As part of its preview of the 2014 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 are from kenpom.com and measure the number of points scored and allowed per 100 possessions, and the team's national rank. For more teams, click here.
Record: 20-12, 13-5 in Patriot League
Adjusted offense / Adjusted defense: 103.2 (198th) / 97.3 (46th)
Seed: No. 15 in West
Impact player: Tony Wroblicky: 12.2 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 3.0 APG, .588 FG PCT
The Case For:
The Eagles know how to play defense. American ranks 49th in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency, and it held top-seeded Boston University – the Patriot League’s highest-scoring offense at 72.5 points per game – to 36 points on 31 percent shooting in the conference title game. In a November loss to Ohio State, the Eagles stifled the Buckeyes into 3-of-16 on three-pointers and 36 percent shooting overall.
The Case Against:
American doesn’t get many second-chance points thanks to a lack of offensive rebounding. The Eagles finished the year next-to-last in the Patriot League in offensive boards per game (7.3). In the conference title game against Boston University, they grabbed only two rebounds on the offensive end. American has a penchant for miscues, as well, as it finished dead last in the league in turnover margin at -1.68. This offense can be efficient if it avoids giving the ball away.
SI prediction: Lose to Wisconsin in second round View complete bracket predictions from SI.com's panel of experts