Yale can notch its second NCAA Tournament win in four seasons against LSU at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville today if it does the following:
Win from three-point land
Yale is in the top 50 nationally in three-point percentage, while LSU isn’t even in the top 250. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, are in the top 30 in the country in defensive three-point percentage, getting a good workout defending shooters beyond the arc in the longball-happy Ivy League.
Limit second chances
Outrebounding your opponent is a sound strategy if you can do it. Here’s how.
In all seriousness, LSU ranks fifth in the nation in offensive rebound percentage, per KenPom, while Yale ranks 23rd in defensive offensive rebound percentage. Yale is not nearly as good at offensive rebounding as the 2016 Elis squad that bested Baylor on the boards in the NCAA Tournament, but Jordan Bruner and Paul Atkinson will have to come up big on the glass against the Tigers.
Play straight up
LSU placed in the top 50 nationally in percentage of points scored at the free throw line, and the Tigers were 29th nationally in free-throw percentage. Yale’s offense may have flourished with Miye Oni on the bench down the stretch in the Bulldogs’ Ivy League Tournament final win over Harvard, but it’s hard to see Yale keeping up with LSU’s dynamic offense sans Oni.
Handle with care
LSU standout sophomore guard and New Haven native Tremont Waters ranks third nationally in steal percentage and Yale doesn’t force a lot of turnovers on defense itself. It’s easy to see turnovers becoming an issue in certain stretches of this game, so Yale’s characteristically crisp ball movement will have to be just that early and often.