Saturday, February 19, 2005

Saturday Preview

Syracuse at Boston College: A battle for first place in the Big East will showcase two of the best post players in the conference in Boston College's Craig Smith and Syracuse's Hakim Warrick. Jared Dudley could be the difference for the Eagles. Prediction: Boston College by 3

Illinois at Iowa: Illinois is heading towards a perfect regular season, while Iowa needs a win like this to keep their NCAA hopes afloat. The Illini might have too much talent on the perimeter for the Pierre Pierce-less Hawkeyes to handle. Prediction: Illinois by 11

Iowa State at Kansas: Iowa State has won six in a row after losing their first five Big 12 games. Kansas is coming off their first conference loss. Even though the Cyclones are the hotter team, I can't see them going into Lawrence and taking down the Jayhawks. Prediction: Kansas by 9

Texas Tech at Oklahoma State: Texas Tech pulled off their biggest win this year when they defeated Kansas on Monday, while Oklahoma State is starting to look like the team everyone thought they could be at the beginning of the season. Prediction: Oklahoma State by 6

UAB at Cincinnati: UAB is falling off the bubble quickly, while Cincinnati's seed is falling rapidly as well. UAB needs this game to continue to have hopes for a Tournament bid, but the Bearcats have too much inside with the likes of Jason Maxiell and Eric Hicks. Prediction: Cincinnati by 12

Mississippi State at Kentucky: Kentucky is coming off their first SEC loss in over a year, and need to rebound if they want to contend for a #1 seed. Mississippi State needs to get back on the winning track after the return of Winsome Frazier. Prediction: Kentucky by 8

Florida at LSU: LSU picked up a huge road win at Mississippi State on Wednesday, to boost their NCAA hopes. Florida is now a lock in the Tournament, but a road win would do wonders for their seeding and their position in the SEC Tournament. Prediction: LSU by 5

South Carolina at Alabama: South Carolina pulled off one of the biggest wins of the season when they beat Kentucky on Tuesday, but they need to continue winning if they want an invitation to the Tournament. Alabama is contending for an SEC regular season championship. Prediction: Alabama by 9

Utah at Air Force: Air Force's 24-game home winning streak is on the line when they face off against Utah. The Utes are undefeated in conference play, but Air Force's Princeton-style offense can rattle most teams, especially on their home court. Prediction: Utah by 3

Vermont at Nevada: The Catamounts lost their first conference game last week, while Nevada basically clinched the WAC title with a win at UTEP. Both seem to be safely in the Tournament, but a win for either would essentially lock it up. Taylor Coppenrath vs. Nick Fazekas is a match-up to watch. Prediction: Nevada by 2

UTEP at Pacific: UTEP needs a win on the road to continue hoping for an at-large bid out of the WAC, while Pacific wants to continue their 18-game winning streak. A great West Coast match-up should fall in the Tigers favor as a result of the home court advantage and Guillerme Yango. Prediction: Pacific by 5

Wichita State at Miami (Ohio): Wichita State's at-large hopes went from a lock to the verge of falling to the bubble after losing back to back conference games. Miami (Ohio) is also fighting for an at-large bid if they don't win the conference tournament. The winner gets a bid. Prediction: Miami (Ohio) by 4

Southern Illinois at Kent State: Southern Illinois took control of the MVC thanks to Wichita State's losses and seem to be in the Tournament, regardless of what happens in the conference tournament. Kent State is probably off the bubble as a result of their recent losing skid. Prediction: Southern Illinois by 7

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