NCAA tournament team previews: Saint Louis Billikens
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: 26-6, 13-3 in Atlantic 10 Conference
Adjusted Offense/Adjusted Defense: 104.6 (176th) / 91.2 (8th)
Seed: No. 5 in Midwest
Impact player: Jordair Jett, senior guard. 13.8 ppg, 4.7 apg, 49.2% fg, 34th in country in ast rate.
The Case For:
Saint Louis looked like one of the best teams in the country for most of the season, starting 25-2 and moving into the top 10 of the national polls. The Billikens boast a top 10 defense and are the best in the country at guarding the three-point line. They are a veteran team and have enough size to compete with anybody. It's not just one type of team they've been able to defend, either. SLU has beaten up-tempo teams like VCU and plodding teams like Richmond. A Sweet Sixteen team from a year ago with most of the same cast, Saint Louis has been there before and won't be wowed by the big stage of the NCAA tournament.
The Case Against:
The Billikens have been trending in the wrong direction since the end of February. They dropped three out of four to close the regular season, including a bad loss at home to Duquense, and they got beat at the buzzer in the Atlantic 10 tournament by St. Bonaventure. Saint Louis doesn't shoot the ball particularly well and is downright poor from beyond the arc, making just 32 percent.
SI prediction: Beat N.C. State in second round, lose to Louisville in third round. View complete bracket predictions from SI.com's panel of experts