After two exciting clashes in the first round of the 2013 NCAA tournament on Tuesday, four teams will fight for the last two open slots in the Round of 64 on Wednesday.
LIU Brooklyn faces off with James Madison at 6:40 p.m. ET on truTV to get things started. La Salle and Boise State will tip off at 9:10 p.m. ET on truTV. Both games are being played in Dayton, Ohio.
The winner of LIU Brooklyn-James Madison moves on to face No. 1 seed Indiana in the East Regional. The winner of La Salle-Boise State advances to the West Regional to battle No. 4 seed Kansas State.
Here's a look at the "keys to victory" for each first-round matchup on Wednesday.
LIU Brooklyn vs. James Madison
Keys to Victory for LIU Brooklyn: Defense, Rebounding
LIU Brooklyn ranks 324th in opponents' field-goal percentage and 312th in defensive efficiency (points per possession). While James Madison isn't a particularly high-scoring team (ranked 234th in points per contest), the Blackbirds have been known to give way to unimposing offenses this season. The Blackbirds have the offense to defeat James Madison if they can defend reasonably well.
LIU Brooklyn also ranks 60th in the nation in offensive rebounding rate, while James Madison ranks 110th in defensive rebounding rate. The Blackbirds can create more opportunities to score if they crash the glass. Top-two rebounders Jamal Olasewere and Julian Boyd—who just so happen to be the team's two best scorers—will be important in this regard.
Keys to Victory for James Madison: Claw for Points, Rebound
James Madison ranks 240th in field-goal percentage and 177th in offensive efficiency.
However, the Dukes have been good about taking care of the ball this season (34th in turnover rate), and it's been important for them to get to the free-throw line (ranked 82nd in free throws attempted per offensive play).
Top scorer Rayshawn Goins has been suspended for the first half after getting arrested on Sunday night, but the Dukes do have three other players averaging double figures.
It's also worth noting that the Dukes have had a slightly better strength of schedule this season playing in the CAA (as opposed to the NEC).
La Salle vs. Boise State
Keys to Victory for La Salle: Defense, Three-Point Shooting
Boise State ranks 53rd in field-goal percentage (including 15th in three-point percentage) and 57th in offensive efficiency. The Broncos are led by sophomore Anthony Drmic (17.3 points per game, 39 percent from downtown) and Derrick Marks (16.3 points, 42 percent from beyond the arc).
To combat that, La Salle must play solid defense on Wednesday. The Explorers have been very good at limiting opponents from the three-point line this season (ranked 18th in opponents' three-point percentage), but they rank 286th in opponents' overall field-goal percentage.
While Drmic, Marks and Jeff Elorriaga are all deadly from beyond the arc, they aren't one-dimensional. They can attack the rim as well.
La Salle may rank 93rd in field-goal percentage, but the Explorers also rank 49th in offensive efficiency.
Why? Because they rank 46th in three-point percentage. They need to counter Boise State's offense with their own three-point-shooting prowess. Watch out for leading scorer Ramon Galloway, Tyreek Duren and Sam Mills from beyond the arc.
Keys to Victory for Boise State: Swing the Ball, Attack the Glass
While La Salle may rank 18th in opponents' three-point percentage, the Broncos have five players who can kill you from downtown. That's awfully tough for a defense when you are swinging the ball around.
Good ball movement will lead to open jumpers for Boise State's top perimeter shooters. And if the Explorers close fast on shooters, the Broncos need to make them pay by attacking the rim.
Boise State also holds a considerable advantage on the glass. The Broncos rank fifth in defensive rebounding rate this season, using a team approach to squelch opponents' second-chance opportunities.
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