Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Day for the College Hoops Junkie

Today is a day for you College Hoops fans to stay home, park it on the couch, and enjoy hours chock full of great matchups. You've got two top ten matchups, ranked teams on the road, and bubble matchups. We'll break it down for you in groups:

*****Send the wife and kids to the mall for two and a half hours

****If you are home, you are watching


**Watch the Highlights on Sports Center

*There's a rerun of Gossip Girl on instead of this cupcake matchup

#4 Georgetown at #2 Memphis, Noon EST, ESPN ***** - You have got to give John Calipari credit. He knows his conference is soft, so he will schedule anyone. This matchup with Georgetown is a contrast of style. Memphis will try to run and use their depth to wear down the Hoyas. John Thompson's club will try to slow the game down and make it a half-court battle. The matchups to watch are big men Roy Hibbert vs. the loquacious Joey "Greg Oden ain't that great" Dorsey and point guards Jonathon Wallace vs Derrick Rose. It's the biggest game in Memphis since Penny Hardaway's club met up with their bitter rival, Nick Van Exel's Cincinnati squad. The Tigers have struggled of late, but I think they put it all together and win a close one. Memphis 65 Georgetown 62

#14 Indiana (9-1) vs. Coppin State (3-8), Noon, * - Really, the only reason to watch this game is to see what Eric Gordon will do next or what injured Hoosier Eli Holman will wear on the bench. His "Hoosier Red" suit has drawn rave reviews from the IU faithful. Indiana 98 Coppin State 65

#1 North Carolina (10-0) vs. UC-Santa Barbara (10-1), 1 PM, *** - Why three stars you ask? The 10-1 Gauchos are decent, with wins over UNLV, Pepperdine, and Harvard (who beat Michigan). Also, Roy Williams called out his Tar Heels squad after a lackluster 10 point win over Nichols State. Lets see if UCSB can devise a defense to stop Tyler Hansbrough. The best thing about UCSB? Chrissy from MTV's Newport Harbor goes there. UNC 89 UCSB 77

#3 Kansas (11-0) vs. Miami-Ohio (6-4), 1 PM, ** - This game got a lot more interesting after the Red Hawks shocking OT win at Illinois on Thursday. Charlie Coles seemingly has been there forever and always puts a smart team on the floor. Meanwhile, don't expect my beloved Jayhawks to play as poorly as they did down the stretch at Georgia Tech earlier this week. You can be assured Bill Self read his players the riot act for that one. Over/under on Mario Chalmers' steals is set at four. Kansas 83 Miami-Ohio 66

#8 UCLA (10-1) at Michigan (4-7) 2 PM, CBS, ** - Good news, Michigan fans. Arizona's Laval Lucas-Perry, a top freshman, has decided to transfer to Ann Arbor. He is our of Flint. The bad news, he can't play right away and his new team is teetering on joke status. Rumors are already swirling that new coach John Beilin's act is not playing well with his current team and the already have losses to Harvard, Central Michigan, and Western Kentucky. More bad news, UCLA is coming to town with a healthy team and the best Freshman post player int he country, Kevin Love. UCLA 72 Michigan 49

#11 Texas A&M (10-1) vs. UC Irvine (4-6), * - MTAC spies were at Reed Arena for their pasting of Detroit this week. We were told Brian Davis talks way too much smack and Deandre Jordan is raw, but extremely talented who is a lock to leave after one season. How does he know? His shoes were littered with writing saying "one and done" and "NBA Money." Also, coach Mark Turgeon likes to talk in the third person. Texas A&M 91 UC Irvine 72

#12 Tennessee (10-1) at Xavier (8-2), 2 PM, ESPN, ***** - This should be as entertaining as a game can be if you love offense. Both teams want to run all day long. It also matches up two of the rising stars in coaching, Tennessee's Bruce Pearl and Xavier's Sean Miller. The Vols are an enigma despite their record. They can shoot themselves in and out of games and their deep shooting sets up their full court pressure. Xavier has a veteran point guard in Drew Lavender who is as quick as they come and will be able to handle the pressure. The key for Xavier is what they can get out of big man Josh Duncan, who has been slowed with an ankle injury. Tennessee 95 Xavier 92

#19 Arizona (8-2) vs. San Diego State (9-2), 3 PM, **** - Another very underrated game that nobody will be paying attention to besides us. Steve Fisher always seems to put a quality product on the floor and will compete in the MWC. F Lorenzo Wade can play. In the meantime, the more we see of Arizona, the more we like them. As much as we love Chase Budinger's sweet stroke and the driving ability of Freshman Jerryd Bayless, the key to this team is the emergence of big man Jordan Hill. His last time out, he dropped 16 points and 19 boards on UNLV on the road. Arizona 77 San Diego State 70

#25 Stanford (9-1) at Texas Tech (6-4), 4:30 PM, ESPN2, *** - Here is another opportunity for the Big 12 to add to its already impressive out of conference resume. Stanford has flown under the radar since their stunning loss at Siena. Brook Lopez is back from academic suspension, but nobody knows if they are legit, since their schedule had more cupcakes than Davis Bakery. Meanwhile, Bob Knight's Red Raiders are jeckyl and hyde. They beat Gonzaga but loss to Centenary, the home of The Chief, Robert Parish. Stanford 71 Texas Tech 69

#15 Clemson (10-0) vs. Mississippi (10-0) in Puerto Rico, 5:30 PM **** - Another under the radar game that pits two of the remaining eleven unbeaten teams in the country. Clemson is rolling right now after knocking off Depaul in last night's second round San Juan Shootout tilt. Clemson looks like the #3 team in the ACC, while nobody knows what to make of Andy Kennedy's undefeated Rebels. Their schedule has been pretty soft as well, but you can only play who's on your schedule. Call it the Ohio State method. Clemson 80 Ole Miss 72

#5 Texas (11-0) at #10 Michigan State (10-1) at Auburn Hills, 6:30 PM, ESPN, ***** - Texas has won at UCLA and beaten Tennessee. Here's another big challenge. You can bet that Tom Izzo will do his best to have his players wear down the depth-less Longhorns. The key for the Spartans is to be as physical as possible with Texas guards D.J. Augustine and A.J. Abrams. We're not buying the Spartans as of yet, but we're getting close. Plus, it's time for the lack of depth to catch up with Rick Barnes. Michigan State 72 Texas 68

#16 Villanova (8-1) vs. Columbia (4-6), 7 PM, * - As they say in the barber shop, NEXT. Villanova 77 Columbia 56

#18 Butler (10-1) at. Florida Gulf-Coast (3-8), 7 PM, * - Florida Gulf-Coast? Come on Butler, even you can do better than that. Butler 60 Florida Gulf Coast 46

#17 Vanderbilt (10-0) vs. Tennessee State (3-6), 9 PM, * - I like white cake and buttercream frosting on my cupcakes. Vanderbilt 82 Tennessee State 62

Illinois (6-4) vs. Missouri (8-3) in St. Louis - 8:30, ESPN2, *** - If Illinois wants to even consider the NCAA Tournament this year, they must win this game. Thus far, their lack of guard play is killing them and leading scorer Shaun Pruitt averages just 13.1 PPG. They are coming off an embarrassing home loss to Miami-Ohio. Meanwhile, Missouri's 40 minutes of "mild discomfort" is getting closer and closer to the 40 minutes of hell coach Mike Anderson is looking for. Mizzou can play. Missouri 82 Illinois 68

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