Friday, December 17, 2010

Weekend Preview

After easily the least enticing week of the college basketball season thus far, we have several marquee match-ups this weekend. Furthermore, conference play is around the corner and non-conference games are winding down – finally. For many fans, we are reaching the point of the college basketball season where things really start mattering – the meat and potatoes of the season. Before we get there, though, there are still some loose ends to tie up in 2010. While there are only a couple of days left for Christmas shopping, don't forget to tune into a ton of college basketball on Saturday. It might be tough to find your last-minute gifts, but that can wait. There are not many games next week, so be sure to get your fill of college hoops with the handful of must-see match-ups and dozens of other quality contests this weekend.

Top Games

Cleveland State at West Virginia (Saturday, 2:00 PM, Regional TV/ESPN FullCourt): Cleveland State has the most wins in the country right now, but its undefeated season might end this weekend. West Virginia has had its struggles, but it will need to corral Norris Cole. Prediction: West Virginia 68, Cleveland State 59

No. 8 Kansas State at Florida (Saturday, 3:30 PM, FSN): Two teams that have not truly lived up to lofty preseason expectations thus far. Kansas State has had problems in the frontcourt, while Florida has inconsistent playmaking and scoring. Prediction: Kansas State 66, Florida 64

No. 22 Texas at North Carolina (Saturday, 4:00 PM, CBS): Two young but talented teams have had some growing pains this season. The key should be at the point guard position – can Larry Drew play consistently, and who will step up for Texas to run the offense? Prediction: North Carolina 81, Texas 75

Gonzaga at No. 9 Baylor (Saturday, 4:30 PM, ESPN2): Gonzaga has been one of the biggest disappointments in the country so far this season. The Bulldogs need to start beating big-time teams in order to get back in the at-large hunt. Baylor is looking like a potential Final Four team. Prediction: Baylor 82, Gonzaga 72

Arizona at North Carolina State (Sunday, 4:30 PM, FSN): This game will likely come down to who plays for NC State – will Tracy Smith and Ryan Harrow suit up? That remains to be seen. If they play, the Wolfpack have the personnel to match-up with Derrick Williams and the Wildcats. Prediction: North Carolina State 75, Arizona 71

Other Games to Watch

USC at No. 3 Kansas (Saturday, 12:00 PM, ESPN): This game will be the debut for two potentially season-changing additions – freshman Josh Selby for Kansas and Fordham transfer Jio Fontan for USC. Prediction: Kansas 83, USC 69

UCF at Miami (Fl.) (Saturday, 1:00 PM, FSN): UCF has already defeated South Florida and Florida; a win here would be another intrastate victory. Donnie Jones has this program on the rise. Prediction: UCF 64, Miami (Fl.) 61

South Carolina at No. 2 Ohio State (Saturday, 2:00 PM, CBS): Ohio State might be the national title favorite if Kyrie Irving is indeed out. South Carolina only has one loss this season, to Michigan State. Prediction: Ohio State 79, South Carolina 61

Arkansas at No. 25 Texas A&M (Saturday, 2:00 PM, ESPN2): This seems like a Cotton Bowl match-up from the 90s. It will be a contrast in styles; when that happens, A&M usually gets its way. Prediction: Texas A&M 61, Arkansas 53

Stanford at Butler (Saturday, 2:00 PM, CBS): Butler has had its struggles this season, although the Bulldogs have looked better with Ronald Nored healthy. Led by Jeremy Green, Stanford has some quality offensive pieces. Prediction: Butler 65, Stanford 53

No. 10 BYU at UCLA (Saturday, 5:30 PM, FSN): BYU is ranked in the top-10 by nearly every poll and ranking in the country, and looks better every game. UCLA has won two in a row after losing four straight in late November-early December. Prediction: BYU 82, UCLA 72

Mississippi State at Virginia Tech (Saturday, 8:00 PM): Both teams have a lot of work to do to get to the NCAA Tournament, although Mississippi State will get a boost with the addition of Renardo Sidney down low. Prediction: Virginia Tech 66, Mississippi State 58

Upset Watch

Oakland at Michigan (Saturday, 12:00 PM): Oakland knocked off Tennessee on Tuesday, but don’t right off Michigan just yet. The Wolverines have been playing well, winning five in a row heading into this one. Prediction: Michigan 71, Oakland 68

Iona at No. 5 Syracuse (Saturday, 7:00 PM, Regional TV/ESPN FullCourt): Iona has won seven straight since losing its first three games, behind the outstanding play of Mike Glover. Syracuse might have the personnel to stop him down low though. Prediction: Syracuse 90, Iona 74

UC-Santa Barbara at No. 11 San Diego State (Saturday, 10:00 PM): San Diego State is looking like a legitimate Final Four threat, despite its conference affiliation. UCSB is coming off an impressive win at UNLV. Prediction: San Diego State 72, UC-Santa Barbara 60

1 comment:

  1. love the stuff, as usual.

    in the oakland-michigan preview, "right" should be "write."

    keep up the great work.