Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wednesday Lay-up Lines

The big game of the night is happening at 7:00 as Duke (18-1, 5-0) heads to Winston-Salem to take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (16-1, 3-1). It'll be interesting to see how Wake Forest bounces back from getting upset by Virginia Tech. The Demon Deacons are a young squad, and young teams don't always handle adversity well.

While both teams are talented at each position, there is one specific match-up I am looking forward to seeing - Gerald Henderson and James Johnson. Henderson might be the hottest player in the ACC right now, but Johnson has a lot of size on him and is just as athletic as Henderson is. Wake is going to need to slow down Henderson if they plan on winning.

Offensively, Wake is going to need to take advantage of their size. Johnson, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Chas McFarland will have have size and strength advantages regardless of who is on the floor for Duke. Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith are both excellent defenders on the perimeter, and they are going to make it very difficult for Jeff Teague and Ishmael Smith to function on the perimeter. If Wake can control the offensive glass and dominate the paint on their end, they have a good chance of winning.

I actually think Wake is going to win this one. I think LD Williams is going to lock down Jon Scheyer, and Wake's size and athleticism is going to take over on the inside. It should be a fun one to watch.

The rest of the night's games:

  • 6:30 PM: Michigan (14-6, 4-4) @ Ohio State (13-5, 3-4): These two teams were the main reason that people were talking about the Big Ten being much improved this season. Both have fallen off during conference play. Michigan runs a 1-3-1 zone, which should give Ohio State fits as they lack quality point guard play.
  • 7:00 PM: South Florida (7-12, 2-5) @ Louisville (15-3, 6-0): With the way Louisville is playing, the Bulls should have no chance to hang in this one.
  • 7:00 PM: Memphis (16-3, 5-0) @ East Carolina (10-8, 2-3)
  • 7:00 PM: Pitt (18-1, 6-1) @ Villanova (15-4, 3-3): I think Villanova is one of the most overrated teams in the country. Their best win right now ... St. Joe's? Temple? Rhode Island? Tell me, who is going to handle DeJuan Blair on this team? And who will be able to stop Sam Young? Answer - no one.
  • 7:00 PM: Davidson (16-3, 9-0) @ Chattanooga (9-11, 5-4)
  • 7:00 PM: St. John's (11-8, 2-5) @ West Virginia (14-5, 3-3)
  • 7:00 PM: Syracuse (17-4, 5-3) @ Providence (13-6, 5-2): Providence needs a marquee win. Badly. Right now, their best win lies somewhere between a Cincinnati and a Rhode Island. Providence has come close to beating the top dogs in the Big East (Georgetown, Marquette), but with their mediocre record, they need to knock off two or three of the big boys if they plan on going to the NCAA's.
  • 7:00 PM: Vanderbilt (12-7, 1-4) @ South Carolina (14-4, 3-2)
  • 7:30 PM: Kansas (15-4, 4-0) @ Nebraska (12-6, 2-3): Nebraska is a tough defensive team, which should cause the baby Jayhawks some problems on the road. But I think the veteran leadership of Sherron Collins will be too much.
  • 7:30 PM: Georgetown (12-6, 3-4) @ Cincinnati (10-8, 3-4): Hard to believe, but Georgetown and Cincinnati are tied in the Big East standings. The Hoyas could really use a win after losing to Duke, West Virginia, and Seton Hall.
  • 8:00 PM: Georgia (9-10, 0-4) @ Florida (17-3, 4-1): The fact that a 17-3 team for a power conference is unranked should go to show you what the country thinks of the SEC.
  • 8:00 PM: LSU (15-4, 3-1) @ Tennessee (12-6, 3-1): Would it surprise you if neither of these teams reached the tournament? I think Tennessee will figure it out eventually, but a win over the Vols could go a long way for LSU.
  • 8:05 PM: Illinois State (17-3, 6-3) @ Northern Iowa (14-6, 8-1): My money is on one of these team's eventually winning the MVC.
  • 9:00 PM: UNC (17-2, 3-2) @ Florida State (16-4, 3-2): I like the 'Noles this year. They are probably the biggest team in the country (they start 6'2", 6'7", 6'9", 6'9", 7'1"). But my feeling is that you need a good point guard that can help control the tempo of the game offensively - preventing turnovers and making sure you take good shots - if you are going to beat the Heels. Toney Douglas, while good, is not that.
  • 9:00 PM: UConn (18-1, 6-1) @ DePaul (8-12, 0-7): I'm going to step out of my role as an unbiased writer for a minute. UConn better not lose this f-ing game.
  • 9:00 PM: Missouri (17-3, 4-1) @ Kansas St. (12-7, 1-4)

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