The Central Michigan Chippewas will take on the LSU Lady Tigers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in sunny and warm Columbus, Ohio. Most of that is true. The Chippewas finished the season with a 28-4 record, and were winners of the MAC Tournament. The Lady Tigers finished the season 19-9 and lost to 14th ranked Texas A&M in the SEC tournament.
- Who: LSU Lady Tigers vs. Central Michigan Chippewas
- What: First Round of the NCAA Tournament
- When: Saturday, March 17, 11:20 A.M
- Where: St. John Arena, Columbus, Ohio
- Watch: ESPN 2
- Stream: Via the WatchESPN app, pending cable provider participation
Scouting the Chippewas
The Chippewas are a loaded team, but not particularly deep. All 5 starters are in double figures, however the next highest ppg is only 2.6. Not only are the 5 starters all great players, they complement each other exceptionally well.
Presley Hudson is a true point guard that does a nice job distributing the ball with close to 5 assists a game. However, she can also light it up.
Cassie Breen hits 38% of her threes to keep defenses honest while Reyna Frost and Tinara Moore lock down the inside. Moore is averaging nearly a double double with 18.7 points and 9.8 rebounds a game, while Frost is, with 14.1 points and 11.8 rebounds. She is tied for 11th in the country in rebounds per game. Micaela Kelly is a freshman phenom that can light it up at any time, and is averaging 11.4 points per game.
This team is good, not great on defense, but makes up for it by mashing their opponents on the boards. On offense, they are simply fantastic.
Scouting the Lady Tigers
Cloe Jackson and Raignye Louis are a couple of good sized guards that can put the ball in the basket from close, but aren’t particularly great shooters. 6’2 Ayana Mitchell is a solid inside presence. Like the Chippewas, the Lady Tigers aren’t particularly deep, as these are the only three averaging in double figures.
What LSU is good at is playing defense, as they keep opponents under 60 most of the time.
While LSU is the ranked team from the big time conference, the computers think CMU is a better team. RPI has Central Michigan 15th while LSU is 28th. This is also a favorable match-up for Central Michigan, as they can shoot from outside, but still has enough of an inside presence to keep the Lady Tigers from taking advantage down low. Based on those two facts, if I were giving a line for this game, I would have CMU minus 5.
However, LSU is a veteran team that plays frustrating defense, with NCAA experience. That’s always a dangerous combination.
I still like the Lady Chippewas because they are much better shooting the ball, but this game should have a razor thin margin.