2014 CollegeInsider.com Tournament, Round 2
Eastern Michigan Eagles (22-14, 10-8 MAC) vs. Columbia Lions (20-12, 8-6 Ivy League)
WHEN: Saturday, March 22, 7 p.m. ET
WHERE: Levien Gymnasium, New York, New York
ODDS: EMU (+2)
HOW THEY GOT HERE: EMU beat Norfolk State in round 1 58-54, though no one went to it to see it. Columbia beat Valparaiso 58-56 in round 1.
WHO TO WATCH FOR: Columbia is led by junior forward Alex Rosenberg, who averages a team-high 15.9 points-per-game, and toss in 3.7 rebounds as well. Rosenberg is more a wing player, and at 6-7, 215 pounds is not a power forward, or a real threat for an inside game. He is a skilled sharpshooter though, knocking down 42 percent of his shots from behind the arc. He's one of three skilled marksman who are all knocking down at least 40 percent from three (minimum of 100 attempts) for the Lions. The other two are 6-3 guard Maodo Lo, and 6-3 guard Meiko Lyles.
KEYS TO THE GAME: Columbia is a long athletic team with a noticeable height advantage on EMU. Though not as defensively focused as the Eagles, Columbia does tend to grind games out, and doesn't put up a lot of points. It's a traditional Ivy League style of play. In order to win, EMU will want to use that zone to clamp down on the Lion's sharpshooters and redirect the offense inside where Da'Shonte Riley, the 2014 MAC Defensive Player of the Year, is waiting with outstretched arms. Offensively, EMU just needs to shoot better than 40 percent. If the defense does its part EMU should be able to win this by five or so. If not, Columbia has the shooters to build an early lead, than slow the game to a crawl and take the win that way.
WHAT'S NEXT: The CIT uses the old NIT format in that it waits until the results of the previous round are in to determine the match ups for the next round. Since all games are hosted on campus sites it's a necessary step.