Saturday, December 09, 2006

Saturday's Top Games to Watch

Indiana @ Kentucky
The Hoosiers play a stifling ball pressure perimeter defense, and the Wildcats have suspect guard play to begin with, so the onus falls on Randolph Morris to dominate DJ White in the post.
Kentucky by 3

George Mason @ Duke
The Patriots don't need to win this game, they just need to play it close to get their season back on track. Duke has too much presence down low for GMU to be considered here in an upset.
Duke by 18

Robert Morris @ Wagner
RMU began the NEC season with a wimper in a loss to Sacred Heart. A second road loss is likely today at Wagner.
Wagner by 6

Oral Roberts @ Georgetown
After beating Kansas, ORU has faded a bit, while Georgetown has been disappointing all season long. The Hoyas have to establish Roy Hibbert early against Caleb Green to take advantage of the height differential.
G'Town by 10

Ole Miss @ Memphis
The Rebs are capable of pulling out the upset here, but expect Roberts-Douglas and company to rebound from a big loss to Tennessee.
Memphis by 8

Toledo @ Kansas
MAC teams have failed to show up against quality opponents this season, so a strong game by the Rockets could restore some lost credibility to the league, particularly after Northern Illinois lost at home to Georgia Southern last night.
Kansas by 14

Penn State @ Seton Hall
Bobby Gonzalez has the Pirates playing with passion, but Jamar Nutter can still shoot his team out of a ball game. Geary Claxton is the heart and soul of the Lions, so keying in on him is of utmost importance for SHU.
SHU by 6

Delaware State @ Michigan
Jahsha Bluntt needs to dominate for the Hornets if they want to pull off a win at Ann Arbor.
Michigan by 15

Wisconsin @ Marquette
This great rivalry features both teams ranked in the top 20 at the same time for the first time. Dominic James easily outshines Kam Taylor at the point. Taylor is still very turnover prone. Alando Tucker will outwork Marquette as a collective unit in the post, so it's up to James and McNeal to keep the Eagles in it with perimeter shooting and getting to the rim off the dribble.
Wisconsin by 3

Missouri @ Purdue
This is a very intriguing matchup. Mike Anderson has the Tigers playing great basketball, but Purdue is a very solid team. With Teague, Landry, and Crump, they have multiple scoring option.
Purdue by 4

Texas A&M @ UCLA
The Aggies are coming off a game in which Acie Law was held to four points by LSU. The Aggies lost that game. Expect the Bruins to harrass Law even more so on the perimeter and get the same result as the Tigers. UCLA isn't big in the post, but they still have playmakers in Shipp and Mbah A Moute. Joseph Jones can be trouble for the Bruins, but he can't beat them by himself.
UCLA by 10

BYU @ Michigan State
The Spartans play tough at home, but they still lack consistent scoring.
MSU by 8

Nebraska @ Oregon
The Ducks are still undefeated, while Nebraska is another surprise team. Alecs Maric needs to have a huge game in the post for the Huskers to win this one. Aaron Brooks is finally making consistently good decisions for Ernie Kent.
Oregon by 8

Illinois State @ Evansville
A big early season game for two MVC teams looking to battle into the upper half of a tough conference.
Evansville by 2

DePaul @ UAB
Both of these teams need to get on a roll to make a run at an NCAA at-large invite. DePaul has to win these road games as they enter Big East play, where wins are tough to come by.
DePaul by 6

George Washington @ USC
USC can run with GW, but they probably don't want to get into that tempo. Nick Young needs to be the go to guy for the Trojans.
USC by 7

Georgia Tech @ Vandy
Vandy is playing much better since a home loss to Furman. Foster and Byars make this team tough, but Tech is far too deep for the Commodores to run with.
Tech by 10

Wichita State @ Wyoming
Playing at Casper will be tough for the Shockers, but after wins at LSU and at Syracuse, this team has proven that they can play anywhere.
Wichita State by 8

St. Joe's @ Louisville
A must win for the Cardinals in their quest for an at-large berth.
L-Ville by 6

Missouri State @ UNC-Wilmington
See above and apply it to Blake Ahearn and the Bears.
Missouri State by 10

Southern Illinois @ Western Kentucky
Again, this could be a big resume builder for either team. A road win by SIU and their stifling defense is likely. Containing Courtney Lee is a must for the Salukis.
SIU by 4

Xavier @ Creighton
Another big game for a Valley team in terms of building the resume. Xavier is playing excellent basketball right now, while the Blue Jays are struggling a bit. Nate Funk needs to have more sets run for him on the perimeter.
Creighton by 2

UMKC @ No. Iowa
The Panthers have to be careful with Day, Ayuba, and the Kangaroos.
UNI by 12

Arizona @ San Diego State
The Aztecs are 8-1, but they could just as easily be 5-4 against a fairly weak schedule. Brandon Heath and company really miss Marcus Slaughter. Arizona has too much firepower for the Aztecs, even on the road.
Zona by 10

Sacramento State @ Long Beach State
Larry Reynolds needs to get the 49ers back on track.
LB State by 6

Washington @ Gonzaga
This is the last game in this rivalry for a few years, so it should be intense. Washington has the inside presence in Hawes and Brockman to contend with Heytvelt, but Raivio clearly outshines Dentmon at the point.
Zaga by 4

UNLV @ Nevada
Nick Fazekas can dominate the post tonight for the Wolfpack, making a Rebel win unlikely.
Nevada by 7

Friday's Top Performer

Raul Orta, St. Peter's
Orta led the Peacocks to a 66-55 win at Loyola MD by scoring 19 points and grabbing 6 rebounds.

Recap of Friday's Games

Georgia Southern 72 Northern Illinois 70

Ohio 71 Louisville 74

Canisius 69 Marist 80

Iowa State 59 Iowa 77

Friday, December 08, 2006

Friday's Top Games to Watch

Ohio @ Louisville
The Bobcats can win this game if they let Leon Williams touch the ball more than 10 times. They have the firepower to stay with the Cardinals, they just need to know how to harness it.
LVille by 6

Canisius @ Marist
Marist is the class of the MAAC, but the Golden Griffs could be a sleeper this year.
Marist by 12

Thursday's Top Performer

Russell Carter, Notre Dame

Carter scored 27 points for the Irish, and led a 14-0 run that sealed the upset over Alabama.

Recap of Thursday's Games

The Good
Michigan 62 Miami OH 56

Alabama 85 Notre Dame 99

Lipscomb 50 Vandy 59

The Bad
It was a bad night for NEC contenders, as favorite Robert Morris lost at Sacred Heart, who are themselves a legit contender. The truly bad loss was by defending champions Monmouth, who lost at home to Long Island.

The Ugly
LaSalle lost to UM-Baltimore County at home by 11. Someone really needs to rescue that Explorer program.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Thursday's Top Games to Watch

Michigan @ Miami OH
The Red Hawks were completely embarrassed by Illinois State on Tuesday, and are looking to bounce back. The Wolverines don't play the same shut down defense as ISU, but they should still limit a handicapped Miami offense.
Michigan by 12

Alabama @ Notre Dame
The undefeated Tide have a tough road game against an Irish team hot off a big win over previously undefeated Maryland. The Tide will dominate the post with Davidson and Hendrix, so Kyle McAlarney and Colin Falls need to be particularly deadly from the outside.
Bama by 6

Lipscomb @ Vandy
Not only is Vanderbilt not the best team in Nashville, they might not even be the second best. Lipscomb could go a long way towards showing they are the best team in the Music City with a road win tonight. Belmont waits in the wings for some epic ASun clashes. The emergence of Trey Williams for Lipscomb gives them three deadly scorers, with Eddie Ard and Brian Fisk joining Williams in averaging double figures.
Vandy by 7

Wednesday's Top Performer

Chris Lofton, Tennessee

Lofton led the Vols to a huge win over Memphis with 34 points on 12/18 shooting, including 6/11 from behind the arc.

Recap of Wednesday's Games

Villanova 67 Oklahoma 51

Old Dominion 55 Virginia Tech 72

VCU 75 Albany 57

NC State 60 WV 71

W. Kentucky 81 Montana 65

Creighton 54 Dayton 60

Memphis 58 Tennessee 76

Fresno State 42 UCSB 70

Tuesday's Top Performer

Dustin Salisbery, Temple

Salisbery scored 34 points and grabbed 7 boards in a 76-71 win over Western Michigan.

Recap of Tuesday's Games

Oklahoma State 72 Syracuse 68

Loyola Chi 62 Purdue 78

Minnesota 81 UAB 88

Miami OH 40 Illinois State 64

Northern Iowa 57 Iowa 55

Texas A&M 52 LSU 64

Arizona 72 Louisville 65

Gonzaga 67 Washington State 77

UNLV 61 Hawaii 58

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tuesday's Top Games to Watch

Oklahoma State @ Syracuse
The Cuse is coming off a home loss to Wichita State, in which Demetrius Nichols missed a potentially game winning, wide open lay-up. Hopefully he hasn't lost his confidence when they take on a talented OSU team led by JamesOn Curry and Mario Boggan.
Syracuse by 3

Loyola Chicago @ Purdue
The Boilers are back to an elite Big Ten program, thanks to Landry, Teague, and Crump, but the Ramblers are more than capable of beating them in West Lafayette. Blake Schilb's versatility and size make him a difficult matchup for whoever they play.
Purdue by 8

Minnesota @ UAB
Mike Davis faces a familiar foe in Minnesota. Both teams are coming off big wins.
UAB by 5

Miami OH @ Illinois State
Nate Peavy is a tough matchup for the Redbirds, but expect the Normal faithful to provide an edge for ISU.
ISU by 6

Northern Iowa @ Iowa
Iowa has been playing a little better ball as of late, but Stout and Coleman down low will be tough for the Hawkeyes to defend.
No. Iowa by 3

Texas A&M @ LSU
A rematch of last year's round of 32 game has the Aggies looking more like the Final Four team than the Tigers. LSU had to rally to beat Tulane in their last outing. Joseph Jones can handle Glen Davis, but Acie Law gives A&M the advantage on the perimeter. Players like Magnum Rolle need to fill the void left by Tyrus Thomas for LSU.
A&M by 5

New Mexico @ NM State
The rematch sees the Lobos coming off a blowout loss at UTEP.
NMSU by 3

Arizona @ Louisville
The Cardinals only have three games under their belts, so it's tough to say how good they really are, but they have the potential to be a very good team. Arizona likes to get up and down the court, so Louisville will have to control the tempo and force Shakur into running halfcourt sets, where he's more likely to turn the ball over.
Arizona by 9

Gonzaga @ Washington State
The Cougars will find it tough to rebound from their first loss when they take on a very good Zaga team.
Gonzaga by 12

UNLV @ Hawaii
The Rebs are coming off a rout of Northern Arizona, and are playing with confidence after getting blown out by Arizona. Hawaii needs to find more reliable scoring options outside of Matt Lojeski. But, the Hawaii home court advantage is as great as any in the country, and is tough for any team to overcome.
Hawaii by 3

Monday's Top Performer

Kyle Hines, UNC-Greensboro

Kyle Hines scored 30 points, grabbed 15 boards, and swatted 5 shots in a loss to Davidson.

Recap of Monday's Games

Davidson 66 UNC-Greensboro 63

Winthrop 79 Wisconsin 82

IUPUI 66 Belmont 76

USC 62 Kansas 72

Monday's Top Games to Watch

Davidson @ UNC-Greensboro
Big early season SoCon game between two contenders. Containing Kyle Hines is a must for Davidson.
Davidson by 2

Winthrop @ Wisconsin
Don't be shocked if Winthrop pulls this one off. They have the speed and intelligence to compete with any team in the country. Both of these teams are sweet sixteen quality teams.
Wisconsin by 3

IUPUI @ Belmont
Contenders from the MCC and ASun square off. Justin Hare and Boomer Herndon are a lethal duo for Belmont.
Belmont by 8

USC @ Kansas
Kansas needs to rebound from a loss to DePaul. USC is riding a five game win streak, but will probably be overmatched in Lawrence by a deep Kansas team with something to prove.
Kansas by 8

Recap of Saturday and Sunday's Games

The Good

Valpo 58 Ohio State 78

Kentucky 63 UNC 75

Northern Iowa 57 Bucknell 48

Clemson 74 South Carolina 53

SD State 73 W. Michigan 84

Pacific 62 Texas A&M 74

Gonzaga 87 Texas 77

Winthrop 72 No. Illinois 62

St. Louis 56 So. Illinois 65

UAB 59 Cincy 57

UW-Green Bay 52 Loyola Chicago 71

Georgia 87 Wake Forest 86

Fresno State 74 Oregon State 69

Illinois 72 Arizona 84

Georgetown 52 Duke 61

Wichita State 64 Syracuse 61

Holy Cross 53 Dayton 69

BC 84 UMass 73

Houston 84 VCU 102

Charlotte 57 Indiana 74

Akron 61 Oral Roberts 59

Loyola MY 50 USC 67

Evansville 54 Missouri 73

Bucknell 60 George Mason 57

Drake 80 Iowa State 78

NC State 62 Virginia 67

VA Tech 62 George Washington 63

Boise State 58 Montana 62

Georgia Tech 82 Miami FL 90

Texas Tech 59 Stanford 70

Florida 66 Florida State 70

Nevada 77 Cal 71

The Bad
Kansas 57 DePaul 64

Nebraska 73 Rutgers 75

App State 68 Charleston 57

Washington State 55 Utah 69

New Mexico 63 UTEP 87

Notre Dame 81 Maryland 74

The Ugly
North Dakota State 64 Marquette 60

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Saturday's Top Games to Watch

Long Beach State @ Temple
Test game in a hostile environment for the Niners, who are expected to contend in the Big West.
Temple by 10

Kentucky @ UNC
The Tarheels have too much firepower and depth for Kentucky, who will need to control the tempo of the game to have any shot at this one. Kentucky's poor perimeter play will really be exploited in this game.
UNC by 12

Northern Iowa @ Bucknell
Last year's BracketBuster game is a little less attractive this year. Bucknell hasn't dominated their nonconference schedule like usual. Northern Iowa is coming off a huge win over Iowa State, now coached by former Panther head coach Greg McDermott.
No. Iowa by 4

Clemson @ South Carolina
Clemson is off to an undefeated start, but the Tigers will be put to the test against rival So. Carolina.
Clemson by 6

Kansas @ DePaul
This is the Demons' chance to get a disappointing early season back on track. They have the talent with Chandler and Burns, but they aren't playing well together.
Kansas by 13

Delaware State @ Purdue
Last year's MEAC champs are running into a very good and very underrated Purdue team, fresh off a big win over Virginia. The Boilers have to be aware of Jahsha Bluntt.
Purdue by 15

San Diego State @ W. Michigan
The Aztecs are undefeated by the slimmest of margins, and the Broncs are no pushovers, especially in the post.
SDSU by 4

Pacific @ TX A&M
Pacific isn't as strong as in previous years, but it's still a decent test for Jones and Law and the undefeated Aggies.
TAMU by 14

Gonzaga @ Texas
Gonzaga has the advantage in leadership and post play with Raivio and Heytvelt, but who matches up with Kevin Durant? Freshman Matt Bouldin has been everything the Zags hoped he would be so far. This should be a good game.
Texas by 4

TX A&M Corpus Christi @ Miss State
Jamont Gordon finally cut down his turnovers and had a great game against Charlotte. He needs to keep it up if the Bulldogs want to make a run in the SEC this year.
MSU by 9

Winthrop @ Northern Illinois
Big James Hughes dominates the post for NIU, so Craig Bradshaw needs to have a big game for the Eagles. NIU needs to force Torrell Martin to put the ball on the floor and not allow him to simply catch and shoot. This is a big game for both teams, but also for the MAC as a whole, who doesn't boast a lot of big non-conference wins.
Winthrop by 6

St. Louis @ Southern Illinois
The Salukis are famous for their lock down defense, so the Billikens need to establish Vouyoukas in the post early to open up the court for Lisch and Liddell.
SIU by 8

UAB @ Cincy
Both teams need this game, but Cincy has proven to be vulnerable at home with a cast of new characters. Look for Wen Mukaba to have a big game today.
UAB by 3

UW-Green Bay @ Loyola Chicago
The Ramblers rely heavily on Blake Schilb, but he's got help in Blount, Kou, and Young. Green Bay basically just has Ryan Evanochko. Big early season Horizon game.
Loyola by 7

Georgia @ Wake Forest
Wake is coming off an absolutely embarrassing beat down at the hands of Air Force, so a big home win against a talented Georgia team is a must.
Wake by 4

Fresno State @ Oregon State
The perpetually rebuilding Beavers will provide a good road test for Holsey, Coleman, and the undefeated Bulldogs.
Fresno State by 6

Illinois @ Arizona
The high flying Wildcats are playing good basketball. Illinois is coming off a home loss to Maryland, so they'll be looking to rebound, but the depth of Arizona will be too much for the Illini to overcome.
Arizona by 11

UNLV @ No. Arizona
The Rebs are coming off a bad loss to Arizona, but the Lumberjacks are certainly no pushover.
NAU by 3

Georgetown @ Duke
Georgetown handed Duke their first loss last season, but Roy Hibbert is off to a slow start and so are the rest of the disappointing Hoyas. Georgetown's style will keep it close, but the talent and home court advantage of Duke will wear them down.
Duke by 8

Wichita State @ Syracuse
As usual, we don't actually know how good the Orange are because of their schedule. However, tonight's match up with Wichita State will go a long way in telling us how good Syracuse really is. Wichita State already has two huge road wins at George Mason and LSU, so they won't be intimated at the Carrier Dome. Look for the Ogirri, Cousinard, and Wilson to shoot the Shockers to a win. This team is a legit Final Four contender. This should be the best game of the night.
WSU by 2

Holy Cross @ Dayton
Don't be shocked to see HC win this one.
Holy Cross by 3

Boston College @ UMass
BC might have turned the corner with a big win over Michigan State. Jared Dudley was huge in that game, and they'll need a similar performance to knock off the Gary Forbes, Rashaun Freeman, and the dangerous Minutemen at home.
UMass by 3

Charlotte @ Indiana
A must win home game for the Hoosiers, who almost knocked off Duke at Cameron despite Rod Wilmont and Earl Calloway sitting the bench down the stretch. Kelvin Sampson has this team playing tough defense, and freshman point guard Armon Bassett is the real deal. Leemire Goldwire has a bad ankle, making things tougher for the Niners.
Indiana by 9

E. Kentucky @ W. Kentucky
Courtney Lee should lead the Hilltoppers to a relatively easy win in this rivalry.
WKU by 15

Cleveland State @ Butler
Cleveland is coming off a big win over Kent State, but they draw Butler in their first conference game. Everyone knows the Bulldogs story, but stopping AJ Graves on the perimeter is the key to beating them.
Butler by 10

Akron @ Oral Roberts
The Golden Eagles have not impressed since knocking off Kansas, and Akron, led by Dru Joyce and Romeo Travis is a tough team and legit MAC contender. Expect Green and Tutt to lead the Eagles to a victory in a good game.
ORU by 4

Loyola MY @ USC
The Trojans are still without Gabe Pruitt, leaving the door open for Matt Knight and Brandon Worthy to score a big road win for the Lions.
Loyola by 3

Washington State @ Utah
The Cougars have impressed so far, and a road win at the Huntsman Center would add to the early season resume.
WSU by 4

Friday, December 01, 2006

Friday's Top Games to Watch

Elon @ Davidson
Southern Conference play kicks off with two contenders from the North and South. Davidson has vaulted themselves to legit contenders in a supposed rebuilding year thanks to the play of freshman Stephen Curry.
Davidson by 12

Northwestern State @ Marquette
NW St. is no longer overlooked, so Marquette will be prepared. After struggling out of the gate a bit, Dominic James and company has looked dominant in recent play.
Marquette by 14

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thursday's Top Games to Watch

Not much going on tonight...

Sam Houston State @ So. Miss.
The Bearkats went to the championship game last year in the SLC, before losing to eventual upset maker NW State. This year, they return nearly everyone. Look for the upset tonight against Larry Eustachy's squad, who has been beating up local high schools en route to their undefeated start.
SH State by 4

Arkansas @ Missouri
Both teams are off to good starts, but this is Missouri's first real test. Led by Sonny Weems, the Hawgs should prevail in Columbia.
Arkansas by 4

Wednesday's Top Performer

Jared Jordan, Marist

Do-everything point guard Jordan led the Red Foxes to an easy win over Old Dominion, 84-71. Jordan had 26 points, 8 rebounds, and 10 assists. Just another game for the best all-around point guard in the country.

Recap of Wednesday's Games

The OSU/UNC game lived up to the hype. Don't be surprised to see both of these teams in the Final Four. Even though they lost, I was very impressed with the Buckeyes. Lewis, Butler, Cook, and Conley can all shot the three and get to the basket. The problem was, they simply ran out of gas against the deepest team in the country. Imagine this team spreading when Greg Oden gets on the court.

The Good
Michigan State 58 BC 65

Iowa 65 VA Tech 69

Virginia 59 Purdue 61

Ohio State 89 UNC 98

Kent State 59 Cleveland State 66

Miami OH 53 Xavier 68

Charlotte 69 Miss. State 78

St. Louis 67 Loyola Chicago 64

Iowa State 57 Northern Iowa 70

BYU 68 Boise State 72

Wake Forest 58 Air Force 94

Bradley 84 Tenn Tech 86

Loyola MY 58 UCSB 55

The Bad
Cincy struggled at home again and had to rally to beat Oakland by seven. The Bearcats will improve though, once the influx of juco players get to know each other's names.

Georgetown lost at home to Oregon, who continues to impress. The Hoyas got little to nothing from Roy Hibbert, who should have dominated the post. JTII gets a lot of criticism for not letting his team play. While you can't argue with his success, some of it is warranted.

The Ugly
Clemson blew out Minnesota at Minnesota, which makes Dan Monson's resignation today seem fitting. Monson wasn't getting the recruits needed to rebuild that program after Clem Haskins destroyed it, and even with his best team last year, they were a bottom half team.

Cal embarrassed Bob Huggins and Kansas State, to the tune of 78-48. Talk of an at-large bid in Manhattan seems premature, while Ben Braun seems to have the Bears playing solid basketball.