Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Just a Few Headliners Tonight...

Virginia really surprised me last night. BC just could not make a shot it seemed in the first ten minutes. The Cavs front line really stepped and negated the Eagles advantage inside. Meanwhile, the Hogs neeed a 13 point comeback in the second half to edge Alabama. I thought this game would be closer than expected and it was. This is a big win for Arkansas. Alabama did not hurt their chances as much as Arkansas helped theirs.

Tonight has some heavyweight matchups on the board as Tennessee can all but wrap up the SEC East with a win; NC State gets a revenge game versus rival UNC at home; JJ Redick needs 31 points to become the all-time leading scorer in ACC history; Maryland @ FSU is an interesting bubble matchup as well.

Tennessee @ Florida 8:00 JP
Florida is relatively large favorites considering how Tennessee has pretty much run through the SEC this year. Maybe the experts think they have hit a wall with their loss to Alabama last week. Florida is very tough at home and hard to pick against. I like Gators, but closer than the experts think.
Prediction: Florida

UNC @ NC State 9:00 JP
Another game which should be a classic on Tobacco Road. Ilian Evtimov may be out again for this game with a foot injury. NC State has only lost one game at home this season (Seton Hall). With a win, NC State could all but sew up second place in the conference. Gotta go with NC State at home, but a UNC win would not surprise me one bit.
Prediction: NC State

Duke @ Georgia Tech 7:00 ESPN
Duke has a chance to win the ACC regular season title tonight and pass another hurdle towards an undefeated conference season. Despite losing 9 of its last 10 games, Tech has been playing much better as of late. Could JJ be putting up some extra shots trying to break the record tonight (he needs 31 and his season avg is 28.9)? I like Duke to win, but closer than expected.
Prediction: Duke

Clemson @ Wake Forest 7:00
The Tigers have to win this game to have any shot at the NCAA Tournament (how long have I been saying that for?). Does anyone think Wake will only win 1 conference game this year? This is probably their best shot at a second victory for the rest of the year. I like Wake in a close one and the students will probably rush the court.
Prediction: Wake Forest

Virginia Tech @ Miami 7:00 ESPNU
A game that most thought would be an all-football affair, but both the Hokies and Canes have shown the ACC they can compete. I like Miami at home here.
Prediction: Miami

Miss St @ Auburn 8:00
A battle of the cellar dwellers in the SEC West. The Bulldogs showed some bite with a blowout of rival Ole Miss last weekend. I like Auburn here though at home.
Prediction: Auburn

LSU @ Vanderbilt 8:00
Vanderbilt is a slight favorite here which really jumped out at me. The Tigers do not have any significant injuries, but have gone 0-4 at Vanderbilt under John Brady. Vandy is playing for their tournament lives, but LSU wants to grab a strangle hold on the SEC West after Alabama's loss last night. I like LSU in an "upset".
Prediction: LSU

Ole Miss @ Kentucky 8:00 JP
The Wildcats crawled back out of the deep end with a resounding win at South Carolina. They should beat Ole Miss fairly comfortably.
Prediction: Kentucky

Maryland @ Florida State 9:00 JP
This should be on the better games of the night. Both teams need victories to potentially move of the bubble (if their momentum continues). FSU has been very good at home and won the games they should have.
Prediction: Florida State

If I was to rank my picks in order of confidence.....
1. Kentucky
2. Duke
3. Miami
4. Florida
5. Florida St
6. Wake Forest
7. Auburn
8. LSU
9. NC State

Season: 61-21

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