Saturday, February 11, 2006

Basketball Bonanza

All 12 SEC Teams play on Saturday, while the ACC has 5 conference matchups and two non-conference (FSU and Wake). A couple of big games highlight the SEC schedule as LSU travels to Florida and Kentucky heads to Vanderbilt. Florida may still be in shock (along with me) after their loss to South Carolina on Wednesday.

LSU @ Florida 1:00 JP
Florida won't lose two games in a row at home right? Well, under against any other team in the SEC I would say 'no', but LSU looks to be one of the top 3 teams in the conference right now. They have only lost 1 conference game and have the horses to run with Florida. I like the Jekyl&Hyde Gators at home coming off a loss.
Prediction: Florida

Duke @ Maryland 1:00 CBS
This rivalry is not at the level it was 3 or 4 years ago, but Maryland fans have no love lost for JJ Redick and the Duke Blue Devils. This could be a "signature" win for Maryland that gets them into the Tournament. The key for the Terps will be to contain Redick (i.e. keep him under 25). If they do this they have a very good shot at the upset because Duke's supporting cast has not been able to pick up the offensive slack this season. Problem is that JJ thrives under pressure and loves being the villain (ala Christian Laettner). I think Duke got wake up calls the last few contests in the ACC and will not be taking any chances on letting an undefeated conference season go by.
Prediction: Duke

Kentucky @ Vanderbilt 3:00 JP
Both teams need this game really bad, but for different reasons. Kentucky needs to get back on the winning track and move towards soldifying a NCAA bid. Vandy needs this game if they even want a shot at the Tourney. This may be the best game of the day, as I feel it will come down to the wire. I like Kentucky though on the road in a minor upset.
Prediction: Kentucky

Charlotte @ Wake Forest 3:30 ABC
Wake really needs a win bad. They are 1-9 in the ACC, 12-11 overall and in danger of not making the NIT. Meanwhile, Charlotte is second in the A-10 and needs this win to gain momentum for a NCAA bid. After the Virginia Tech game, I have not picked Wake again. Somehow they are favored in this game, but they haven't held home court all year.
Prediction: Charlotte

Alabama @ Ole Miss 3:00
Alabama looks to have hit their stride after some early season stumbles. Ole Miss has been very tough at home this season, but they have really struggled as of late. I like Alabama in a very close game.
Prediction: Alabama

Virginia Tech @ Virginia 8:00 JP
Two teams that are playing for NIT bids (barring a major upset in the ACC Tournament) square off in an intra-state matchup. The Cavaliers have played very well at home all year and I like them in this contest as well.
Prediction: Virginia

Tennessee @ Georgia 4:00
The Vols are definitely one the biggest surprises in the nation this year. They have shown they can go on the road and win in tough places, but could they be getting a little too confident? Georgia is a tough matchup in Stegeman and will give the Vols all they can handle. I think the Vols will get a major scare, but come out of Athens with a victory.
Prediction: Tennessee

Clemson @ Boston College 8:00 JP
The Tigers are sliding downhill fast right into the NIT and the late game collapse against Virginia Tech at home on Wednesday did not help. BC has lost two games at home this season, but they are to the two best teams in the conference (Duke & NC State). BC should win this one comfortably.
Prediction: Boston College

Miss. St @ South Carolina 6:00 FSN
The Gamecocks have to be at a high after going to Gainesville and knocking off the Gators. Overconfidence may be an issue, but the South Carolina is better than the Bulldogs.
Prediction: South Carolina

Auburn @ Arkansas 8:00 FSN
Auburn can win a game like this at home, but doesn't have much of a shot on the road. Wooo Pid Soey!
Prediction: Arkansas

Season: 33-12

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