College Hoops Saturday: Your Commentary

    
February 5th, 2010

The showcase game on Saturday tips off at high noon, with Georgetown hosting Villanova in a rematch of their meeting back on January 17th. John Thompson III's team has lost three of their last six and could use a win here to both get back on the right track and improve their resume in regards to possible NCAA Tournament seeding. Both Greg Monroe and Austin Freeman had quiet second halves in their 72-64 loss to USF on Wednesday night, and on a team with four consistent scoring options (Chris Wright and Jason Clark complete the quartet) that can't happen if Georgetown is to be successful. But the Wildcats could prove to be a good matchup for Monroe based on what happened in the first meeting. 

Monroe went for 29 points and 16 rebounds in a close loss that was decided ultimately by Villanova senior guard Scottie Reynolds. Reynolds scored 27 points but also grabbed a crucial offensive board late in the game to retain possession and ultimately give the Wildcats the 82-77 win. But Villanova did hold a 17-point lead in the first half, which the Hoyas cut into thanks in large part to the Wildcats' inability to slow Monroe down. Freeman also played well in the second half of that game, scoring ten points in the first four minutes of the second half, and in recent games the junior has shown the ability to get hot and go on scoring runs.

Villanova is loaded on the perimeter but interior players like Antonio Pena, Mouphtaou Yarou and Taylor King will be key in whether or not Jay Wright's team can leave the nation's capital with a win. They've got to slow down Monroe and take the game to him, not the other way around. And that tends to go for the Georgetown offense as a whole; if you can take them out of their rhythm and disrupt their cuts you stand a good chance of knocking them off. But the Villanova guards outside of Reynolds will have to shoot better than they did in the first meeting and the same goes for Georgetown's Chris Wright. Villanova looks to remain undefeated in conference play while the Hoyas need a win to stay within sight of a double bye in the Big East Tournament.

Other games to keep an eye on include Xavier hosting a Dayton squad in need of wins to move up the standings in the Atlantic 10 and bolster their profile, Richmond hosting Temple in what's a must-win for the Spiders and Memphis hosting Gonzaga in a game they need to pick up in order to add a quality non-conference win to their resume. While Saturday may lack Top 25 matchups (just one) it certainly doesn't lack for games that will have a significant impact on what happens Selection Sunday.  

TV GAMES

Noon ESPN Villanova at Georgetown
Noon ESPN2 Xavier at Dayton
Noon ESPNU West Virginia at St. John's
Noon BEN-HD/SNY/CST Marquette at Providence
Noon Raycom Wake Forest at Virginia
2p ESPN Duke at Boston College
2p ESPN2 Kansas State at Iowa State
2p ESPNU Temple at Richmond
2p BTN Minnesota at Penn St
4p CBS Wisconsin at Michigan
4p CBS Cal at UCLA
4p ESPN Texas at Oklahoma
4p ESPN2 Gonzaga at Memphis
4p VS BYU at UNLV
4p Raycom NC State at Georgia Tech
4p Raycom Clemson at Virginia Tech
6p ESPN South Carolina at Tennessee
6p ESPN2 Southern Illinois at Northern Iowa
6p ESPNU Nebraska at Kansas
6p FSN-SEC Alabama at Ole Miss
8p ESPN2 Wright St at Butler
8p ESPNU Miami at Florida State
8p FSN-SEC Vanderbilt at Georgia
9p ESPN Michigan State at Illinois
9p MTN Wyoming at Colorado St
10p ESPN2 Tulsa at UTEP
10p ESPNU Nevada at Utah State
10:30p FSN Arizona St at Washington 

OTHER GAMES

Noon Binghamton at Maine
Noon Akron at Ball St
1:30p Oklahoma St at Texas Tech
1:30p Mississippi St at Florida
4p George Mason at Drexel
4p Old Dominion at VCU
6p Seton Hall at Pittsburgh
6p Oral Roberts at Oakland
7p Kent St at Central Michigan
8:30p Texas Southern at Prairie View A&M
9:05p Weber St at Montana St
10p Cal Poly at Pacific
10p UC Santa Barbara at UC Davis  

ONE PREDICTION

Georgetown over Villanova: With the Hoyas coming off of a tough home loss (USF) it's difficult to see them coming out flat against the Wildcats. Can Villanova win? Most definitely, but look for Greg Monroe to be the difference-maker in a razor-thin Georgetown victory.