Today’s college basketball action is filled with some very competitive games. We have a battle of top 25 teams in the Big Ten along with several other very intriguing matchups.
National Game of the Day: #13 Maryland (17-2, 5-1 Big Ten) @ #23 Indiana (14-4, 4-1 Big Ten)
Both of these teams have been playing their best basketball of late and are starting to gel. They both play up tempo basketball and shoot a lot of threes and this should be a very entertaining matchup. Maryland is led by freshman point guard Melo Trimble and junior small forward Jake Layman. Trimble has been spectacular and is averaging 16.1 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists per game while shooting very high percentages. Layman is averaging 14.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. On the Indiana end, they too are led by a freshman and a junior guard. James Blackmon is one of the best shooting guards in the country, averaging 16.6 points and 5.7 rebounds per game as a true freshman. Yogi Ferrell, now a junior, is averaging 14.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 5 assists per game. I think Indiana pulls out a close one, 75 to 68.
This is a battle of two teams with totally different styles. Alabama is one of the best defensive teams in the country while Arkansas plays almost no defense, currently ranking 6th in the country at 82.9 points per game. Arkansas plays an incredible pace while Bama slows everything down. This battle will determine the game. Alabama’s go to scorer is senior guard Levi Randolph. He is averaging 15 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game while providing phenomenal length and defense. Arkansas has a two headed scoring monster in Bobby Portis and Michael Qualls. Portis, a former five star recruit, is a 6-11 power forward averaging 18.3 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Michael Qualls is a 6-6 shooting guard averaging 16.1 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. These two provide almost 42% of their teams scoring. I think, at home, Arkansas is able to control the tempo in this game and they win, going away, 73 to 57.
#3 Game of the Day: N.C. State (13-6, 4-2 ACC) @ Miami (12-5, 2-2 ACC)
This is an intriguing match-up in the between two upper tier ACC teams who both upset Duke. Both win games with defense and rebounding and consistent scoring from a couple key players. For N.C. State, those players are Trevor Lacey and Ralston Turner. Lacey, a junior guard, is averaging 17.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game. Turner, a senior guard is averaging 13.7 points per game. For Miami, they are led by two junior guards, Sheldon McClellan and Angel Rodriguez. McClellan is averaging 15.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Rodriguez, a true point guard, 14.5 points and 4.5 assists per game. I say Miami defends there home court, winning a close, defensive battle, 67 to 61.
Top Mid Major Game of the Day: Saint Mary’s (15-3, 7-0 WCC) @ #3 Gonzaga (18-1, 7-0 WCC)
This is a matchup that pits two arch rivals against each other. Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga have become two of the premiere mid major teams in the country over the past decade and today’s matchup has national implications. Saint Mary’s would likely rise into the top 25 with a win and Gonzaga is looking to hang on to a #1 seed, which likely requires winning out. Saint Mary’s is a team led by one of the best big men in the country, senior forward Brad Waldow. Waldow is averaging 20.6 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game and is coming off three straight 20+ point games. The team goes as he goes and will need a huge performance from him to pull the upset. Gonzaga has a two headed monster in Kentucky transfer Kyle Wiltjer and point guard Kevin Pangos. Pangos is averaging 12.5 points and 5 assists per game and is one of the best guards in the country, Wiltjer is a stretch power forward averaging 16.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. This game is usually close and I think it will be the same today. Gonzaga wins a close one, 79 to 76.
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