On Thursday, the North Texas Mean Green (30-7) will square off against the UAB Blazers (29-9) in the NIT championship game.
UNT beat Wisconsin 56-54 in the semifinals on Tuesday, holding their opponents to zero points over the last nine minutes of the game. They also beat Alcorn State, Sam Houston State, and Oklahoma State on their way to the finals.
Meanwhile, UAB took down Utah Valley in overtime to advance to Thursday’s contest. They beat Southern Miss, Morehead State, and Vanderbilt in the first three rounds of the NIT. North Texas won the season series 2-1 over the Blazers of UAB.
North Texas vs. UAB: Betting Odds
|North Texas Mean Green||+2.5||o128.5||+120|
Odds are courtesy of BetMGM Sportsbook
Fixture: North Texas Mean Green vs. UAB Blazers (Neutral)
Date and Time: Thursday, March 30, 2023, 9:40 p.m. ET
Venue: Orleans Arena
ShotQuality Tale of the Tape
Below, we will highlight essential ShotQuality data for this matchup, including Adjusted Offensive and Defensive SQ, strengths, weaknesses, and frequency. SQppp is a player’s average ShotQuality points per possession.
Thus, SQppp = Total SQpoints/Total No. of Possessions.
The North Texas Mean Green owns a 1.06 AdjOFF SQ this season, good for 100th in the nation. UAB has the 110th-best AdjDEF SQ at 0.99. UNT does well in all key stats but shot selection, where they are in the 40th percentile. They are also 204th in the open three rate metric. Conversely, the Blazers are in the 44th percentile in defensive shot selection and 222nd in the defensive open three rate metric. In addition, the Mean Green offense will have a considerable edge in shot-making.
The Mean Green owns high-frequency numbers in cut, half-court, isolation, off-the-dribble three-point, and post-up shot types. They are in the top 110 in all those shot types except cut, with a 1.10 SQ PPP (196th in the country), and post-up, with a 0.89 SQ PPP (174th). Conversely, the Blazers are 90th in defensive cut but 235th in stopping shots in the post-up. The biggest issue for the Blazers is defending the three-point jump shot, an absolute strength of the Mean Green.
The Blazers have a 1.14 AdjOFF SQ, the 34th-best mark in the country. North Texas has posted a 0.99 AdjDEF SQ this season, clocking in at 107th in the country. The Blazers are in the top 50 in shot selection, spacing, and rim & three SQ PPP. The Mean Green are in the 30th percentile or better in defensive shot selection and spacing but 182nd in defensive rim & three SQ PPP.
UAB is in the country’s top half in frequency regarding the following shot types: cut, finishing at the rim, midrange, off-the-dribble three-pointer, off-screen, post-up, and transition. UAB will carry an offensive advantage in transition and perimeter shooting but may need to look elsewhere when shooting out the post.
North Texas vs. UAB: Prediction
Conference USA has been spectacular this season. Charlotte won the CBI, while one of UAB or North Texas will cut down the nets in the NIT. Florida Atlantic has also made it to the Final Four in March Madness. The conference and the teams are great, but I’ve been pounding on the table as a UAB believer all season. That won’t change here, as I’m taking them with the points, even though I love some North Texas basketball.