Jan 19, 2013, 9:39 AM EDT
Game of the Day: No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 6 Syracuse (4:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
It all begins at the point guard spot for these two teams. Peyton Siva and Michael Carter-Williams both change the complexions of their team’s respective offense when they are on the floor. Siva is the backcourt complement to the emerging Russ Smith and the senior leader the Cardinals need, while Carter-Williams is one of the best facilitators in the country and a force with his passing skills with his long 6-6 frame.
Syracuse will be hurt by the absence of forward James Southerland, who is academically ineligible. As one of the team’s best three-point shooters, the Orange become more limited on the perimeter without him. Louisville will likely force Carter-Williams to score the basketball, as Temple did in its upset victory over the Orange earlier this season. This will set up Louisville center Gorgui Dieng on the interior, one of the better shot-blockers in the country.
Who’s Getting Upset?: No. 7 Arizona (-6.5) against Arizona State (2:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Net National)
Freshman point guard Jahii Carson has reinvigorated the Arizona State offense this season and he’ll be matched up in the backcourt with the transfer who has been one of the senior leaders on an otherwise young Arizona team, Mark Lyons. Lyons will lead the young Wildcats on the road to a place where composure will be key. Arizona State’s Jordan Bachynski is one of the best shot-blockers in the conference and the country, averaging 4.5 blocks per game, and he will test the young Arizona frontcourt of Grant Jerrett, Kaleb Tarczewski, and Brandon Ashley.
Mid-Major Matchup of the Day: UNLV vs. Colorado State (7:00 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network)
This might not be a “mid-major” matchup in the purest sense, but UNLV-Colorado State is without a doubt the non-BCS matchup of the day. The Mountain West is shaping up to be one of the toughest conferences in the country and the pairings on the interior in this one show why. UNLV’s Anthony Bennett has been one of the most impressive freshman all season, while transfer Khem Birch came in mid-season for the Rebels and has added depth and bulk in the paint. Add those two to already established forward Mike Moser, and the Rebels have one of the best front lines in the conference.
But Colorado State will look to counter that Saturday with some size of their own. Pierce Hornung and Colton Iverson combine to average over 19 rebounds per game and will look to give the Rams second-chance opportunities off offensive rebounds. If Colorado State can force UNLV into bad shots, as the Rebels have a tendency to do, they’ll be in a good spot for a solid conference win Saturday.
Five Things to Watch For
1) Gonzaga travels to Butler for perhaps the best non-conference matchup of Saturday’s loaded slate. The Bulldogs will miss having Rotnei Clarke in the lineup, but big man Andrew Smith will have to do all he can to limit the Zags’ versatile seven-footer Kelly Olynyk.
2) With Kentucky continuing to gather itself, it looks more and more like the SEC will come down to two teams who play Saturday, Florida and Missouri. Florida will need to battle the nation’s No. 1 rebounding team to keep it close on the backboards, but the matchup in the backcourt may be most interesting–Phil Pressey vs. Kenny Boynton. Unfortunately for the Tigers, they will be missing one of Pressey’s favorite targets, Laurence Bowers.
3) Ohio State took down the No. 2 team in the country on Sunday, but it showed one clear weakness. Deshaun Thomas is the Buckeyes’ only go-to scorer in crunch time. This team is built around defense and Ohio State needs to thrive by playing to its strength. They face Michigan State.
4) UCLA has won 10 straight games since falling to San Diego State on Dec. 1. They face an Oregon team that proved its worth with a win over then-undefeated Arizona earlier in the season.
5) Just two weeks ago, Wyoming stood as one of the nation’s undefeated teams. Now they’ve suffered losses to Fresno State and Boise State and are without the services of leading scorer Luke Martinez after his involvement in a bar fight. They face no easy task Saturday against No. 16 San Diego State.
The Top 25
No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 6 Syracuse (4:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
No. 4 Kansas vs. Texas (2:00 p.m. ET, CBS)
No. 7 Arizona vs. Arizona State (2:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Net National)
No. 8 Gonzaga vs. No. 13 Butler (9:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
No. 10 Florida vs. No. 17 Missouri (2:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
No. 11 Ohio State vs. No. 18 Michigan State (6:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
No. 12 Creighton vs. Wichita State (4:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
No. 15 San Diego State vs. Wyoming (7:30 p.m. ET)
No. 16 Kansas State vs. Oklahoma (4:00 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
No. 20 Notre Dame vs. Rutgers (8:00 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
No. 21 Oregon vs. No. 24 UCLA (4:00 p.m. ET, CBS)
No. 22 Virginia Commonwealth vs. Duquesne (7:00 p.m. ET)
No. 25 Marquette vs. Cincinnati (7:00 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
Other Notable Games
Maryland vs. North Carolina (12:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Connecticut vs. Pittsburgh (12:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
Harvard vs. Memphis (12:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Net National)
Arkansas vs. Ole Miss (1:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
West Virginia vs. Purdue (2:00 p.m. ET, CBS)
Columbia vs. Cornell (3:00 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network)
Florida State vs. Virginia (4:00 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
Boise State vs. Air Force (4:00 p.m. ET, ROOT SPORTS)
California vs. Stanford (4:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Net National)
George Mason vs. Hofstra (5:00 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network)
Georgetown vs. South Florida (6:00 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
Texas A&M vs. Alabama (6:00 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
UNLV vs. Colorado State (7:00 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network)
Kentucky vs. Auburn (9:00 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
Saint Mary’s vs. Portland (10:30 p.m. ET, ROOT SPORTS)
Oct 20, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT
Oklahoma has a chance to be the second-best team in the Big 12, especially if a key player receives a waiver.
Oct 20, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT
The Hawks will have a thin front court this season.
Oct 20, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT
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Oct 20, 2014, 2:09 PM EDT
Stevie Clark was dismissed from Oklahoma State after a pair of bizarre incidents involving the police.
Oct 20, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT
Chris Walker sounds pretty funny.
Oct 20, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT
Jaylen Brantley is Maryland’s first commitment in the class.
Oct 20, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
After riding the coattails of a pair of Californians, Weber State’s focus on recruiting the state of Texas will pay off this season.
Oct 20, 2014, 11:27 AM EDT
Thon Maker has another mixtape out.
Oct 20, 2014, 10:39 AM EDT
Mudiay has now played two preseason games as a professional.
Oct 20, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
Weber State will be the preseason favorites, but Northern Arizona, Sacramento State and Eastern Washington will lead a group of challengers capable of pushing the reigning champs.
Oct 19, 2014, 10:57 PM EDT
Junior forward Mark Tollefsen may be one of the best dunkers in America.
Oct 19, 2014, 8:49 PM EDT
Chris Jones’ three-pointer in the final seconds gave the White team a 75-72 win over the Red.
Oct 19, 2014, 6:59 PM EDT
Evan Smotrycz was re-evaluated Saturday after suffering the injury at the end of practice Friday.
Oct 19, 2014, 6:36 PM EDT
Johnson last played in live action on January 11, when he suffered a torn ACL in the Panthers’ loss to Virginia.
Oct 19, 2014, 4:42 PM EDT
With three of their five seniors being front court players, Colorado State needs to add depth ahead of the 2015-16 season. Sunday’s commitment will help in this area.
Oct 19, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT
Alan Williams gets most of the attention nationally, but he won’t be alone as the Gauchos look to rebound from last year’s disappointing finish.
Oct 19, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT
La Salle nabbed a talented combo guard.
Oct 19, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
A more mobile Dakari Johnson could be a scary thought.
Oct 19, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
An entertaining regular season was followed by a wild conference tournament in 2013-14. Will that once again be the case?
Oct 19, 2014, 10:45 AM EDT
Purdue is in the unique position of having two talented centers on the roster.
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