Saturday, January 19, 2008

What to Watch

I know it's NFL Final Four weekend, but you know we are all about college hoops. Here is one of my favorite old stories from my Freshman year. In February of 2005, Bryant "Big Country" Reeves and company knocked off Kansas in Stillwater to take the lead in the Big Eight. Reeves lit Greg Ostertag up like a Christmas tree that night for 30 points and 20 rebounds. Both teams were tough the rest of the way and came in tied for the Big Eight lead going into the last Sunday of the season where they met again in Lawrence. It was March 5, 1995. The great cousin Steve was in town, we snuck him in on a student ticket (he was 28), and witnessed a performance for the ages by Oklahoma State guard Randy Rutherford. Kansas won the game and the Big Eight title, but it was completely irrelevant. Rutherford was on fire. He scored 45 points and seemingly did not miss a shot. He hit 11 threes. The crazy thing is that OSU scored just 62 points for the game, only four players scored, and Reeves, who killed KU in the first meeting was 0-8 from the field and was held scoreless. What a game it was. The original man crush, Billy Thomas led KU with 17 off the bench including five threes. Each time he let one fly, I yelled "moneyyyyyyyy." Now to Saturday's action.

Notre Dame (13-3) at #6 Georgetown (13-2) - Noon, Full Court - Time for Georgetown to wake up and show us they are an elite team. They haven't played to their high expectations yet this year, especially Roy Hibbert. He will have his hands full with Irish big man Luke Harangody who is averaging over 19 points and nine boards per contest. ND is in dire need of a win over a ranked opponent. Georgetown 65 Notre Dame 61

#21 Villanova (12-3) at Syracuse (13-5) - Noon, ESPN - Villanova is out to prove us wrong since we have been calling them frauds for weeks. Should be a fun matchup of young guards with Cuse's Jonny Flynn and Nova's Corey Fisher and Scottie Reynolds. We predict Donte Greene will dominate the post and be the difference in this one. Syracuse 81 Villanova 74

USC (10-6) at #4 UCLA (16-1) – 3:30, CBS – If the Trojans want to get back to the conversation for a bid, an upset here would certainly be a boost. We just don't see it happening. Who exactly is going to guard the beast that is Kevin Love in the post? We are very interested to see how the great O.J. Mayo likes being swarmed by the UCLA pressure all game. UCLA 67 USC 52

Ohio State (12-5) at #7 Tennessee (15-1) – 3:30, CBS –
The Buckeyes really have no resume building statement win to hang their hats on. This would definitely qualify. Tennessee will be looking for revenge from last year’s NCAA Tournament thriller won by the Buckeyes. They also are going to have a hard time with the Vols pressure and the Knoxville faithful. Tennessee 92 Ohio State 72

#23 Clemson (14-3) at #5 Duke (14-1) – 6, ESPN –
The Tigers gave North Carolina everything they wanted before losing at the buzzer two Sunday’s ago. Is it there time to pull off the road upset? Watch the low post play of the Tigers James Mays and Trevor Booker. If Clemson can some how slow down the Devil shooters, they can win this game. Clemson 77 Duke 75

#3 Kansas (17-0) at Missouri (11-6) – 9, ESPNU –
The old clich├ęs are out for this one. Throw out the record books. Mizzou always plays the Jayhawks tough. This is the best start for KU since the 96-97 team; their first loss? At Mizzou. If anyone can handle the Mike Anderson 40 minutes of hell style it's Kansas. They can have three ball handlers on the floor who can beat the pressure and their bigs run the floor better than any in the country. Kansas 85 Missouri 80

Maryland (11-7) at #1 North Carolina (18-0) - 3:30, ABC - Lets see if Maryland can stay within 25 points of the Heels.

#16 Pittsburgh (15-2) at Cincinnati (8-9) - 4, Full Court - With their lack of depth, every time the Panthers go on the road, it isn't going to be easy. The Bearcats are actually playing a lot better of late and have wins at Louisville, over Syracuse, and Villanova. We think Keith Benjamin and Ronald Ramon will step it up. Pittsburgh 65 Cincinnati 60

#9 Texas A&M (15-2) at Kansas State (11-4) - 4, Full Court - The Aggies are coming off a thrashing at the hands of Texas Tech. The Wildcats won their last one on the road at Oklahoma. This could be a huge stepping stone win towards an NCAA bid for the Wildcats. What a matchup of Freshman bigs in this one with Michael Beasley and DeAndre Jordan facing off. We will take Beasley all day. K-State pulls the shocker. Kansas State 73 Texas A&M 70

#15 Mississippi (15-1) at Auburn (10-5) - 5, Full Court - The Rebels is good ball club. The Tigers aren't. Doesn't matter where this game is played. Auburn isn't winning it.

Southern Mississippi (9-8) at #2 Memphis (16-0) - 9 - Honk...shooo....honk...shoooo

#25 Arizona State (14-2) at Stanford (14-3) - 10 - Herb Sendek loves to slow it down, but has been forced to turn it up with his personnel. Freshman James Harden is the truth. Stanford plays the ball Sendek would like to be playing at ASU. The Sun Devils have been on too good of a run of late. They are so due for a loss. Stanford 60 Arizona State 52

Other Games of Note:

Louisville (13-4) at Seton Hall (11-6) - 8, Full Court - The Cardinals may not be in the Top 25, but the made the MTAC Power 16. They keep rolling with an easy win in NJ.

Kentucky (7-8) at Florida (15-3) - 9, ESPN - Exactly why is ESPN debuting their Gameday on the road in Gainesville for this one? UK can't win on the road and the youg Gators, while exciting, are still finding their way.

BYU (12-5) at Utah (10-5) - 4 - What happened to the Cougars? Can they afford a second MWC loss this early?

Valparaiso (13-5) at Cleveland State (13-5) - 7:30, STO - A win here by the Vikings put them two up on both Butler and Valpo with wins over both in the Horizon League.

Arizona (11-6) at California (11-5) - 8 - Can the Cats win this one at Haas? They have to or they could be in real danger. It is mid-January already. We think Jerryd Bayless and company get up for this one.

Illinois State (14-3) at Drake (15-1) - Both teams come in at 6-0 in the Missouri Valley, tied for first. A win by Drake should get them into the top 25. Former Kansas assistant Tim Jankovich is working magic at ISU.

No comments: