Friday, February 9, 2007

Weekend Basketball Predictions

North Carolina struggles with ACC's worst, an SEC Showdown in Lexington, and Duke tries to get back on track all this weekend.

Saturday
North Carolina vs Wake Forest 1:30 Raycom/Lincoln Financial
Coming off their biggest win of the season, the Tar Heels will struggle to get motivated for this game. I think Wake sticks around for 17 minutes in the first half, but North Carolina pulls to a lead at the end of the half. However, they will struggle to put Wake Forest away until the final 10 minutes of the game, which will please Roy Williams, but he will get over it as the Heels win by 15.
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Vanderbilt vs Tennessee 3:00 Lincoln Financial
After a rough stretch, Tennessee is starting to rebound and climb the ladder in the SEC East. They would also like to get some revenge on Vanderbilt who beat the Vols on a buzzer beater. Vanderbilt has proven they can win on the road, but I like Tennessee in this one.

Virginia Tech vs Virginia 4:00 Raycom/Lincoln Financial
The Cavaliers are the hottest team in the ACC right now and its most surprising. This team has a good shot to win the ACC, which nobody thought at the beginning of the year. Virginia Tech started off hot, but has cooled a little bit. The Hokies are very formidable in Cassell Coliseum. I think the Cavaliers hit a bump in Blacksburg and the Hokies take one from their rival.

South Carolina vs Georgia 7:00 FSN
Two Jekyl and Hyde teams of the SEC. The Bulldogs are struggling after winning a few close games and are now squarely on an NCAA Tournament bubble about to pop. I think Georgia won't get back to winning until they return home - I like South Carolina in a close one.

Kentucky vs Florida 8:00 ESPN
The premier game in the SEC this year and Kentucky is the underdog. How times have changed. Rupp Arena will be rocking with Dickie V and the ESPN Gameday crew. This is probably on the best chances for Florida to lose in the SEC, but they are playing very well as of late. Florida will lose at least one game in the SEC this year and I think this is one of those games. Expect Kentucky to rain threes and the crowd to go wild.

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Sunday
Georgia Tech vs UConn 1:00 CBS
A rematch of the 2004 National Championship Game at the Georgia Dome. However, both of these are in different states than just three years ago. UConn is in danger of missing the Tournament as is Georgia Tech, but both have game recently to poise themselves for a possible run. I think the loser's bubble may be popped. I like Georgia Tech in this game because of the improved play of Javaris Crittenton at point guard.


Florida State vs Boston College 3:00 FSN
Boston College was supposed to struggle without Sean Williams right? I certainly thought so, but the Eagles are maintaining their spot atop the ACC. Florida State has been very good at home beating Florida earlier in the year. I like the Seminoles at home with Al Thornton outplaying Jared Dudley in a competition for Player of the Year.

Maryland vs Duke 5:00 FSN
Duke has not lost three in a row since 1999, they may miss the Tournament, blah, blah, blah. Ok, I can't take Maryland anymore. They have disappointed me most every game this year except for a few where they took advantage of weak opponents. The Terps crowd will be up for Duke like no other game, but Coach K will have his team ready to play. Duke is rebuilding, but I don't see them losing four in a row. I like Duke.

Summary:
North Carolina over Wake
Tennessee over Vanderbilt
Virginia Tech over Virginia
South Carolina over Georgia
Kentucky over Florida
Georgia Tech over UConn
Florida State over Boston College
Duke over Maryland
Season Record: 46-20 (.700)

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