Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesday's Pregame Beat: Second round in Maui, CBE finals

Maui Invitational

2:00 pm: No. 8 Memphis vs. Tennessee: There is a lot of intrigue to this game. For starters, Josh Pastner has not been quite about the fact that he does not want to play Tennessee; its not a rivalry thing, he simply doesn't want other programs to be able to recruit in Memphis. The Tigers were disappointing against Michigan, but the question is whether or not that was a result of their standing as a team or simply because the Wolverines run a difficult system to prepare for. Tennessee has been a bit of a surprise this year, but they aren't going to run anything close to what Michigan does on either end of the floor. This could be a good gauge to see where the Tigers, and the Vols for that matter, are right now.

4:30 pm: Georgetown vs. Chaminade: Tough break for Georgetown. They lose a battle against Kansas and are forced to play Chaminade in their second-round game.

7:00 pm: No. 15 Michigan vs. No. 5 Duke: This may end up being the best game of the night. Memphis may have been unprepared for Michigan, but Duke certainly won't be. The Blue Devils have played the Wolverines a number of times over the past couple of seasons -- including in last year's NCAA Tournament -- so they will be familiar with Michigan's sets. That's important, because they won't have time to practice against it with games happening on back-to-back days.

9:30 pm: No. 18 Kansas vs. UCLA: The only reason that the Bruins are in the second round of this tournament right now is that they were fortunate enough to draw Chaminade in the opener. The Bruins are a mess right now. Kansas is having some of their own issues as well. Tyshawn Taylor was battling cramps last night. Some of their veteran leaders have been inconsistent early in the season. Kansas is learning how to operate with players in new roles, and they are getting better. The Jayhawks shouldn't have an issue with the Bruins.

CBE Classic

7:30 pm: Notre Dame vs. Georgia: Both Notre Dame and Georgia were smacked in the first round of the CBE last night. It wasn't a surprise with the Bulldogs, as they lost two NBA draft picks from last season. The Irish's struggle were a surprise, however. It was the first game back for Tim Abromaitis and Eric Atkins also returned to the floor.

10:00 pm: No. 21 Missouri vs. No. 18 Cal: If Duke-Michigan is the best game of the night, this is easily the second best. Missouri and Cal are two very, very similar teams. They both have talented perimeter attacks, they both have a land-warrior big man in the post, they both lack some depth in their front court, and they both have senior-laden rosters. Missouri is more athletic than Cal, has more talent and is playing a de facto home game. The Tigers should get this win, which would be a helluva statement after the way they played last night. Personally, I'm excited to see Marcus Denmon and Jorge Gutierrez go at it.

The rest of the top 25:

7:30 pm: Tennessee State @ No. 1 North Carolina: The Tar Heels have been rolling through competition this season. Doubt that changes against Tennessee State.

7:00 pm: Arkansas State @ No. 7 Louisville: Louisville is banged up, but they are coming off of a road win against Butler.

10:00 pm: South Carolina State @ No. 10 Baylor: I'm still concerned about how the Bears are going to operate at the point this season, but with the size and talent along their front line, I doubt that point guard play will be much of an issue.

8:00 pm: UMKC @ No. 11 Wisconsin: Wisconsin is outscoring their opponents 222-105 this season, and they are doing it was Jordan Taylor is simply playing a facilitatory role. That's impressive.

7:00 pm: La Salle @ No. 16 Pitt: Not much was expected of La Salle this season, but they've knocked off James Madison and took Villanova to overtime. Sophomore Tyreek Duren will need a Casper Ware-esque performance tonight.

7:30 pm: Cleveland State @ Kent State: Two of the best mid-major programs in the country. Both CSU and KSU have knocked off a high-major program this season, Vanderbilt and West Virginia, respectively. If you like physical basketball, this will be the game for you to watch.

9:30 pm: Illinois @ Richmond: The Illini are a bit of an unknown quantity this year. They aren't getting all that much attention right now, but there is some talent on this team if they can get it all put together. Richmond is rebuilding, but its never easy to travel and play the Spiders.

10:05 pm: Boise State @ Long Beach State: Boise State is young, but they have some talent on their roster and they're 3-0 heading into this game. We all know about LBSU by now, but the 49ers are coming off of a loss to San Diego State.

Other notable games:

- 7:00 pm: Illinois State @ Rutgers
- 7:00 pm: Robert Morris @ James Madison
- 7:00 pm: Wagner @ Penn
- 7:00 pm: Morehead State @ West Virginia
- 7:00 pm: Southern @ Providence
- 8:00 pm: UMES @ Kansas State
- 9:00 pm: Coastal Carolina @ Clemson
- 9:00 pm: Prairie View A&M @ BYU
- 9:00 pm: St. Francis (NY) @ St. John's
- 10:30 pm: Cal Poly @ UNLV

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