Robert Morris is a nice basketball team that won 24 games before running into LIU in the Northeast Tournament. After winning at Indiana State, look for another road win at mediocre Toledo Saturday.
The Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament takes center stage today, but that usually means that there is value to be found in lesser tournaments like the College Insider Tournament, and we feel such is the case Saturday afternoon when the Robert Morris Colonials (25-10 overall, 12-6 away) pay a visit to the Toledo Rockets (19-16 overall, 11-8 home) at Savage Hall in Toledo, OH at 2:00 ET.NCAA Basketball Pick
Robert Morris is the higher ranked team on the Pomeroy Ratings by a rather large margin here a 130th compared to a 191st ranking for Toledo, which helps explain why a team from the small Northeast Conference is a small road favorite on the NCAA Basketball odds over a team from the more well-known MAC. Then again, if you are wondering if teams from small conferences can play, go ask Missouri or Duke!
Robert Morris has now won 25 games after going on the road on Tuesday and upsetting Indiana State as a four-point underdog in the first round of this tournament, serving notice that the Colonials are here to play after losing to LIU in the Northeast Conference Tournament.
Furthermore, Indiana State comes out of the strong Missouri Valley Conference that sent Creighton and Wichita State to the Big Dance and is ranked ninth as a whole on the Pomeroy Ratings. Thus, the Colonials are actually taking a dip in class today, as the Mid American Conference is ranked just 17th as a conference by Pomeroy.
And Toledo is a very mediocre MAC team at that, so we see absolutely no reason why Robert Morris should not win this game on the road, and rather handily too. After all, they are visiting a Rockets’ team that is just 19-16 even after beating a McNeese State club ranked a dismal 225th by Pomeroy in the first round here at home on Tuesday, and do not forget that Toledo went only 7-9 inside the bad MAC.
The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Robert Morris as a small -2 road favorite for this contest at current odds of -111.
Both of these teams are very average offensively, although Robert Morris grades out better at 119th in offensive efficiency at 104.0 points per 100 possessions, while Toledo is ranked 153rd at 101.9 points per 100 touches. The national average is 100.9 points and the Colonials have accomplished their better numbers vs. a schedule ranked 245th in SOS by Pomeroy, which is still better than a Toledo schedule ranked 300th in SOS.
Robert Morris ranks just 221st in effective field goal percentage, but it makes up for it by crashing the boards well, ranking an impressive seventh in the entire country in offensive rebounding percentage leading to a ton of second chance points. The Colonials also earn a lot of points from the free throw line, as they rank a nice 31st in FTA/FGA ratio and shoot a good enough 70.8 percent when they get to the charity stripe.
Toledo on the other hand is a poor rebounding team, especially on the defensive glass where it ranks a horrible 321st in defensive rebounding percentage. Thus, we do not see the Rockets holding off the excellent Robert Morris offensive rebounders in this contest.
Robert Morris also has a much bigger edge defensively, as it is ranked an above average 152nd in the country surrendering 100.4 points per 100 possessions, but that makes the Colonials look like Kentucky when compared to Toledo’s ranking of 246th at a poor 105.3 points per 100.
So to summarize, Robert Morris grades out better on both sides of the court and it has accumulated those numbers vs. a better schedule. Just about the only thing Toledo has going for it is being home, but it is not as if the Rockets have been world-beaters on their own court, going only 11-8 straight up.
Moreover, the Colonials’ win at Indiana State Tuesday leaves them at a solid 12-6 in true road games this season, so look for them to build on that with another road win in Toledo Saturday.
: Robert Morris -2 (-111)