Dec 22, 2012, 11:30 AM EST
Each day, CollegeBasketballTalk brings you the “Pregame Shootaround,” which will lay out a preview for the slate of games that night. We’ll take a look at some key match-ups and important games, as well as make some predictions and point out what you need to watch for. Take a look below at today’s edition:
Note: The weekend editions of Pregame Shootaround will be published half an hour prior to tip-off of the day’s first game.
Games of the Day:
No. 9 Kansas vs. No. 7 Ohio State (4:00 p.m. ET, CBS)
This game has a very different feel to it than the last time these two teams met on Dec. 10, 2011. No Jared Sullinger or William Buford for Ohio State. No Thomas Robinson or Tyshawn Taylor for Kansas. Instead, we have a more mature Deshaun Thomas and Lenzelle Smith, back with point guard Aaron Craft vs. Jeff Withey and star freshman Ben McLemore.
Ohio State will be cognizant of Withey around the rim, being that he’s leading the nation with 5.4 blocks per game. They’ll also be looking to Craft to lock down defensively on the perimeter to neutralize Kansas’ three-guard set of McLemore, Elijah Johnson, and Travis Releford.
Kansas is the favorite in the Big 12 this season, but this will be only the Jayhawks’ second game against a ranked opponent this season. Their first ended in a loss to Michigan State.
No. 12 Missouri vs. No. 10 Illinois (6:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
In Saturday’s other matchup of ranked opponents, newly legitimized Illinois faces Missouri. This will be a battle of the backcourts, with Illinois featuring D.J. Richardson, Tracy Abrams, and early Player of the Year candidate Brandon Paul vs. Phil Pressey, Keion Bell, and Oregon transfer Jabari Brown.
Brown had 12 points and three assists in his first game with the Tigers, now paired with Pressey after Michael Dixon’s days with the team came to an end. He saw 20 minutes in his first game, but look for his numbers to increase as he gets more into the fold. Laurence Bowers is still the go-to option for Frank Haith’s team.
Illinois will have to make a concerted effort to control what happens on the glass, as Missouri is second in the nation in rebounds per game. That duty will fall to everyone on the floor for the Illini, who don’t have just one dominant rebounder.
Who’s Getting Upset?: Miami against Hawaii (12:30 a.m. ET, ESPNU)
Hawaii pushed Illinois to overtime earlier this year and lost by only one point. Now, Miami travels all the way to our beautiful 50th state for a matchup with a team that rebounds well and puts a lot of points on the board. Sometimes the effects of traveling can be overstated, but the Hurricanes have traveled to Hawaii, then tip off at 12:30 a.m. ET. Not an easy task. I’ll take Hawaii in the upset.
Mid-Major Matchup of the Day: Murray State vs. Dayton (12:00 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network)
Isaiah Canaan, Ed Daniel, and Murray State meet a tough Dayton team Saturday at noon ET. This matchup gives Dayton guard Kevin Dillard (15.0 points, 4.1 assists per game) a chance to face a nationally recognized player like Canaan. The Flyers narrowly missed out on beating Illinois State in overtime, but Daniel (16.1 points, 10.7 rebounds) will be a controlling force on the block.
Five Things to Watch
1. Temple suffered an upset to Canisius earlier this week, but there’s no rest for the weary. The Owls face No. 3 Syracuse at Madison Square Garden at noon ET, which might as well be a Syracuse home game.
2. Jabari Brown will continue to work himself into the Missouri rotation Saturday against Illinois, coming off a debut in which he put up 13 points in 20 minutes on the floor.
3. Keep an eye on No. 16 New Mexico against South Dakota State. Any time Nate Wolters is on the floor against a ranked opponent, there is a chance for an upset. It’ll be made tougher because SDSU is traveling to Albuquerque, but never count out the Jackrabbits
4. Texas inexplicably dismantled North Carolina without Myck Kabongo this week, which likely says more about UNC than it does the Longhorns, but Texas returns to the floor Saturday to face No. 20 Michigan State.
5. Whereas it was mentioned that Temple fell to Canisius this week and will have no rest, a fired-up Canisius team faces No. 21 UNLV Saturday. They might be in upset mode, but I don’t see the Runnin’ Rebels falling.
The Top 25
No. 3 Syracuse vs. Temple (12:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
No. 4 Arizona vs. Tennessee State (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
No. 5 Louisville vs. Western Kentucky (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
No. 7 Ohio State vs. No. 9 Kansas (4:00 p.m. ET, CBS) (See Above)
No. 8 Florida vs. Kansas State (8:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
No. 10 Illinois vs. No. 12 Missouri (6:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
No. 11 Cincinnati vs. Wright State (4:00 p.m. ET)
No. 13 Minnesota vs. Lafayette (7:00 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network)
No. 15 Georgetown vs. American (12:00 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
No. 16 New Mexico vs. South Dakota State (2:30 p.m. ET)
No. 18 San Diego State vs. San Francisco (6:00 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
No. 19 Butler vs. Evansville (2:00 p.m. ET)
No. 20 Michigan State vs. Texas (2:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
No. 21 UNLV vs. Canisius (10:00 p.m. ET)
No. 23 North Carolina vs. McNeese State (12:00 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
No. 24 Oklahoma State vs. Tennessee Tech (1:00 p.m. ET)
No. 25 NC State vs. St. Bonaventure (3:00 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
Other Notable Games
Murray State vs. Dayton (12:00 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network)
LSU vs. Marquette (2:00 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
Florida State vs. Charlotte (2:00 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network)
George Mason vs. Richmond (3:00 p.m. ET)
Kentucky vs. Marshall (4:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
Fresno State vs. UCLA (11:00 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Networks)
Miami (Fla.) vs. Hawaii (12:30 a.m. ET, ESPNU)
Dec 18, 2014, 7:09 PM EST
Branden Dawson is the team’s leading rebounder, as he’s grabbing 8.7 boards per contest.
Dec 18, 2014, 5:59 PM EST
Gaston Diedhiou was denied admission to Minnesota during the summer, and he is now eligible immediately after passing an English proficiency exam.
Dec 18, 2014, 5:08 PM EST
While the focus has been on the Aztecs’ shooting percentages, their ability to find quality looks has been a big reason why they’ve struggled.
Dec 18, 2014, 3:45 PM EST
When do we start counting Duke-UConn as a rivalry?
Dec 18, 2014, 3:33 PM EST
Agau was buried on the Louisville bench with a number of young guys in front of him.
Dec 18, 2014, 2:34 PM EST
A deep look into the early-season struggles of Marcus Paige and whether or not they are fixable.
Dec 18, 2014, 12:48 PM EST
The last two times these teams have squared off in big games, the outcome has been memorable.
Dec 18, 2014, 10:53 AM EST
Three-point shooting might be the key to the Virginia season.
Dec 18, 2014, 9:59 AM EST
She may not be playing anymore, but Lauren’s time with the basketball program has not yet come to an end.
Dec 18, 2014, 8:45 AM EST
David Nwaba scored 11 second-half points to help lead the Mustangs back from a 14-points halftime deficit. Here are two of those points.
Dec 18, 2014, 8:00 AM EST
Doolin finished the game with 15 points, three assists and no turnovers, and made two huge plays to get UNLV the two-point win over Portland.
Dec 18, 2014, 12:04 AM EST
This is the first win that the American has landed over a ranked team.
Dec 18, 2014, 12:00 AM EST
Dawson’s injury occurred on the same night that freshman Javon Bess made his regular season debut for the Spartans.
Dec 17, 2014, 10:33 PM EST
Copes played in just four games this season due to injury.
Dec 17, 2014, 10:07 PM EST
The best part is that it was very much intentional
Dec 17, 2014, 9:20 PM EST
Delaware State’s Amere May scored more points than anyone in college basketball has this season.
Dec 17, 2014, 8:19 PM EST
With Lavon Long and Brett Bisping now sidelined, the Saints are without their two best rebounders.
Dec 17, 2014, 6:55 PM EST
Defense and turnovers will be the keys for Texas when Big 12 play begins.
Dec 17, 2014, 5:56 PM EST
After shooting 40.7% from the field and 29.4% from three as a sophomore, Anderson’s off to a hot start for the sixth-ranked Cavaliers.
Dec 17, 2014, 4:26 PM EST
With these dismissals Dayton has no eligible players taller than 6-foot-6.
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