Saturday, February 2, 2008

What to Watch This Week

I know, some of you have expressed concern for our laziness on the weekends, but MTAC does have a family to spend time with ya know? Trust us, if we could stay home and watch a full day and night of college hoops uninterrupted, we'd be in heaven. But that is not reality anymore. Weeknights are much better. But I digress. The photo you see to the left is that of Lou Roe, former UMass star Power Forward. He and Marcus Camby owned the frontcourt when they were in school together, playing for then UMass coach John Calipari. Makes you winder how he does it. Calipari turned UMass into a senstaion when he was there. Once he left, they became irrelevant. After his brief and unsuccessful stint in the NBA, Calipari ended up at Memphis, where he turned that program into a powerhouse seemingly over night. Pretty amazing and by all accounts, he seems like a good guy.

#21 Pittsburgh (17-4) at Connecticut (15-5), Saturday 1 PM – A huge game in the Big East. Both teams are two back of 7-1 Georgetown. UConn is still without leading scorer Jerome Dyson and Pitt is missing starting PG Levance Fields.

#14 Stanford (17-3) at #9 Washington State (17-3), Saturday 3 PM – Wazzu can’t afford to lose two straight at home and have been very sluggish since their pasting at UCLA three weeks ago. Meanwhile, Stanford is streaking. Can the Cougars Arron Baynes slow down Stanford’s Brook Lopez?

#8 Tennessee (18-2) at #25 Mississippi State (14-6), Saturday 7 PM – The first place teams in the SEC East and West square off. The Bulldogs have the advantage in the post with Charles Rhodes and shot blocking machine Jarvis Varnado. Jamont Gordon vs. Chris Lofton on the perimeter? Sign us up for this one.

Arizona (15-6) at #5 UCLA (19-2), Saturday 9 PM – We cannot wait for this one. When Arizona his hitting on all cylinders, there may not be a better offensive trio than Jerryd Bayless, Chase Budinger, and Jordan Hill. We cannot wait to see UCLA’s sticky defender Darren Collison lock down on the Freshman Bayless. The difference in this game could be Kevin Love’s post play. If Hill gets in foul trouble, the Wildcats could be in big trouble. A great choice by ESPN for their Gameday site. We wonde rhow they pulled this since the Pac-10 is a FSN affiliated conference.

Louisville (15-6) at Marquette (15-4), Monday 7 PM – Now here are two teams that need a win badly to stay near the top of the Big East. You’d have to put the Cardinals and Golden Eagles on the top of any disappointing teams list.

Gonzaga (16-5) at St. Mary’s (17-3), Monday 11 PM – The game of the year in the WCC. Too bad it starts so late nobody will see it. Matt Bouldin and Micah Downs have to shoot it well from deep to open up the post for Austin Daye and Josh Heyfeldt. Meanwhile, the Jeremy Pargo/Patrick Mills matchup should be juicy at the point.

#19 Florida (18-3) at #8 Tennessee (18-2), Tuesday 9 PM – These two clubs should have no problem lighting up the scoreboard. Neither has a post game that is particularly great, but Florida’s Mareese Speights and Tennessee’s Wayne Chism are two forceful bigs who should battle all night. Nick Calathas’s game is sweeter by the day for the Gators. We will see how the Tennessee press affects Freshman PG Jai Lucas.

#10 Texas (16-4) at Oklahoma (15-5), Wednesday 7 PM – With Blake Griffin back from his ankle injury, this is a huge opportunity for OU to get a resume building win. The Red River rivalry is never short on passion, so expect fireworks. Can OU’s guards slow D.J. Augustine and A.J. Abrams?

#3 Duke (18-1) at #4 North Carolina (20-1), Wednesday 9 PM – Round one of the best rivalry in the game. We think Tyler Hansbrough is going to abuse the Devils inside; they have nobody who can stop him. Duke has to have their three point shooting in effect to have a chance to win this one. The guy to watch is Freshman Kyle Singler. Dick Vitale makes his triumphant return to the microphone for this tilt. What, you thought he was coming back for Butler/Valpo?

Rhode Island (18-3) at UMass (14-6), Thursday 8 PM – UMass would have to be considered a bubble team if the tournament started. Beating a good Rhode Island team at home is a must.

#11 Indiana (17-3) at Illinois (10-12), Thursday 9 PM – Not only does IU desperately need a W, but Eric Gordon makes his first trip to Champaign, the place he backed out of last year to go to IU. The Illini fans will be brutal to him, you can be sure. Over/under on how many eggs tossed at him is 15. I like the over.

#5 UCLA (19-2) at #9 Washington State (17-3), Thursday 10:30 PM – The last time these two met at Pauley Pavilion, Wazzu didn’t hit a field goal until over eight minutes into the game and they were run out of the building by the more physical Bruins. You can bet they will be out for revenge. The problem is, the talent level at UCLA is better and nobody on the Cougars can defend Kevin Love.

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