BYU has returned to Dayton for the First Four for the second time in four seasons. In 2012, the Cougars mounted the biggest comeback in NCAA Tournament history, winning after getting 25 points down to Iona.
That was a matchup of two 14-seeds. Tuesday, BYU and Mississippi face off as 11-seeds at Dayton Arena. The game tips at 7:10 pm MT and airs on TruTV.
Here is a look at how experts and oddsmakers are predicting the game.
When the line opened, BYU was a 2.5-point favorite to defeat Ole Miss with an over/under of 148.5. Both numbers have risen. BYU is now favored by 4 points with the over/under up to 157 as money has come in high on both.
While the line and over/under aren't exactly meant to predict, they often come close to what other predictive services conclude. When combining the two, Vegas has BYU winning about 80-76.
Bovada has given odds for each team in the West region to reach the Final 4. BYU is given 40/1 odds and Ole Miss 50/1. Two-seed Arizona has the best odds to win the region at 8/5.
Visit (and consider buying a subscription to) kenpom.com, one of the key non-RPI metrics the selection committee consults during the selection process.
In Pomeroy's team ranking system, he has BYU at #31 while Ole Miss rates at #44.
In his predictive element, his metrics predict a BYU win 83-81 with a win probability of 57%. In other words, almost a toss up.
The Sagarin ratings are another set that provide both a ranking and a predictive element.
In the team rankings, BYU ranks #34 and Ole Miss is #52.
Using his predictive rating, BYU's value sits at 83.93 and the Rebels are at 82.00. Given that the game is on a neutral floor, there is no home-court advantage to factor, so Sagarin's system favors BYU by 2 points (1.93).
WHAT IF SPORTS
What If Sports uses statistical models to simulate basketball matchups. In 1,001 simulations, BYU defeated Ole Miss in 64.4% of them by the average score of 73-69.
Basketball Insiders previewed the 6/11 bracket, and two of their three experts clearly predict BYU to beat Ole Miss, with one advancing the Cougars past Xavier as well.
The snippet on BYU praises record-setters Tyler Haws and Kyle Collinsworth and calls BYU a "staple" of the tournament. (Full analysis here.)
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All signs point to a close BYU win. Do you agree?