College Hoops Wednesday: Your Commentary

    
February 23rd, 2010

Wednesday night presents San Diego State with a huge opportunity to state their case for an NCAA Tournament bid. While Steve Fisher's team is 13-1 at home they're just 7-6 on the road without a marquee win to their credit (with a loss at Wyoming to boot). The first meeting was a nip and tuck affair with the Cougars making the key plays required to sneak out of San Diego with a 71-69 victory. Can the Aztecs put together one of their best performances of the season at the Marriott Center? It's possible but they're going to need outstanding performances from the likes of Billy White, D.J. Gay and freshman Kawhi Leonard if they're to pick up a win that would put them near the top of the bubble "list". But no matter what these three (and others) do offensively the Aztecs' defense will determine the outcome.

Jimmer Fredette, who's lit up many an opponent this season, went for thirty-three in the first meeting and made eleven of his nineteen field goal attempts while also handing out five assists. And Dave Rose's team needed everything that Fredette gave as the Aztecs were able to limit both Jackson Emery and Jonathan Tavernari in that meeting. Tyler Haws scored seventeen and as a team BYU shot 45% from the field. However, of their sixty field goal attempts the Cougars put up twenty-one came from behind the arc (making nine).

Despite the number of good perimeter shooters the Cougars have a repeat of such a ratio could play into the hands of the Aztecs. But SDSU settled for a lot of perimeter jumpers as well, something they can ill afford to do in Provo. In front of a hostile crowd San Diego State must attack the rim and not get into a jump-shooting contest with the Cougars if they're to win. Also on tap Wednesday is a key game in the ACC between Clemson and a surging Maryland in College Park. The Terrapins are working their way towards a first-round bye in the ACC Tournament (and maybe even a share of the regular season title) while the Tigers could use one more win to feel completely secure about their NCAA Tournament hopes. 

Texas A&M visits Baylor with both teams looking like solid bets to go dancing but a win for either will do wonders in regards to possible seeding. It will be entertaining to watch two of the Big 12's best guards in the Aggies' Donald Sloan and Baylor's LaceDarius Dunn face off while Baylor big man Ekpe Udoh has the ability to change the game on both ends of the floor. And Oklahoma State visits Texas in a game that could go either way. The Longhorns will be favored but who really knows which team will show up in Austin. And they'll likely have their hands full with the explosive James Anderson, who can go off for thirty on just about anyone. One day closer to March; will it mean one day closer to clarity or furhter chaos?  

TV GAMES

6:30p BTN Ohio St at Penn St
7p ESPN Florida State at North Carolina
7p ESPN2 Pittsburgh at Notre Dame
7p ESPNU Virginia Tech at Boston College
7p CBS-College SMU at ECU
7p CSS Memphis at Houston
8:30p MTN Utah at Air Force
8:30p Purdue at Minnesota
9p CBS-College San Diego St at BYU
9p ESPN2 Oklahoma State at Texas
9p ESPNU Texas A&M at Baylor
9p Raycom Clemson at Maryland
11p ESPN2 Idaho at New Mexico State
11p MTN TCU at UNLV 

OTHER GAMES

6:30p Dayton at Temple
7p Buffalo at Akron
7p Bucknell at Lehigh
7p Vermont at Stony Brook
8p Xavier at Saint Louis
9p USF at Villanova

ONE PREDICTION

Pittsburgh over Notre Dame: The Irish need this one desperately; a bubble team before Luke Harangody went down with his knee injury they've fallen off the radar since he went down. While Tim Abromaitis has the ability to be a feature scorer who slides into his role as the secondary guy? That question combined with Panthers' solid defense leads to a Pitt victory. Panthers by eight.