College Hoops Saturday: Your Commentary

    
February 19th, 2010

Saturday BracketBusters preview can be found here

The need to add one more resume-building win isn't limited to the teams taking part in the ESPNU BracketBusters event; there are plenty of games around the country that could either punch someone's ticket to the NCAA Tournament or let them know that watching the Selection Show won't be necessary. Florida and Ole Miss meet in Oxford with the winner adding a decent win to their resume while the loser is most likely done barring a run in the SEC Tournament. The Rebels took one swing at a crucial road win on Thursday night and missed, falling to Vanderbilt. Beating the Gators won't make the same waves but a split would look better than a devastating 0-2 week. Chris Warren and Terrico White have the ability to light up the scoreboard but the same goes for Florida's Erving Walker and Chandler Parsons. The team that takes better care of the basketball and makes a few stops late will win this one.

Tulsa also has an opportunity to bulk up their credentials with first-place UTEP visiting; after looking like a solid bet to place multiple teams in the NCAA Tournament in January Conference USA needs someone to step up late if they're to get multiple bids. The matchup of Jerome Jordan and Derrick Caracter will likely attract pro scouts but the play of Ben Uzoh (both offensively and possibly guarding Randy Culpepper) may be the factor that determines the outcome. And UAB hosts a dangerous Houston squad on Saturday night. The Cougars may not care much for the defensive end of the floor but in Aubrey Coleman they've got one of the most explosive guards in the country. And in the Big Ten Purdue hosts Illinois; should Demetri McCamey and company pull off the upset in West Lafayette not only would they hang on in the league race but they'd also lock up a 5th bid for the league.

The best game on the schedule is Kentucky visiting Vanderbilt. The Wildcats controlled the flow of the game in Lexington, neutralizing A.J. Ogilvy inside on their way to a comfortable win. But with Ogilvy coming off of his best game of the season (27 points, eight rebounds in the win at Ole Miss) the Commodores should give the Wildcats a better game at Memorial Gym. And don't underestimate the advantage that Vandy could enjoy playing at home; with the benches on the baselines it's something that visiting players could need a little time to adjust to if they've never played there. Jermaine Beal and Jeffrey Taylor will also need to be productive if Vandy is to win a game that wouldn't be considered an upset. It will be vitally important that John Wall and Eric Bledsoe take care of the basketball in this one.

TV GAMES

Noon CBS Florida at Ole Miss
Noon CBS North Carolina at Boston College
Noon ESPN Seton Hall at West Virginia
Noon BEN-HD/SNY/CST/BHS St. John's at USF
2p ESPN Texas at Texas Tech
2p ESPNU Louisville at DePaul
2p CBS-College Navy at Army
3p FSN Stanford at Oregon St
3:30p MTN Air Force at New Mexico
4p ESPN Illinois at Purdue
4p CBS-College UTEP at Tulsa
6p ESPN Kentucky at Vanderbilt
6p ESPNU Kansas State at Oklahoma
6p BTN Penn State at Michigan
6p MTN BYU at Wyoming
7p FSN-SEC Arkansas at Auburn
8p BTN Indiana at Minnesota
9p ESPN UCLA at Washington
9p MTN Utah at San Diego St

OTHER GAMES

Noon Temple at St. Joseph's (at The Palestra)
1:30p Baylor at Oklahoma St
2p Xavier at Charlotte
4p Connecticut at Rutgers
5p USC at Washington St
6p Colorado St at UNLV
7p Quinnipiac at Robert Morris
8p Houston at UAB
8:05p Western Kentucky at Arkansas St
8:30p Florida Atlantic at Troy

ONE PREDICTION

Vanderbilt over Kentucky: No, this pick isn't being made because of the "idea" that the Wildcats are "due" to lose one of their two road games this week. The pick is Vanderbilt because A.J. Ogilvy will play better than he did in the first meeting and stay out of foul trouble. Also, playing at Memorial Gym can be an unusual experience for anyone regardless of how many times you've played there in your career. Commodores get baskets from Ogilvy and Jermaine Beal late to win by four.