2016 NCAA tournament team previews: Fresno State Bulldogs
As part of its preview of the 2016 NCAA men's basketball tournament, SI.com is taking a look at all 68 teams in the field. RPI and SOS data from realtimerpi.com. Adjusted offense and defense statistics are from kenpom.com and measure the number of points scored and allowed per 100 possessions, and the team's national rank. All other advanced stats are also from kenpom.com (unless noted otherwise) and are through March 14.
Adjusted offensive/defensive efficiency: 106.2 (124th)/100.3 (100th)
Seed: Midwest No. 14
Impact Player: Marvelle Harris, senior, guard. 20.6 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 4.4 APG
The Case For: Fresno State has one of the longest active winning streaks in the country at nine games and has a first-round matchup against a Utah team that lost its last game by 31 points to Oregon. The Ducks were the best team the Bulldogs faced this season, and Fresno State only lost by five points in a true road game.
The Bulldogs have the fifth-most experience of any tournament team and they're led by a 2,000-point scorer in Harris. Plus, they're great at limiting turnovers on offense (14.9%, 13th nationally) and forcing them on defense (20.8%, 37th nationally).
The Case Against: Besides turnover-related metrics, advanced statistics are rather indifferent towards Fresno State. The Bulldogs take care of the ball but they have an effective field-goal percentage of 48.2%, which ranks among the bottom third in the country. And while Fresno State has stingy steal and block rates, its defensive efficiency ranks just 100th. This group is very average in terms of rebounding and three-point shooting.
The Bulldogs send their opponents to the free-throw line more often than most teams in the country, which doesn't bode well for them against Utah and stud big man Jakob Poeltl.
SI prediction: Lose to No. 3 Utah in the first round.