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NIT Basketball Predictions — NIT: Virginia “D” Poses Challenge For St. Bonaventure

2022 Nit Tournament

Virginia Plays Suprising St. Bonnie in 2022 NIT Basketball Tournament

By Charles Jay

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies have provided something of a surprise in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) as they have been able to pull off two road victories against highly-regarded teams. And now they play their third straight road game as they take on a difficult Virginia Cavaliers team in NIT action that takes place at 7 PM ET at the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, VA.

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NIT Basketball Predictions — Here are the numbers….

The Cavs are favored in the college basketball odds, and as you can see, the total is low:

Virginia Cavaliers -3
St. Bonaventure Bonnies +3

Over 123.5 Points -110
Under 123.5 Points -110

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NIT Basketball Predictions — About St. Bonaventure

The Bonnies are now 22-9, and we’re not sure how many people expected them to get past the first two rounds. But they went to Colorado and won, hen traveled to Norman and beat the Oklahoma Sooners. In that 70-68 victory on Sunday, they shot 51% and got 23 points out of Jared Holmes.

Mark Schmidt’s team is largely dependent upon two-pointers. That amounts to 59% of their point production. On defense, they allow opponents to take 44.7% of their shots from beyond the arc.


NIT Basketball Predictions — About Virginia

Of course, BetAnySports patrons know about the Cavs and their recent tournament success (a national title) under coach Tony Bennett. So let’s just say that they know how to navigate their way through the post-season, although we must admit that this is not one of the best contingents of Bennett’s tenure.

Still, they have been outstanding at times. Virginia has wins over Providence, Duke, Virginia Tech and Miami, which a one-point loss to Iowa.

The Cavaliers are 357th in the nation in Adjusted Tempo, which means that there are only two teams that are “slower” than they are. That works at both ends of the floor. In their last game, they were tied at 55 with North Texas, and then outscored the Mean Green 16-14 in overtime to grind out the win.

NIT Basketball Predictions — How does this one shake out?

We’re not sure whether St. Bonaventure is going to turn up the volume on the tempo; they have scored in the 80s six times this season. But they have been a deliberate team more often than not, and that might make Virginia more comfortable.

As you probably know by now, the Cavs employ the “Pack Line” defense, and that isn’t an easy thing to prepare for. Opponents might be able to shoot over it from the outside, but inasmuch as the Bonnies are not a three-point shooting team, they are going to rely more on what they probably won’t do well against this defensive setup.

By the same token, what St. Bonaventure allows opponents to do (shoot triples) is something Virginia doesn’t like to do. Only 24.1% of the Cavaliers’ points come from treys, and that is 336th in the nation. And the Bonnies have a nice “eraser” in the middle in Osun Osunnyi (2.9 blocks per game).

Neither of these teams go to the reserves very much; they are 349th and 358th in bench minutes. So you have to wonder how much gas they’ll have in the tank.

This turnaround probably favors Virginia, and the “under” isn’t a bad idea either.


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