Not sure how a team with an 85 RPI playing a team with a 115 RPI is an 11 point dog--even on the road. But I do agree that we go into this contest as a slight dog.
Interestingly, LU has scored 70+ in all 19 games. While their schedule overall has not been as strong as ours, most of their wins have been by more than 10 points. I am not sure what to make of the fact that they have only won one really close game, a very good road win at Wagner. Is their lack of close games an indication of how strong they are, or if this game is close, will we have the advantage?
Agree that 11 points is too much. Both Pomeroy and Sagarin have LU as a 7-point favorite - half of which is the home court advantage. That sounds about right.
As for LU's scoring, there are a couple of factors. First, they are definitely a good offensive team - scoring 1.086 pts per possession as compared to BU's 1.067. (Average is 1.004.) But another factor in them scoring so much is their fast pace of play - averaging almost 70 possessions per game as compared to BU's 63.5 ppg. This difference in pace of play would add 7 points to LU's average score, even if their offense was identical to BU's.
Hard to say what their record in close games means - but they have had only three that were real close in the final 90 seconds: (1) the 1-point win at Wagner where D'Orazio hit a three at the buzzer; (2) an OT loss at Cornell; and (3) the St. John's loss, where LU blew a large lead. Losing a close game at St. John's might seem like a good outcome for LU - but don't forget St John's is very inexperienced this year and has no depth. Currently every team BU has lost to this year is stronger than St. John's, as are Princeton and Richmond.
I think the game may well be decided by PG play. LU has an experienced soph PG, Mackey McKnight, who is a good player - plus they have a solid frosh PG in Corey Schaefer. If BU's duo of Hill/Kaspar can play fairly equally with LU's PG's, then I think the Bison have a good shot to win it.
BTW, given the BU inexperience at PG, I would not be at all surprised if LU tries the trapping defense that broke the game open two years ago in Bethlehem - where they trapped almost every time a Bison tried to dribble around a ball screen. That stretch of the game was painful to watch, as BU seemed completely unprepared for it. Looking back, BU had 11 turnovers - 10 by guards/wings - in 16 minutes. Turned the ball over on 42% on their possessions over that time span. Then almost no turnovers in the second half - after it was too late.