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)
Mar 5, 2015, 3:14 PM EST
Man, this is a serious blow.
Mar 5, 2015, 2:31 PM EST
After winning yet another regular season title, Gonzaga looks to win its third consecutive WCC tournament crown.
Mar 5, 2015, 2:05 PM EST
I’ve been asked the question enough. Here are the answers.
Mar 5, 2015, 2:00 PM EST
The CAA will be the nations most wide-open conference tournament.
Mar 5, 2015, 12:00 PM EST
Can Wofford reach their second straight NCAA tournament?
Mar 5, 2015, 10:57 AM EST
Josh Speidel is still in the hospital as he deals with a serious brain injury stemming from a car accident last month.
Mar 5, 2015, 10:23 AM EST
This is nasty.
Mar 5, 2015, 9:51 AM EST
The catch: None of them were actually seniors.
Mar 5, 2015, 8:53 AM EST
These eight teams can steal an automatic bid in conferences that will get at-large bids.
Mar 5, 2015, 1:22 AM EST
Neither the Panthers nor the Tigers did themselves any favors Wednesday night, with Pittsburgh’s home loss being the costlier of the two defeats.
Mar 4, 2015, 11:59 PM EST
All of Wednesday’s relevant bubble info can be found right here.
Joe O’Shea’s off-balance three-pointer forces overtime in Bryant’s double OT win over Sacred Heart (VIDEO)
Mar 4, 2015, 11:34 PM EST
Thanks to O’Shea the Bulldogs advanced to the NEC semifinals, where they’ll take on Robert Morris.
Mar 4, 2015, 11:22 PM EST
That didn’t take long.
Mar 4, 2015, 9:38 PM EST
Colson and Demetrius Jackson scored 11 second-half points apiece in Notre Dame’s win at Louisville.
Mar 4, 2015, 9:03 PM EST
D’Angelo Russell scored 28 to lead the Buckeyes, but none of his points were wilder than the two scored by Thompson on this play.
Mar 4, 2015, 5:59 PM EST
Kentucky head coach John Calipari is one of 15 coaches still in contention for this honor.
Mar 4, 2015, 5:13 PM EST
Kaminsky is one of five seniors on the list, and Gonzaga is the only program with two representatives.
Mar 4, 2015, 4:20 PM EST
With the higher seeds hosting in the first three rounds of the Postseason NIT, the four one-seeds could potentially not leave campus before the semifinals at Madison Square Garden.
Mar 4, 2015, 3:40 PM EST
The most recent title odds from Bovada.
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