College Hoops Saturday: Your Commentary

    
December 4th, 2009

While much of the nation will focus on some big college football games on Saturday, there's also a number of attractive basketball games to check out as well. And the fun starts early, with Kentucky receiving their first major test of the season when North Carolina visits Rupp Arena. These are the two winningest programs in the history of college basketball with the Wildcats holding a slight edge, but these are also two very young teams who are still finding their way. Of course Roy Williams may have a better feel for his charges due to the early tests but will that matter against a team in Kentucky that can match them talent for talent? 

Keep an eye on the point guard matchup between Larry Drew II and John Wall; Wall will be the most athletic test for the sophomore thus far. Whoever does a better job of not turning over the ball will likely lead his team to the win. That game should be high-scoring, as should Oregon taking on Missouri in a game that could approach the eighties. Ernie Kent's Ducks have been a slight disappointment but the tempo likely to be played at in Columbia could get them untracked. But truth be told the Pac-10 needs a win in a game like this in order to begin restoring some national respectability. 

For games not on national television keep an eye on NC State visiting Marquette and the Ocean State battle between Providence and Rhode Island. There are also conference games in leagues such as the CAA, Horizon and NEC just to name three, so you shouldn't lack for entertainment if you're not too interested in the college football. 

TV GAMES

Noon ESPNU Eastern Michigan at Ohio State
12:30p CBS North Carolina at Kentucky
3:30p ESPN2 St. John's at Duke
4p CSS Davidson at Charleston
5p ESPNU Oregon at Missouri
5p BTN Buffalo at Purdue
5:30p ESPN2 Wake Forest at Gonzaga
7p ESPNU Charlotte at Louisville
7:30p BTN Boise St at Illinois
9p ESPNU Washington State at Kansas State
11p ESPNU Iowa State at California 

OTHER GAMES

Noon VCU at William & Mary
1p Providence at Rhode Island
1p Southern Miss at Ole Miss
2p St. Bonaventure at Mississippi State
3p NC State at Marquette
4p Penn State at Temple
4p DePaul at Vanderbilt
6p USC at Georgia Tech
7p Valparaiso at Butler
8p Loyola (IL) at Milwaukee
8:05p Air Force at Missouri State
9:05p Northern Colorado at Montana
9:05p Saint Mary's at Utah State
10p UNLV at Santa Clara  

ONE PREDICTION

Kentucky over North Carolina: Going with the home team here due to the presence of Patrick Patterson, who has proven the be more versatile than he was allowed to show in the previous offensive system. His matchup with Deon Thompson could be every bit as good as the aforementioned Drew II/Wall battle in the backcourt, and it's Patterson's ability to step out onto the perimeter and be comfortable that could make the difference. A very good game that will likely have a tournament atmosphere, look for John Calipari's team to pick up the win.