The ACC-Big Ten Challenge concludes tonight. It's knotted up 3-3 after last night's games, but the ACC has a real chance to sweep tonight. Enough about the ACC-Big Ten Challenge (wrote about it this morning) so let's get into tonight's games.
The second reason I like Carolina winning big is that they have started to play defense. They get out and pressure you, forcing turnovers that usually lead to lay-ups and dunks. I am a big fan of both of Kalin Lucas and Travis Walton (they are both good decision makers and don't turn the ball over), but they are both on the smaller side and could have trouble dealing with UNC's length and athleticism.
For Michigan State to win, they are going to need to slow down Carolina (which is all the more difficult because the Spartans wants to play fast this year as well). To do that you need to stop Ty Lawson early and to avoid letting him get a full head of steam. I'm assuming that job will fall into the hands of Kalin Lucas, who is going to want to locate Lawson in the back court and make him change direction with his dribble. But Lawson is so good at getting rid of the ball quickly to his teammates running the floor ahead of him. So not only will the Spartans have to worry about slowing down Lawson, they will have to worry about getting back on defense and locating a man. It is most important for the big men, because Carolina's bigs are the best in the country at running the floor. Beyond that, rebound the ball and hope your shots drop and Carolina's don't.
- 7:00 PM: Lamar (5-0) @ Kentucky (4-2)
- 7:00 PM: Rhode Island (5-2) @ Northeastern (3-3), 7:30 PM: Miami OH (2-3) @ Temple (3-2): These are the kind of games that really pique our interest here. Two good teams from mid-major conferences playing each other. We like Northeastern at home and Miami OH on the road.
- 7:00 PM: Cornell (4-3) @ Syracuse (7-0): Ryan Wittman has been playing great in the absence of Louis Dale and Adam Gore. He is averaging 21, 4, and 3.
- 7:00 PM: Duquense (4-1) @ Pitt (7-0)
- 7:00 PM: UNC-Asheville (3-3) @ Tennessee (5-1)
- 8:00 PM: Alabama State (1-3) @ Nebraska (5-0): Quietly, Nebraska is one of two undefeated teams left in the Big XII. They have wins over TCU, St. Louis, and Creighton.
- 8:00 PM: New Mexico State (2-2) @ Kansas (5-1)
- 8:00 PM: Wichita State (3-3) @ Texas Tech (6-1)
- 8:00 PM: Auburn (3-3) @ Xavier (6-0)
- 9:00 PM: South Florida (3-1) @ UAB (4-2): South Florida's Dominique Jones and UAB's Robert Vaden are two of the most potent scorers in the country.
- 9:00 PM: West Virginia (4-1) @ Mississippi (5-1): Both teams really need this win to boost their NCAA tournament resumes. David Huertas has been great for the Rebels so far this year, averaging 22.7 ppg.
- 9:00 PM: Oregon (3-3) @ Utah (4-1): Utah, after losing to a D2 school in their opener, has now won four straight games.
- 10:30 PM: DePaul (4-0) @ Cal (5-1): Dar Tucker of DePaul is averaging 21 ppg. But so is Jerome Randle from Cal. Neither team has an impressive win yet, but this game is probably more important for DePaul, who will need all the W's they can get playing in the Big East if they want to make a run at the NCAA's.