College Hoops Tuesday: Your Commentary
Tuesday's a big day for teams in need to resume-building wins with many games providing teams the opportunity to further their causes. Rhode Island, who fell victim to Jordan Crawford in the second half of their loss at Xavier, could really use a win at Dayton to help their at-large chances. The same goes for the Flyers, who have lost two of their past three (both defeats came on the road). Losing to the Musketeers is by no means a bad thing but the 60-59 loss at St. Joseph's could be one that comes back to haunt Brian Gregory's squad if they don't pick up a few more quality wins. Both teams will look to run, with Rhode Island needing to keep Chris Wright and company off of the boards if they're to win.
In the Big 12 Kansas State visits a dangerous Baylor squad that nearly knocked off Kansas last week. Ekpe Udoh has been one of the nation's best transfers this season, averaging 14.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 4.4 blocks per game. Curtis Kelly, Jamar Samuels and company will need to bring their A-game to Waco while the backcourt duel could be the highlight of the night. Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente lead the way for Frank Martin's Wildcats while Scott Drew can counter with the tandem of LaceDarius Dunn and Tweety Carter. Turnovers and rebounding margin will tell the tale of this contest given both teams' desire to play at a fast tempo.
Top 5 teams Kentucky and Michigan State will hit the road to take on teams in desperate need of wins in South Carolina and Michigan, and the same can be said for both teams in the North Carolina/NC State rivalry game. The Tar Heels have lost three straight ACC games and their lack of a go-to guy on the perimeter has been one of their biggest flaws to date. Whether or not Ed Davis (ankle) plays remains to be seen but the key for UNC is to keep Scott Wood under wraps. They should have enough manpower inside to stay even with Tracy Smith and Dennis Horner, but can their guards score enough points and limit their turnovers? If they can North Carolina has a chance to leave Raleigh with the win.
7p ESPN Michigan State at Michigan
7p ESPN2 Clemson at Boston College
7p ESPNU Miami at Maryland
8p FSN-Regional Kansas St at Baylor
9p ESPN Kentucky at South Carolina
9p ESPNU Rutgers at Marquette
9p BTN Northwestern at Minnesota
9p Raycom North Carolina at NC State
10:30p MTN Air Force at UNLV
7p Lipscomb at Belmont
7p Rhode Island at Dayton
8p Tulsa at UAB
10p Seattle at Washington
North Carolina over NC State: I like the Tar Heels here even though they'll be walking into a hornet's nest in Raleigh. The Wolfpack faithful like nothing more than to beat UNC (one line in the "Red and White Song" is "Go to hell, Carolina"), and they definitely have the ability to do so. If Javier Gonzalez and Farnold Degand control play NC State will likely win. But with an extended break to go over things and get their minds right look for Deon Thompson and Larry Drew II to lead the Heels to the close victory.