South - No. 16 Albany vs No. 16 Mt St. Mary's
Posted Mar 16, 2014

2014 NCAA Tournament Preview, Breakdown & Pick: South Region – No. 16 Albany vs. No. 16 Mount St. Mary's

Line: Albany -2
Why To Pick Albany: The Great Danes have the defense to match up well with a Mount St. Mary's team that can score in bunches. While Albany might not have a high-powered scoring attack, it's tough enough on the boards to get enough second chance points to get by.
Why To Pick Mount St. Mary's: A big early run could end it. Albany doesn't have any firepower from three and doesn't have the ability to come back if down big. The Mountaineers generate enough pressure and force enough turnovers to get a few easy buckets, and if that doesn't happen, it's bombs away.
The Pick: Albany 67-64. Mount St. Mary's will get dragged down into the Albany muck and tempo. The experience in the tournament, and a better game on the boards, will be enough to get through to deal with Florida.

Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers
Head coach: Jamion Christian Record: 16-16 Conference: Northeast

What You Need To Know: The Mountaineers were just a .500 ballclub, but they have improved as the season has progressed and have played some big names this year. Their non-conference schedule included West Virginia, Villanova, BYU, Michigan State, Penn State and Texas Tech, and they won't back down from anyone. Mount St. Mary's can put points on the board, led by a pair of quality scorers who work well together on the court. Guard Rashad Whack (17.7 ppg) can score inside and out, he gets to the line and is a decent rebounder and defender. Fellow guard Julian Norfleet (17.5 ppg) is a better passer than Whack, and he loves to distribute when the Mountaineers get out in transition. Both are disruptive defenders. The team lacks size inside and need a team effort on the boards to be successful.
Strengths: Scoring, Three Point Shooting, Free Throw Shooting
Weaknesses: Rebounding, Scoring Defense, Assists
How Far Will They Go?: One and done. While they might be a fun matchup for Florida in the next round, they won't get there.

Albany Great Danes
Head coach: Will Brown Record: 22-10 Conference: America East

What You Need To Know: The Great Danes earned their fourth trip to the Big Dance by winning the America East Tournament thanks to their signature tough defense allowing just 63.8 points a game. Albany showed it's willing to battle with the big boys, even though is lost by 12 to Pitt earlier this season. Will Brown's squad is balanced, and although it doesn't boast a boatload of athleticism, it's patient with the ball. The 6-4 Australian, Peter Hooley, is a quality scorer and a great three-point shooter to go along with his passing skills. Sam Rowley provides a presence inside, and D.J. Evans and Gary Johnson bring balance and depth to the floor. Albany's experience in the Big Dance -- the Great Danes went last season -- could help the team this time around.
Strengths: Scoring Defense, Free Throws, Rebounding
Weaknesses: Three-Pointers, Scoring, Assist-Turnover Ratio
How Far Will They Go?: The defense will be enough to get out of the first round, and then it'll be next to impossible to score against Florida.