"I Know the Game Like I'm Reffing It"

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Today's Games To Watch, Saturday, Dec. 6

Last night, Kentucky was a bit too much for Texas, Providence was outhustled and suffered a bad loss at BC, SMU got a much-needed win versus Wyoming, and Kansas stormed back from a 15-point halftime deficit to beat Florida by 6. Oh, and Yale won at UConn. Yes, Yale.

Today, the docket is relatively thin, but there are a handful of intriguing match ups.

#9 Virginia (8-0) at #24 VCU (5-2) 2PM, Richmond, VA, ESPNU

The undefeated Cavs make the short distance trip to Richmond to face their relatively new in-state rival. UVA is coming off another solid win at former ACC rival, Maryland. Once again, Virginia is doing it with defense and patience on offense. VCU is like the polar opposite. The Rams will try to speed and muddy the game up with their full court pressure and quick shots on the other end. A win for VCU would be huge for their program and resume. Prediction: UVA 64, VCU 61.

#7 Gonzaga (7-0) at #5 Arizona (7-0) 5:15PM, Tucson, AZ, ESPN

The west coast gets some love with the unquestioned game of the day. A true pick 'em, the loser will have tasted their first dose of defeat. Both are among the top teams in both offensive and defensive efficiency. Gonzaga has solid wins over SMU, Georgia and St. John's, while Zona's best wins were over Kansas State and San Diego State. Not much separates these two besides the 1,400+ miles the Zags were forced to travel. Prediction: Arizona 70, Gonzaga 68.

St. John's (4-1) at #23 Syracuse (5-2) 5:15PM, Syracuse, NY, ESPN2

The Big East just can't let go, can they? Here's another reunion game that pits two original Big East members against each other. The Cuse is coming off an impressive performance, albeit in a close loss at Michigan. The young Orange seem to have made great strides even in the last couple weeks. The Red Storm lack size - which Syracuse could exploit - but, they have potent, experienced guards that should be able to score against the 2-3 zone. The Johnnies tend to play to their competition level and size of the moment. Expect this to be a brawl. Prediction: St. John's 69, Syracuse 67.

Alabama (5-1) at Xavier (5-2) 8PM, Cincinnati, OH, CBSS

This under the radar game is interesting because both teams look like the bubble is in their not so distant future. Xavier's start was solid, but they are coming off back-to-back losses to UTEP and Long Beach State. Bama looks like this could be one of coach Anthony Grant's better teams, but they were handled by 10 vs. Iowa State in their only real test. Prediction: Xavier 65, Bama 62.

Other games of note...

Rutgers (4-3) at Seton Hall (6-0) 12PM, Newark, NJ, MSG
Oklahoma State (6-0) at South Carolina (4-3) 12PM, Columbia, SC, ESPNU
#1 Wisconsin (7-1) at Marquette (4-3) 12:30PM, Milwaukee, WI, CBS
Arizona State (5-2) at Texas A&M (5-1) 2PM, College Station, TX, SECN
Green Bay (3-2) at Miami (8-0) 2PM, Coral Gables, FL, ESPN3
Kansas State (4-3) at Tennessee (2-3) 3:15PM, Knoxville, TN, ESPN2
Northwestern (5-2) at Butler (6-1) 4:30PM, Indianapolis, IN, FOX
Saint Louis (4-2) at #10 Wichita State (3-1) 6PM, Wichita, KS
Wake Forest (4-4) at NC State (6-1) 7:30PM, Raleigh, NC, ESPNU
Boise State (4-2) at Saint Mary's (4-0) 11:30PM, Moraga, CA, ESPNU

Other Top 25 games...

NJIT (2-5) at #13 Michigan (5-1) 12PM, Ann Arbor, MI, BTN
St. Joseph's (4-3) at #8 Villanova (7-0) 1PM, Villanova, PA, FoxS1
American (5-3) at #21 Illinois (6-1) 2PM, Champaign, IL, ESPN3
Arkansas Pine Bluff (1-6) at #17 Michigan State (5-3) East Lansing, MI, BTN
Colgate (1-6) at #14 Ohio State (5-1) 4:30PM, Columbus, OH, BTN

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