The Ohio Bobcats were the surprise winner of the 2020-21 MAC Tournament. Led by the Bobcats’ floor general guard, Ohio had a margin of victory of +14.7 per game in their conference tournament. To clarify, no team in the NCAA Tournament would be excited to see Ohio right now. With March Madness beginning at the end of the week, the Bobcats’ offense is blazing hot at the perfect time.
High Powered Offense
Ohio’s productive offense is 29th in the country according to Kenpom. In addition, the Bobcats pour in 80.4 points per contest while shooting an extremely efficient 48.7%. Ohio is 14th in the country in both points per game and field goal percentage. Continuing, the Bobcats are ninth with 29.5 shots made per game. Four Bobcat players average 12+ points per game, these players include Jason Preston, Dwight Wilson, Ben Vander Plas and Ben Roderick.
Moreover, Ohio’s high-scoring offense can be credited to their good ball movement. Ranked sixth, they average 17.6 assists per game. In result, the Bobcats rank 13th by averaging 1.448 assists per turnovers. Ohio’s lead assist man is Preston who averages 7.2 assists per game. Preston’s assist total is seventh in college basketball.
The heart of the Bobcat offense is the outstanding guard Preston. The Bobcat guard is a jack of all trades averaging 16.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 7.2 assists. Most importantly, Preston is very efficient shooting 53% and 40.8% from three. In summary, Preston is one of the better mid-major guards in the country and could lead Ohio to some major upsets.
Ohio was on no bracketology radars about a week ago since Toledo was the presumed favorite in the MAC Tournament. As a No.5 seed, the Bobcats wrecked the MAC Tournament with their explosive offensive. Furthermore, Ohio averaged 85.3 points shooting 52.5% and 46.4% from three. On top of their fluid offense, the Bobcats tightened up their defense as well. In the 2020-21 season, Ohio is 197th in opponent field goal percentage at the mark of 44.4%. However, the Bobcats held opponents to only 40.2% in the MAC Tournament.
As usual, Preston led the Ohio offense in the MAC Tournament. Preston averaged 22.7 points while shooting 65.1%. The Bobcat guard was also scorching hot from three shooting 55.6%. Against Toledo, Preston erupted with 27 points in the MAC semifinal.
Sharp 27-5-5 outing on 11-19 FG & 5-9 3PT for Jason Preston (@Treballjay11), leading Ohio to a win over Toledo in the MAC Semis. The 6'4 Floor General known for his passing wizardry impressed w/ his ability to hit it from deep and finish w/ craft in traffic. Winning plays DTS. pic.twitter.com/7JM926ETL5
— LeagueHim (@League_Him) March 13, 2021
Ohio is a No.13 seed, so they will be a major underdog in the Round of 64. Their first round opponent is the four seed the Virginia Cavaliers. Virginia is always suffocating on the defensive end, so Ohio might struggle to score. On the other hand, if the Bobcats continue to shoot how they did in the MAC Tournament no one will stop them. Virginia is dealing with COVID-19 issues right now. Therefore, Ohio has a good shot at taking down Virginia.
Next to Ohio, the five seed Creighton faces the twelve seed UCSB and this has become a popular upset pick. If Ohio advances, they could see a twelve seed in the Round of 32. As a result, the Bobcats have a chance to be a cinderella team. Since 2016, four No.13 seeds have won their first round game. Four seeds losing in the Round of 64 is common in the NCAA Tournament. Ohio might be yet another victorious No.13 seed during the madness of March.
All stats courtesy of ESPN, Kenpom, NCAA and Team Rankings.