College Hoops Tuesday: Your Commentary

November 30th, 2009

The ACC/Big Ten Challenge, which the ACC has never lost, takes center stage for the next two days with Michigan State visiting North Carolina in the event's showcase game. The Tar Heels won both meetings last season by double-digit margins, at Ford Field in December and right back on that same floor for the national title in April. But many of the faces in Carolina blue have changed and the young Heels will be tested by a seasoned group of Spartans. The individual matchup to watch: North Carolina's Larry Drew going up against the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year in Kalin Lucas. Even though it's a home game North Carolina will need Drew to at the least hold his own and keep the turnovers to a minimum.

The Big Ten goes into Tuesday up 1-0 thanks to Penn State beating Virginia in Charlottesville and it should be interesting to see how Wake Forest fares in West Lafayette, where Purdue will be a solid favorite. The Demon Deacons have already lost to William & Mary, the first November loss at Lawrence Joel since wake began playing there in 1989. A pair of solid pro prospects will be on display in Al-Farouq Aminu and Robbie Hummel, and JaJuan Johnson is another Boilermaker on the pro scouts' radar. But Wake Forest is still a young basketball team, making it tough to see them pulling off the road upset. 


7p ESPN Wake Forest at #6 Purdue
7p ESPNU Northwestern at N.C. State
7p FSN-SEC Florida A&M at #17 Florida
7:30p ESPN2 Maryland at Indiana
7:30p ESPN 360 Texas Southern at #24 Cincinnati
8p ESPN 360 Fort Hays St. at Kansas State
9p ESPN #9 Michigan State at #11 North Carolina
9p ESPN 360 UTEP at New Mexico State
9:30p ESPN2 Virginia Tech at Iowa 


7p Providence at Northeastern
7p Temple at Western Michigan
9p Colorado State at Northern Colorado
10p Pacific at Fresno State
10p Santa Clara at UC Santa Barbara 


Michigan State over North Carolina: This is likely to be a close game and when that's the case the edge goes to the more experienced team. The Tar Heels do have Marcus Ginyard and Deon Thompson, and Larry Drew did get playing time last season, but to have a guy like Kalin Lucas running the point is a luxury that many teams can't rely on. Don't expect that Spartans to get sucked into a shootout either despite their many scoring options. Rebounding and defense will be the keys for Michigan State.