San Diego St
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.
Maryland went into their game at Duke on Saturday with the ability to move ahead of the Blue Devils in the loss column with two games in hand. Well, the Blue Devils made sure to beat those thoughts out of the Terrapins on Mike Krzyzewski's 1,000th game as Duke head coach, jumping out to a 22-8 lead on their way to the 77-56 victory. Jon Scheyer led all scorers with 22 points but he's essentially a known quantity for Duke at this point. The surprising (and somewhat dominant) performance came from the tallest man on the roster.
#2 Villanova vs Seton Hall
-- Villanova is obviously a tourney lock, but their main concerns are winning the Big East and earning a #1 seed.
-- Seton Hall has some nice home wins, but hasn't won a road game since November 20th at Cornell. A win over Nova would go a long way to help their dimming hopes.
#3 Kentucky vs Ole Miss
-- Kentucky, like Nova above, is all about winning the SEC and earning a #1 seed.
Led by future #1 NBA pick John Wall, this year's freshman class will be one to remember. What makes it particularly interesting is that not all of the top performers are at power conference schools. The WCC, CUSA, A10, MWC, WAC, and others have top-level rookies that can play with the best in the country. Here's a list of the Top 25 freshman in the country so far, with a bias on actual performance as opposed to potential. While players like UNC's John Henson may one day tear up NBA harcourts, this list focuses on the guys who are getting it done right now.
Random facts, tidbits, thoughts, and comments about a big day of college basketball..
#7 Michigan St at Minnesota - 12:00 CBS
When Blake Hoffarber scores 10+ points, Minnesota is 9-0. They've lost 6 in a row when he hasn't hit that mark. The inconsisent junior is coming off 2 bad games in a row (2 losses), but if he gets hot, expect a Gopher upset.
Auburn at Vanderbilt - 1:30
Tuesday's schedule is a light one but there is a very good game to check out in the Mountain West as New Mexico visits a talented group of Aztecs. Darington Hobson has been outstanding for the Lobos and if you concentrate solely on the junior college transfer than a player like Roman Martinez can jump up and make you pay. Steve Alford's squad picked up its lone loss of the season on the road, falling at Oral Roberts, so it would not be a surprise if SDSU pulled off the upset.
BYU is the MWC favorite, but the rest of the league is wide-open, as 6 other teams have legitimate hopes of making a deep run in the league tournament.