College Basketball: Saturday Facts, Tidbits, Thoughts, and Stuff

January 22nd, 2010

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
After averaging 17 ppg and 6.7 rpg as a freshman, AJ Ogilvy was considered a future 1st Round Draft pick. He's seemingly disappeared, but he's still better then you may think. Averages of 13.8 ppg and 6.1 rpg as a junior don't wow you, but consider he only plays 21.8 mpg. This still comes out to averaging 21 & 9 per 33 minutes, which is substantially better then Patrick Patterson or Kyle Singler's 16 & 8 production in 33 minutes.

DePaul at Notre Dame - 2:00

Can DePaul make it two in a row? The Demons ended a dismal 24-game Big East losing streak earlier in the week, knocking off Marquette by a point. Reality should set in with a trip to ND, followed by games vs ranked WVU & Syracuse, and then 3 more road games.. but a win is a win.

Davidson at Georgia Southern - 2:00

Without Steph Curry around, Davidson (8-11) is a forgotten program, but don't be surprised if they return to mid-major prominence in the next year or two. The Wildcats are led by a pair of quality freshmen, Jake Cohen and JP Kuhlman. Cohen, a freshman, has been fading of late while Kuhlman is just hitting his stride. Next year, with a fit Cohen ready to bring it on a nightly basis (and the addition of Tom Droney, a high-level freshman), Davidson should be much improved.

Illinois St at Southern Illinois - 3:05
Remember when keeping Chris Lowery was a big priority for SIU brass? The Salukis are a forgotten program now, not just nationally but within the MVC. Losing home games to .500 MVC teams Bradley & Drake isn't helping Lowery's cause. Lowery needs to win this game.

#1 Texas at #21 UCONN - 4:00 CBS
UCONN only has 1 top 50 RPI win all season, in the opening game over William & Mary. Against other Top 50 teams, the Huskies are 0-5. A win over the Huskies would go along way in what has otherwise been a weak season. Ignore the program's name, and UCONN's season looks awfully like unranked Xavier's at this point (high RPI due to a very hard schedule, but no marquee wins).

Virginia at Wake Forest - 4:00

UVA is 3-0 in ACC play, which has somehow convinced AP voters to give them 50 votes (putting them 30th in the country) despite otherwise mediocre results so far. A road trip to Wake Forest should be coach Bennett's first real challenge game in the league and a good test of whether UVA's league start is a fluke or not.

Old Dominion at William Mary - 7:00
Perhaps the day's big under the radar game. ODU is 47th in the RPI, 7-1 in the CAA, while William & Mary is 32nd in the computer and 6-2 in league play. William & Mary has beaten quality teams like Richmond, Wake Forest, and Maryland so far, but hardly gets any respect. ODU is no slouch either, having beaten Georgetown, Charlotte, and Marshall.

VMI at High Point - 7:00
The Keydets are once again scoring in bunches, leading the nation with 90.0 ppg. But their giving up a ridiculous 99.6 per game (remember, this is in 40 minutes of play, not 48 like the NBA..).  Against D1 teams, they're just 2-12 and a win at High Point seems unlikely considering the Panthers are unbeaten at home.

Utah St at Idaho - 8:05
If Utah St wins and improves to 4-2 in WAC play, look for the Aggies to make a major run at the conference title. Even though Lousiana Tech & New Mexico St are both 5-1, Utah St has already played its 3 hardest league games (at Louisiana Tech, at Nevada, at NMSU) and should go on a big run the rest of the way.

UALR at Florida International - 8:00
Isiah Thomas is the coach of the FIU.. that was an interesting story for all of 2 minutes.

Murray State at Eastern Illinois - 8:45
The Racers are 17-3, having won all 9 OVC games, and 8 in a row. They have one of the most balanced attacks you'll ever see. 6 players average between 9.4 ppg and 11.2 ppg while no one on the roster plays over 30 mpg. Freshman Isaiah Canaan averages 10.2 ppg in under 20 mpg, one of a few players in the country to do so. He's quality 3-point shooter who has hit a 3 in 18 of the team's 20 games.

Arizona at Arizona St - 9:30
The Wildcats can really shake up the already messy Pac-10 with a win over their in-state rivals.  Arizona already sports wins over UCLA & Oregon on the road, so its not impossible. Fr Derrick Williams is one of the country's underrated rookies, averaging 15 points and 7 boards.

#13 BYU at San Diego St - 10:00

This is actually by far the toughtest game of the season so far for the 18-1 Cougars. SDSU is 14-5 overall (39th in the RPI), including a 9-0 mark at home over the likes of New Mexico and Arizona. Don't be surprised if BYU loses, causing them to take a hit in the polls Monday.