Saturday, December 8th, Highlighted Match-ups
|by: Drew Barnette - Staff Writer
|December 8, 2007
-MICHIGAN STATE AT BYU. Both teams are 7-1 and are nationally ranked. BYU has been somewhat of a surprise, but they are a good shooting team that can rebound the basketball and the crowd should be up for this one. Right now, it looks as if both could end up in the pod system, and a win in this game would certainly look nice on either teamís resume.
-SOUTHERN ILLINOIS AT CHARLOTTE. Charlotte does have a rather surprising loss to Monmouth, but other than that they are 5-2 with notable wins over Davidson and Wake Forest. This would be another notable win if they can pull it off. Southern Illinois has not been as impressive as everyone expected, at least not yet. Charlotte has been playing well at home, so donít be surprised if they take down the Salukis in this one.
-MICHIGAN AT DUKE. Michigan hasnít played all that well this year, and is in danger of being blown out of the place by a Duke team that right now is playing like a #1 seed.
-NORTH CAROLINA STATE AT EAST CAROLINA. NC State is a modest 4-2 on the year and has a chance to build upon their road record with a win today. East Carolina has just one win on the year, and it was a surprising one against George Mason. This is an in-state rivalry and the fact that ECU is playing at home with some momentum could come into play.
-WAKE FOREST AT GEORGIA. Georgia is 4-1 on the year, but lost their only real test so this would be their first statement win if they were able to pull it off. Wake is off to a pretty good start, but just dropped a close one to Vanderbilt in their last game. Like Georgia, they really donít have a statement win yet, so this is an opportunity for both teams to boost the caliber of their resumes.
-ARIZONA VS ILLINOIS (game in Chicago). Both teams appear to be solid, but Illinois doesnít really have a solid win over a strong tournament caliber team yet. This would really help them out if they could beat what looks to be a tough Arizona team up in Chicago. This may not be a true road game, but it would still look favorable to the selection committee if Arizona was able to come up with a win.
-KENTUCKY AT INDIANA. This game doesnít have the luster that it normally has, but it still looks to be a big game. Kentucky is 4-2 on the year with no notable wins, so they need this one a little more than the Hoosiers do. Eric Gordon was injured earlier in the week, but it isnít too serious. If he plays in this one he may not be 100%, but the Hoosiers appear to be good enough to win this game without him.
-DE PAUL AT KANSAS. De Paul shocked the Jayhawks last year, but could end up being blown out of the gym this year. Theyíre just 2-2 but none of their wins have been all that impressive. Kansas is unbeaten and looks like they can contend for a #1 seed.
-GEORGE MASON AT KENT STATE. This is an interesting game that is very important to both teams. George Mason had a surprising loss to East Carolina in their last game and needs to rebound from that. It really isnít going to look good when the committee evaluates them in March, but Kent State looks to be better than a lot of people expected. A road win in this one for Mason would really help them out. Kent State has quite a bit to play for as well. They are 7-2, but this would probably turn out to be one of the better wins of the season.
-DAYTON AT LOUISVILLE. Dayton is under the radar somewhat, but they have just one loss on the season to George Mason and have won their last two road games, one of which was against Miami, OH who nearly beat Louisville last week. The Cardinals are very athletic and appear to be the much better team, but Dayton is good enough to give them a game. I have the Flyers in my bracket right now, but a win in this one would really elevate their stock.
-PURDUE AT MISSOURI. Both teams have played well this season and appear to be tournament caliber teams, but neither really have a really strong win yet (although Mizzou did defeat Maryland). Both will get more chances after today, but a win in this one would look great on either teamís resume. Purdue struggled on the road last year, and if anything it would be a statement that theyíve turned that around this season. Expect a fast paced, exciting match-up in this one.
-UTAH VS OREGON. Utah has looked pretty good in the games that Iíve seen, but they donít have any standout wins yet. A win today would certainly change that, but it is definitely easier said than done. Oregon is a very strong team who looks to be good enough to make the pod system.
-SETON HALL AT PENN STATE. Seton Hall is 7-1 on the year, and even though theyíre the road team that could end up winning this one in a big way. The Pirates are definitely off to a good start.
-UAB AT SOUTH FLORIDA. South Florida has won six games in a row, and really looks to be playing well. UAB has looked pretty decent their past few games as well despite being without one of their better players. Both teams have momentum coming into this one and are looking to continue it. I wouldnít say that either is in the bracket picture yet, but if they keep winning they will be.
-RHODE ISLAND AT SYRACUSE. Syracuse has not played good defense this year, and could be in for their third loss if they donít get it together today. Rhode Island has looked very impressive and won their last game against Providence in a blowout. They have just one loss on the season, and that was a close one to Boston College, so I wouldnít be at all surprised to see them defeat Syracuse today.
-MISSISSIPPI AT UCF. Ole Miss is undefeated on the year, but this is somewhat of a tough assignment. UCF isnít outstanding, but they are the type of team thatís tough to beat on the road, and theyíre better that just about everyone Ole Miss has played. This isnít a really tough test for the Rebels, but itís tougher than most of the ones theyíve had up to this point.
-RICHMOND AT VCU. This crosstown rivalry looks to be a bit of a mismatch. VCU has lost just one game since the Puerto Rico Invitational, and won a game against Maryland in that stretch. Theyíre a tough defensive team that clearly looks to have the upper hand in this one.
-PITTSBURGH AT WASHINGTON. Pitt is unbeaten, but this is their first game outside the city of Pittsburgh and itís against a halfway decent opponent. It wonít be an easy one to win. Washington is just 4-3, but is probably better than their record. They need a big win, their fans know it, and they should come out ready to play in this one. Donít be surprised if the Huskies end up pulling this one off.
-DUQUESNE AT WEST VIRGINIA. Both of these teams are probably better than people realize, but West Virginia appears to be the better of the two. Duquesne did have a shot at upsetting Pittsburgh in their last game, but itís not going to be easy to win on the road against a very good West Virginia team. WVU is still under the radar, but once they start playing the meet of their schedule I believe more people will notice them.
-MARQUETTE AT WISCONSIN. This is a huge rivalry game, and the match-up is interesting this year. Marquette clearly looks to be the superior team, but Wisconsin is at home and is looking for a statement win of their own. They would love to be able to knock off Marquette in this one.
-BUTLER AT WRIGHT STATE (Horizon League). Wright State just had a fourteen game home winning streak snapped the other night. They are tough to beat at home, and appear to have Butlerís number in the series over the past few years, so donít be surprised if they get up for this one and stay with them. Butler, on the other hand, is undefeated and looking to go to 2-0 in conference play. Starting off league play with two road wins would be huge for Butler, at least in terms of winning the right to host the conference tournament.
-SAINT MARYíS VS SAN DIEGO STATE (Wooden Classic). Both of these teams are off to outstanding starts and I wouldnít be surprised to see either in the NCAA Tournament as at-large bids. Saint Maryís has some big time wins already, but this is their first real test away from home. San Diego Stateís only loss came against Cal, and theyíre looking for a win to boost their resume as well. This one is important to both teams.
-DAVIDSON VS UCLA. Davidson is just 2-4 against div1 competition and is in danger of dropping to 2-5. None of their losses have been terrible, but neither of their wins were all that impressive and the window of opportunity to put together a strong, NCAA Tournament resume is closing. UCLA has just one loss and looks like theyíll be in the mix for a #1 seed. Davidsonís wins will definitely pick up once they get into conference play, but without any big time wins itís hard to say whether or not that will be enough if Davidson fails to win the conference tournament. It will be fun watching UCLAís defense against Davidsonís dangerous offense.
-NICHOLLS STATE AT ALABAMA. Bama played fairly well in their last game against Georgetown, but fell and is now just 4-3 on the season.
-COPPIN STATE AT ARIZONA STATE. Arizona State doesnít have any outstanding wins just yet, but they can still improve to 6-2 today.
-MIAMI, FL AT FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL. This technically isnít a Buy Game, but itís an inner city match-up that appears to be a huge mismatch. Miami is unbeaten on the year and will likely stay that way.
-MAINE AT FLORIDA STATE. The Seminoles can get to 9-2 on the season with a win.
-CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE AT GONZAGA. Cal State Northridge is 6-1 on the year and could give Gonzaga a better game than some expect. Gonzaga is coming off a close loss to rival Washington State, and doesnít want to make it two losses in a row.
-SOUTHERN AT HOUSTON. The Cougars should cruise to 9-1 with a win today.
-MARIST AT MASSACHUSETTS. UMass needs to rebound from their loss to IUPUI and really doesnít want a slipup at home against a Marist team that could potentially be dangerous.
-COLORADO STATE AT MINNESOTA. The wins havenít been against impressive competition, but at least theyíve been winning. The Gophers can get to 6-1 with a win today.
-SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA AT MISSISSIPPI STATE. Mississippi State can get to 5-3 on the season with a win today.
-NORTHERN ILLINOIS AT NOTRE DAME. Notre Dame just got a big win against Kansas State, and can make this their fifth straight victory since the Paradise Jam.
-STEPHEN F AUSTIN AT OKLAHOMA. The Sooners shouldnít have too much trouble getting to 8-2 on the year.
-TEXAS AT RICE. This is another ĎReverse Buy Gameí where the clearly superior team is actually on the road. Texas should win this one in a big way.
-TEXAS STATE AT TEXAS A&M. The Aggies should roll in this one and improve to 7-1 on the season.
-LIPSCOMB AT VANDERBILT. Vandy is unbeaten and will likely remain that way after today.
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Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 222 lbs.
26 Years Old
High School: Indianapolis North Central
Previous Team: Pelicans , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #7 in 2008 Draft
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