Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thursday's Pregame Beat: Some Big 5 action, and a intriguing battle in the midwest

7:00 pm: Temple @ No. 8 Villanova: Big 5 basketball is about as good as it gets in terms of historic rivalries. Temple and Villanova just so happen to be the best two teams in the Big 5 this season, meaning that this matchup tonight has more at stake than just a quality non-conference victory.

Temple is known for the defense, but in terms of efficiency, Villanova is actually the better team this season. The Wildcats have some tough and versatile defenders as well as some size on the interior. When Villanova wants to defend, they are very tough to score on. The issue for both these teams, however, has been the play of their stars. Corey Fisher and Maalik Wayns were supposed to be the guys that carried the torch for Villanova this season, and both have gotten off to slow starts. For Temple, both Lavoy Allen and Juan Fernandez have been a bit disappointing this season.

8:00 pm: Old Dominion @ No. 10 Missouri: This will be quite an interesting matchup, to say the least. On one hand, we have Missouri, a team that likes to play press full court and get the tempo going up and down. On the other hand, you have Old Dominion, a group of rugged kids that want to keep the pace slow and love to attack the offensive glass. Missouri isn't that great on the defensive glass, but they force a lot of turnovers and the Monarchs have had problems protecting the ball this season. My recommendation? Never ignore a game that Mizzou is playing in. Not this season, anyway.

10:00 pm: Arizona @ Oregon; Arizona State @ Oregon State: If you are going to start the Pac-10 season on the road, you can't ask for a much easier task than heading to the Oregon schools. Arizona and Arizona State both need a sweep this weekend if they are going to compete atop the league.

Other Notable Games:

  • 7:00 pm: No. 16 BYU @ Buffalo
  • 7:30 pm: Princeton @ No. 21 UCF
  • 8:00 pm; Lipscomb @ No. 22 Memphis
  • 6:00 pm: Pepperdine @ Miami FL
  • 7:30 pm: New Hampshire @ VCU
  • 8:00 pm: Alcorn State @ Ole Miss
  • 8:00 pm: TCU @ Tulsa
  • 8:00 pm: Iowa State @ Virginia
  • 8:00 pm: Savannah State @ Southern Miss
  • 8:05 pm: Oakland @ Oral Roberts
  • 10:00 pm: Central Michigan @ UNLV

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