Another night and another opportunity for bubble teams throughout the nation to add a solid victory to their resumes. Florida and Louisville have opportunities at home to just that and it's fitting that the coach of one school (Billy Donovan) was coached by the head coach of the other (Rick Pitino). The Gators are coming off of a crucial win at Ole Miss on Saturday in a game that likely was an "elimination match" for the loser. Taking on a Tennessee team that struggles with shot selection, something that was ignored in the Vols' early post-suspension surge, the Gators definitely have a chance to pick Tennessee off.
Wayne Chism led the way in the first meeting, posting a double-double (16 pts, 11 reb) in the Volunteers' 61-60 victory with rebounding (41-32 UT) being a major reason why they won. Overall the Gators are a better rebounding team, ranking fourth in the SEC in rebounding margin while the Vols are fifth. Chism, J.P. Prince and Kenny Hall will need to handle the boards if Tennessee is to win in Gainesville. Vernon Macklin had one of his best games as a Gator on Saturday and when he and Alex Tyus are playing well Billy Donovan's team is that much better. Chandler Parsons and Erving Walker are the two primary options on the perimeter but Walker managed just nine points in the first meeting.
As for the Cardinals and Hoyas this could be the "perfect storm" for Louisville. Georgetown's style doesn't lend itself to blowing teams out of the water, and the combination on their willingness at times to settle for perimeter shots and Louisville's 2-3 zone could mean a win for the home team. Edgar Sosa's played well for much of the season at the point and if Samardo Samuels and Terrence Jennings can stay out of foul trouble the Cardinals have the ability to frustrate the Georgetown offense. And once again keep an eye on Georgetown's Chris Wright; as he goes so go the Hoyas this season. If he isn't scoring and distributing the Hoyas struggle no matter how much Austin Freeman and Greg Monroe produce.
7p ESPN Illinois at Michigan
7p ESPN2 Georgetown at Louisville
7p ESPNU Syracuse at Providence
9p ESPN Tennessee at Florida
9p ESPNU Hofstra at Northeastern
7p UNC Asheville at Winthrop
8p Kansas St at Texas Tech
10p New Mexico at Colorado St
Louisville over Georgetown: Not saying that Louisville's zone is as good as the one that Syracuse employs but they can be bothersome for anyone much less the Hoyas. Add in their full-court pressure that can speed up the tempo and the Cards can definitely pick off Georgetown. Louisville by seven.