College Hoops Wednesday: Your Commentary

December 1st, 2009

Wednesday marks the final night of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and the two leagues go into the evening tied at three victories apiece. So which game could this come down to? Many are pointing towards Minnesota visiting Miami in a game that on paper before the season began looked to be a Golden Gophers victory. But it's a likely candidate for a tight finish provided the Hurricanes can keep big man Dwayne Collins out of foul trouble. Ralph Sampson III and Colton Iverson are solid young bigs but are they physical enough to hand with the senior? You're also going to have some solid perimeter players on display, and there's also Miami's DeQuan Jones to keep an eye on. 

As for games outside of the Challenge, take some time out for UNLV's trip to Tucson to take on Arizona. The Runnin' Rebels won last season's meeting at home and they'll need to avoid a letdown against the young Wildcats. Senior PG Nic Wise has increased his scoring out of necessity but he can't give the many newcomers experience. Arizona will need a win like this (or at Oklahoma later in the week) if they're to have a strong enough resume to make a case for an NCAA Tournament bid; simply finishing in the Top 3 in the Pac-10 may not get it done this season. 


7p CBS-C Pittsburgh at Duquesne
7:15p ESPN Illinois at Clemson
7:15p ESPNU Minnesota at Miami
7:30p ESPN2 Boston College at Michigan
9p CBS-C California at New Mexico
9p FSN Washington St. at Gonzaga
9:15p ESPN Duke at Wisconsin
9:30p ESPN2 Florida State at Ohio State
9:30p ESPNU Missouri at Vanderbilt 


7p Stony Brook at St. John's
7p Butler at Ball St.
7p Siena at Georgia Tech
7:30p Rhode Island at VCU
8p Arkansas at Oklahoma
8p Oklahoma St. at Tulsa
8p Northern Iowa at Iowa St.
8p Rice at Harvard
9p UNLV at Arizona
9:30p BYU at Utah St.
10p San Diego St. at San Diego


Minnesota over Miami: This one has to go the way of the Big Ten if they're to take the Challenge for the first time in its history. Al Nolen and Lawrence Westbrook have the talent to win the battle with the likes of Malcolm Grant and Durand Scott on the perimeter, and Tubby Smith can throw some bodies at Dwayne Collins in the paint. The Hurricanes have the potential to be a threat to get to the NCAA Tournament but the Golden Gophers have been tested a bit more to this point in the season. Minnesota wins a close one.