Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday's Pregame Beat: Another slow night

Game of the night: 7:00 pm : Cincinnati @ Wright State

Ok, yes. I know. Even with Yancy Gates, Cheikh Mbodj and Ge'Lawn Guyn available to Mick Cronin, this isn't exactly the most exciting game. But with those three being suspended on the heels of a brawl the Bearcats had with Xavier on Saturday, a whole new level of intrigue is added to this game. Like, for example, how this group reacts to the fight. Or how they look without those three players on their roster.

Its no secret that something has to change for this Cincinnati team. Even before the fight, this group was playing well below their expectations. they lost at home to Presbyterian. They lost at Marshall. They were whooped by 23 at Xavier. Cincinnati was supposed to be a contender for the top four in the Big East. Yancy Gates was supposed to be one of the best big men in the Big East. Sean Kilpatrick was supposed to spark change in the Bearcats, not lay the kindling that sparked a brawl.

At this point, Mick Cronin undoubtedly wishes that he was playing xbox and he could just hit the reset button on this season. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. Will this brawl be where the Bearcat's season turns-around or collapses?

Who's getting upset?: Tennessee

At this point, can we even call this an upset? Charleston beat the Vols last season. Tennessee is coming off of a home loss to an Austin Peay team that had never won in Knoxville and had just a single win on the season coming in. Charleston, on the other hand, is 7-1 on the season, has won at Clemson and beat a good UNC-Asheville team. The Cougars have done an admirable job replacing Andrew Goudelock. Trent Wiedeman and Adjehi Baru are big and talented up front, Andrew Lawrence has turned into a dynamic play maker and Antwaine Wiggins can flat out score the ball. Plus, Charleston is at home. Maybe we should say Tennessee has a shot at pulling the upset?

Mid-major matchup of the night: Long Island @ Norfolk State

This isn't the same kind of matchup as we had last night with Belmont and Middle Tennessee State. LIU and NSU aren't going to be in contention for an at-large bid come March. But what they do have are two of the best mid-major big men in the country. Norfolk State's Kyle O'Quinn has put up some impressive numbers in his career, but LIU's Julian Boyd and Jamal Olasewere are going to be difficult to matchup with.

The rest of the top 25:

7:30 pm: USC-Upstate @ No. 2 Ohio State: The only thing we will be looking for out of this game is whether or not Jared Sullinger actually plays.

8:00 pm: Bethune-Cookman @ No. 7 Baylor: Baylor has been terrific since they got Perry Jones back. That shouldn't change against a school like Bethune-Cookman.

Other notable games:

- 7:00 pm: Louisiana-Lafayette @ Ole Miss
- 7:30 pm: FIU @ Maryland
- 8:05 pm: Chicago State @ Wichita State
- 9:00 pm: DePaul @ Northern Illinois
- 9:05 pm: Denver @ Northern Colorado
- 10:00 pm: UTEP @ UNLV
- 10:00 pm; Eastern Washington @ UCLA

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