Sunday, February 3, 2008

College Basketball 2/4 - And Then There was One

Kansas State 84, Kansas 75
Kansas State outplayed Kansas in every aspect enroute to beating the Jayhawks in Manhattan for the first time in 24 years. To put that into perspective, noone on the Kansas State roster was alive the last time the Wildcats won at home against Kansas. After being held to just eight first half points, Beasley led K-State with 17 in the second half, a half in which the Wildcats never trailed. The key to this game was the stellar play of K-State's guards Clint Stewart (11 pts and 5 rbs) and Jacob Pullen (20 pts, 4 asts). Kansas guards Mario Chalmers and Russell Robinson came in averaging over six steals a game combined, but Stewart and Pullen were consistently able to break their pressure, and only turned the ball over three times.

AJ Price, UConn
AJ Price averaged 20.5pts, 6.5rpg, and 4.5apg in a 2-0 week for the streaking Huskies. With the suspensions of Doug Wiggins and Jerome Dyson, Price has emerged as the go-to player for UConn, and possibly the best guard in the Big East. Down the stretch of both games, Jim Calhoun isolated Price at the top of the key countless times, and Price delivered with a bevy of runners, floaters, and acrobatic lay-ups. UConn has always had a dominant scoring guard that can take over a game (Ray Allen, Rip Hamilton, Ben Gordon), and Price has taken that crown

After sweeping their Washington and Washington State this week, Stanford has moved into second place in the Pac 10, 2 games up on three teams in third and 1 game behind UCLA. Led by Brook Lopez, who averged 24.5ppg, 10rpg, and 4bpg while holding Aron Baynes and Jon Brockman in check, Stanford has emerged as the biggest challenger to UCLA's hold on the Pac 10.

2/4 Gonzaga @ St. Mary's - The two best teams in a two-bid WCC face off to determine the team to beat.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Patrick Mills, St. Mary's and Matt Bouldin, Gonzaga - Two of the best young guards in the country square off.

2/5 Florida @ Tennessee - After a blow out loss to Arkansas, Florida looks to bounce back and get a signature win against a very good Tennessee team.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Marreese Speights, Florida - With the lack of a powerful inside game, Tennessee will need to slow down the powerful Speights to win.

2/5 Drake @ Illinois State - Drake, one of four one loss teams left in the country, has taken a three game lead in the MVC, with Illinois State in second place despite losing 3 of their last 5.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Osiris Eldridge, Illinois State and Josh Young, Drake - Young will have the task of slowing down Eldridge, the only true perimeter threat the Redbirds have.

2/6 Duke @ North Carolina - Duke - UNC. #2 and #3. Enough said.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Kyle Singler, Duke - That should really read the entire Duke front line. With no real post presence, Duke's big men are going to have their hands full with Tyler Hansbrough.

2/6 UCLA @ Washington State - Washington State desperately needs a win to turn around their fortunes after losing three of their last four games.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Kyle Weaver, Washington State and Josh Shipp, UCLA - Both seniors, these seniors are two of the best all-around guards in the nation.

2/9 Marquette @ Notre Dame - Notre Dame is currently by themselves in second place in a rugged Big East, and Marquette needs a road win badly. Winning in South Bend, where Notre Dame currently has a 32 game win streak, is about impressive as roads W's get.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Luke Harangody, Notre Dame - He averages 20 and 10 in the Big East, and Marquette has pourous interior defense. Look for a big game from 'Gody.

2/9 Mississippi @ Arkansas - Arkansas looks to finally be playing up to their potential (5-2 in SEC, last three wins by double digits), while Ole Miss needs to get on a role.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Sonny Weems, Arkansas - The senior has been playing great for the Rebels since the start of conference play.

2/10 St. Joseph's @ Xavier - After winning six in a row, St. Joseph's has tied Xavier for the A-10 lead. Barring a collapse, Xavier looks to have an auto bid locked up while St. Joe's really needs a big win for their resume.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Pat Calathes, St. Joe's - The 6'10" senior swingman (and brother of stud Florida freshman Nick Calathes) is averaging 18ppg and 8rpg, and creates real match-up problems with his perimeter ability.

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