Today is going to be one of the best day’s of college basketball all year. We have already featured and predicted three games that will happen today and now we will take a look at the top three games of the day, starting with the 3rd best game before the jump and finishing with the top two games after the jump. Remember that we use our own set of rankings for these posts that you can find on the College Basketball Rankings page. Anyways, without further ado, here is our preview of the top three games of the day.
#3 Game of the Day: #23 Georgetown (15-7, 7-4 Big East) @ #10 Villanova (20-2, 7-2 Big East)
Georgetown had begun to build momentum until they lost two of their last three games, both at home. However, they are still a very talented team with a lot of balance and cohesion, which you would expect from a John Thompson coached team. This year’s team does not do any one thing particularly great, but they lack any real weakness, although Kris Dunn and the Providence Friars exposed their inability to handle an aggressive press. It will be interesting to see whether or not the guard heavy Villanova team will test Georgetown’s ability to handle a press. Villanova might just be the most balanced team in the country with a remarkable six players averaging between 9.4 and 13.2 points per game. They are very challenging to guard as each player can attack you in a different way and they rotate a lot of players in and out of the ball game. They have six different players who shoot the three ball well and that makes it almost impossible to play a zone versus them. For Georgetown to get back on the winning track, they will have to play aggressive man defense, rebound the basketball, and limit turnovers. I don’t think they will be able to do all three things in this huge rivalry game between two of the blue-bloods of college basketball, and ultimately they will lose a hard fought game. Villanova wins this one, 72 to 67.
Read about the other two games after the jump.
This is going to be a phenomenal game between two incredible defensive teams that play the game totally different ways. Louisville is a team that loves to press and create havoc to get easy buckets. Virginia does their best work by grinding out half court defensive and offensive sets, wearing down their opponents. Louisville is also an incredibly unbalanced offensive team, with four of their players contributing almost 90% of the points. There leading scorer is Terry Rozier, who is averaging 18.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. He is a lights out shooter who heats up faster than a microwave. However, there best player is far and away Montrezl Harrell, a future top ten draft pick. Harrell is averaging 15.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game and he can just flat out take over a game at the blink of an eye. The other two members of this team are senior point guard Chris Jones and forward Wayne Blackshear. For Virginia, they win the game with balance and a deep bench that allows them to play five fresh players at any time, who can give 100% defensively every play. This is going to be a low scoring game if Virginia will win it and at home, I think they will be able to establish the tempo they want to play. However, if they turn the ball over, Louisville will be able to run away with the game. I say Virginia takes care of the ball, winning 66 to 59.
National Game of the Day: #6 Notre Dame (21-3, 9-2 ACC) @ #3 Duke (19-3, 6-3 ACC)
These two teams met earlier in the year when Notre Dame pulled off the big upset win in South Bend. These are two of the best offenses in the country, each ranking in the top 11 in the country in points per game. They both defend exceptionally well as well, using their superior athleticism to dominate opponents. When the two teams met earlier this year, Jerian Grant came up huge, leading the Fighting Irish to a 77 to 73 victory. Notre Dame is led by All-American guard Jerian Grant, who is averaging 17.3 points and 6 assists per game. Duke is led by Freshman All-American Center Jahlil Okafor, who is averaging 18.1 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Duke is going to be playing for revenge and will not want to get swept by Notre Dame. They have lost just once at home this year as the Cameron Crazies do a wonderful job intimidating their opponents. However, Notre Dame is a matchup nightmare for Duke with their incredible ball movement and their great combination of shooters and big men. I think Duke pulls this one out though, winning 81 to 74.