College Hoops Saturday: Your Commentary

January 29th, 2010
There are good games throughout the day on Saturday, beginning with Duke visiting Georgetown in front of an audience that will include the President of the United States. The Blue Devils will show up confident thanks to their wins this past week over Clemson (on the road) and Florida State. Their three primary scorers can be a handful for anyone but the Hoyas must find someone to guard the versatile Kyle Singler, who can play either inside or out offensively. Georgetown will also have its share of matchup advantages, most notably Greg Monroe in the high post. He was limited by foul trouble in the Hoyas' loss at Syracuse on Monday, but despite having four bigs to turn to inside the Blue Devils don't have a guy who can guard the sophomore both inside and out. Keep an eye on the number of possessions in this one; if the Hoyas can keep the number low they've got a good chance of defending their home floor.
From there it's on to Lexington, where the first-place Commodores of Vanderbilt take on Kentucky in a game that will determine the early frontrunner in the SEC race. Vandy won at Tennessee earlier this week despite A.J. Ogilvy falling victim to foul trouble but if that happens again they'll be in more trouble on Saturday given the presence of Patrick Patterson and DeMarcus Cousins. But the individual matchup that will garner the most attention will be Jermaine Beal vs. John Wall. Beal led the Commodores to their win in Knoxville with a game-high 25 points and the senior simply gets the job done on a nightly basis. He's not as explosive as Wall but with his experience and skill level Jermaine will be a tough matchup for the freshman phenom.
The night games are also good, with a pair of conference games sharing the spotlight. Kansas visits the "Octagon of Doom", a place they've historically done extremely well in. The Jayhawks dominated Missouri on Monday night despite turning the ball over 23 times, limiting the Tigers to 27.9% shooting from the field. And in Cole Aldrich they've got one of the nation's ultimate game changers in the post, possessing the ability to change games without scoring. Aldrich's presence opens things up for the Morris twins inside and the likes of Xavier Henry and Sherron Collins on the perimeter. But the Wildcats aren't lacking in offensive options like the Tigers were. Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente will be a challenge for the Kansas backcourt, but if the Jayhawks can make those two work for their points they stand to leave Bramlage Coliseum with yet another win over K-State.
There's also the Game of the Year (so far) in the Ivy League with Harvard taking on Cornell in what should be an entertaining affair. Both took care of inferior opponents on Friday night and in Jeremy Lin (Harvard) and Ryan Wittman (Cornell), two of the better players you don't see on ESPN every night will be on display. But don't forget about the Big Red's seven-footer, Jeff Foote, who can score and rebound inside to relieve some of the pressure on Wittman and Louis Dale on the perimeter. These are the two best offensive and defensive teams in the Ivy League; it's not even close when looking at the numbers. The winner, which will likely be decided by which team controls the boards (Harvard leads the league in rebounding margin), will assume early control of the title race.  
Noon ESPN Louisville at West Virginia
Noon ESPN2 LaSalle at Temple
Noon ESPNU Eastern Michigan at Miami (Ohio)
Noon BEN-HD/SNY/CST Marquette at UCONN
1p CBS Duke at Georgetown
2p ESPN2 Indiana at Illinois
2p ESPN Oklahoma State at Missouri
2p ESPNU Murray State at Tennessee-Martin
3p Raycom FSU at Boston College
3:30p FSN Washington St at Washington
4p ESPN Vanderbilt at Kentucky
4p ESPNU Youngstown State at Cleveland State
6p ESPN2 Notre Dame at Rutgers
6p ESPNU Charlotte at Massachusetts
6p CBS-College New Mexico at TCU
7p ESPN Kansas at Kansas State
7p FSN-SEC Georgia at South Carolina
8p ESPN2 Pacific at UC Riverside
8p ESPNU Providence at Cincinnati
9p MTN Utah at BYU
10p ESPNU Hawaii at Nevada 
2p Saint Louis at Richmond
2p Western Michigan at Kent St
3:05p Northern Iowa at Missouri St
4p Baylor at Texas
4p Old Dominion at Northeastern
4p Lipscomb at East Tennessee St
6p Marshall at Houston
6p Texas Southern at Alabama St
7p Harvard at Cornell
7p Boston University at Stony Brook
7p Drexel at William & Mary
7p St. Francis (NY) at Robert Morris
8p UTEP at UAB
8p Sam Houston St at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
8:05p South Dakota St at Oral Roberts
9p New Mexico St at Louisiana Tech
9:05p San Jose St at Utah St

Kansas over Kansas State: Look for the Jayhawks to win in Manhattan due to their defensive ability and the many options they have on offense. Cole Aldrich is one of the best centers in America and even if he's not getting the ball on the block his presence frees things up for the likes of Xavier Henry and the Morris twins. The Jayhawks have already been through one major test on the road (Tennessee), and Bramlage is a place where they've enjoyed a lot of success historically. Kansas wins.