Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wednesday's Pregame Beat

7:00 pm: UConn @ Cincinnati: The Huskies seem to be a bit overrated at this point in the season. They have struggled to rebound the ball, they lack perimeter shooting, they have limited depth, and they have struggled to consistently bring the intensity needed to be a top 25 team. Cinci, on the other hand, has been a bit of a disappointment. Their struggles center around Deonta Vaughn, whose scoring has dropped before double figures. Cinci's biggest strength right now? Half court defense and hitting the glass; think West Virginia Jr. UConn, who excels at getting out in transition, is going to need to beat the Bearcats down the floor if they want to score. Otherwise, this game may end up in the 50's.

7:00 pm: South Florida @ Louisville: The Cardinals have seemed to right the ship after losing three games earlier in the year. South Florida looks like they are a bit better than they have been in year's past. Dominique Jones may be the best kept secret in the country, averaging 18, 5, and 5 to go along with 2 steals. This is a trap game for Louisville, who hosts Kentucky on Saturday.

7:30 pm: William & Mary @ Maryland: Maryland better come ready to play. The Tribe has been one of the biggest surprises this season, having notched wins over Richmond, VCU, and at Wake Forest. Greivis Vasquez seems to have finally found his scoring touch.

9:00 pm: Baylor @ Arkansas: Arkansas is always tough at home, but Baylor, who has just one loss on the season, is one of the bigger surprises this year. Epke Udoh has finally begun to live up to his potential. If you haven't had a chance to see Rotnei Clarke play for the Razorbacks, he is quite a pleasure. He's hit 10 threes twice this season, including 13 in his 51 point outburst in the season opener.

9:00 pm: South Carolina @ Boston College: Both the Gamecocks and the Eagles were expected to compete for a spot in the tournament this season, but both have dealt with injuries this season. BC is finally healthy, and this could be a nice tune-up for ACC play.

9:00 pm: Northwestern @ Illinois: Northwestern has finally cracked the top 25. This is the season for them if they want a shot at making the dance. Illinois, despite a lot of press early in the season, has struggled. That said, road games in conference are always difficult, and if last night taught us anything about the Big Ten, it is wide open at the top. Even with a loss, the Wildcats should be considered a favorite to earn an at-large bid.

9:00 pm: Providence @ Notre Dame: The Friars have struggled in Keno Davis's second season, while the Irish are winning despite losing Scott Martin for the season. If you haven't seen Notre Dame play, this is a good chance to get acquainted with Tim Abromaitis and Ben Hansbrough.

Other notable games:

  • 7:00 pm: George Washington @ Harvard
  • 7:00 pm: UT-Arlington @ Michigan State
  • 7:00 pm: Albany @ UNC
  • 7:00 pm: UAB @ Virginia
  • 7:00 pm: Duquesne @ Old Dominion
  • 7:00 pm: Presbyterian @ Florida
  • 8:00 pm: UMKC @ Missouri
  • 8:00 pm: Manhattan @ Vanderbilt
  • 10:35 pm: Howard @ St. Mary's

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