Games of the Night
A companion to our daily Three Stars of the Day, we present the top three Games of the Night.
Gonzaga (17-5) at #18 Saint Mary's (18-3)
9:00 PM ESPN2
Gonzaga has obviously owned the WCC in recent years, so its nice to see some competition in the form of upstart Saint Mary's. Freshman PG Patrick Mills has put an already emerging team over the top. With that said, after SMC's loss at San Diego last week.. it is the Bulldogs who still sit atop the conference standings. Still, Gonzaga is coming off a bad effort against Santa Clara where they were pressured into 20 turnovers and barely managed to play any defense. You figure if they can barely beat Santa Clara on the road, then they have little shot at SMC.. but I'm going with the old stalwarts.
Villanova (13-7) at Saint Joseph's (14-5)
A couple weeks ago, Villanova seemed like an NCAA Tournament lock and St. Joe's just an afterthought in the A10 race. But fortunes change quickly as Nova has lost 4 straight, while the Hawks have won 5 in a row to move into a first place tie in the A10. Nova's problem is that it's basically a two-man team on offense, and sometimes a one-man team if Corey Fisher is off. Scottie Reynolds is good.. but even D-Wade can't carry a team by himself. Not having Shane Clark at 100% doesn't help either. Almost all the computer rankings favor St. Joseph's, as do the bettors, so I'll also go with the home team who needs a win to improve their at-large chances.. but I like Nova against the spread.
Prediction: Saint Joseph's
Louisville (16-6) at #16 Marquette (16-4)
Unlike the above game, which has major NCAA Tournament implications, this game (though good), means little. Both teams will make the NCAA Tournament, and I don't see either winning the Big East. Marquette got destroyed the last two times these teams met, as they shot 30% from the field, missed all 12 threes, and got outrebounded. This time though, they meet in Milwaukee where the Golden Eagles are a perfect 12-0. Dominic James tweeked his wrist in that game, and hasn't been the same player since.. barely able to get the ball in the hoop. Like the above game, I'll pick the home team here.. but the 4-point road underdog looks good.
Previous Game of the Night (Predictions)
January 30th - Indiana at Wisconsin (1-2)
January 29th - VCU at George Mason (2-1)
January 28th - Louisville at UCONN (1-2)
January 27th - Duke at Maryland (2-1)
January 26th - Georgetown at West Virginia (3-0)
January 24rd - Dayton at Xavier (2-1)
January 22nd - Akron at Kent State (2-1)
January 21st - Drake at Creighton (1-2)
January 20th - Texas at Oklahoma State (3-0)
January 19th - Marquette at UCONN (2-1)
January 18th - Illinois State at Drake (2-1)
January 17th - Vanderbilt at Tennessee (2-1)
January 14th - Georgetown at Pittsburgh (2-1)
January 12th - Stanford at Oregon (3-0)
January 9th - Rhode Island at Dayton (2-1)
January 8th - Florida at Alabama (2-1)
January 7th - Robert Morris at Boston College (1-2)
January 6th - North Carolina at Clemson (2-1)
January 5th - Western Kentucky at South Alabama (3-0)
January 4th - American at Brown (0-3)
January 3rd - UCLA at Stanford (3-0)
January 2nd - Houston at UMASS (2-1)