Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thursday's Pregame Beat

It was a busy day, so the Pregame Beat will be light.

9:00 pm: Vanderbilt @ No. 13 Marquette: The Golden Eagles are a team with roster full of junkyard dogs. They are as tough as anyone in the country, both physically and mentally; few teams have more of a penchant for winning close games than does Buzz Williams crew. Vanderbilt is the exact opposite, and its cost them already this season. Will tonight be the night they finally overcome their problems, or will Marquette just be the next in line to bully them around.

11:00 pm: BYU @ St. Mary's: The Cougars kick off their membership in the WCC tonight by traveling to take on one of the league's powerhouse programs. Prior to BYU's entry, the Gaels had almost made the ascent to equivalency with Gonzaga on a national scale, and I imagine that Randy Bennett's team doesn't want to give up that standing easily. It will be interesting to see how St. Mary's, who has not gotten great play out of their big men, defends Noah Hartsock and Brandon Davies.

9:00 pm: Oklahoma @ Cincinnati: This is the first real test that the Bearcats will get without their starting front line. Has this team actually improved that much?

Pac-12 play kicks off:

- 9:00 pm: Oregon State @ Washington: Washington might be the most talented team in the Pac-12, but that doesn't necessarily equate to wins. Oregon State, on the other hand, is my pick to win the league. This is easily the most interesting matchup of the Pac-12's first weekend.

- 10:00 pm: UCLA @ Stanford: UCLA looks like they might have begun to turn their season around in the past two weeks. Stanford has been one of the best teams in the conference through two months. Something has to give tonight.

- 9:00 pm: Oregon @ Washington State
- 9:00 pm: USC @ Cal

Other notable games:

- 7:00 pm: Elon @ No. 6 UNC
- 7:00 pm: No. 10 Florida @ Rutgers
- 7:30 pm: Penn State @ No. 16 Michigan
- 8:00 pm: Howard @ No. 18 Kansas
- 7:00 pm: No. 23 Harvard @ Boston College
- 7:00 pm: Campbell @ NC State
- 7:00 pm: Robert Morris @ Memphis
- 7:00 pm: VCU @ Akron
- 7:00 pm: Penn @ Davidson
- 7:00 pm: Iona @ Hofstra
- 8:00 pm: Marshall @ Belmont
- 8:00 pm: Milwaukee @ Valpo
- 8:00 pm: UNI @ Illinois State
- 9:00 pm: Jacksonville @ Alabama

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