NIT for the Colonials, but they had never gotten past the second round before this season.
GWU has a neutral site loss to Cincinnati in Brooklyn, plus road losses to DePaul, Saint Louis, Dayton, St. Bonaventure, and Davidson. The Colonials have home losses to Richmond, St. Joseph’s and VCU. George Washington has a neutral site win over Tennessee in Brooklyn, plus road wins at South Florida, Central Florida, Massachusetts, George Mason, VCU, Duquesne, and Richmond. The Colonials have home wins over Lafayette, Virginia, Seton Hall, Penn State, Rutgers, Fordham, Duquesne, Rhode Island, Davidson, LaSalle and George Mason. GWU is 15-16-1 ATS and the total is 17-15 this season. The Colonials were 2 point underdogs at Monmouth and the total was 153.5.
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Florida is being outscored 74-69 this season. The Gators are shooting 42.5% from the field and 31.9% from three point range. Florida makes 64.3% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 40.9% from the field and 34.4% from three point range. The Gators average 40.1 rebounds per game and opponents average 33.4 per game. Florida is #24 nationally in rebounding. The Gators average 13.4 assists, 11.3 turnovers, 6.5 steals and 4.3 blocks. Opponents average 11.5 assists, 13.2 turnovers, 5.3 steals and 3.6 blocks per game.
Dorian Finney-Smith averages 14.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. John Egbunu averages 11.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game. He is out for the season with a thumb injury. KeVaughn Allen averages 11.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Devin Robinson averages 9.2 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Kasey Hill averages 9 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Five other players will get time in the rotation. Alex Murphy is out for the season with a foot injury.
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GWU is outscoring teams 76-69 this season. The Colonials are shooting 44.6% from the field and 37% from three point range. GWU makes 75.5% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 43.3% from the field and 33.8% from three point range. The Colonials average 37.9 rebounds per game and opponents average 29.6 per game. GWU averages 14.1 assists, 11.5 turnovers, 6.1 steals and 3.3 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.6 assists, 11.9 turnovers, 6 steals and 3.4 blocks per game.
Tyler Cavanaugh averages 16.7 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. Patricio Garino averages 14.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Kevin Larsen averages 12.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 2.7 rebounds per game. Joe McDonald averages 8.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. Yuta Watanabe averages 8.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. Alex Mitola and Paul Jorgensen will also get minutes in the rotation.
Florida is 4-1 ATS overall, 4-9 against teams with winning records, 6-14-1 after a cover, 2-5-1 in Wednesday games, and 9-24-2 after a straight up win.
GWU is 1-4 ATS against teams with winning records and overall, plus 1-7 against SEC teams.
Playing on the road didn’t affect the Gators against Ohio State. Losing Egbunu hurts for Florida, but the Gators still have a lot of depth. I think Florida pulls out a close game on the road.