Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Midweek Bball Action

Georgia Tech vs North Carolina
Worst meets First in Atlanta. The Tar Heels are coming off a blowout of NC State over the weekend where they refuted the myth that they can’t play defense. The Heels like to run n gun the whole game with the speedy PG Ty Lawson leading the way. Georgia Tech is coming off two losses last week and is getting worse as the season wears on. But they have played a tough schedule thus far and have taken Indiana and Kansas close to the wire.

I look for the Tar Heels to weather the early onslaught of emotion from the crowd and settle into a halftime lead. The Yellow Jackets will have to be on from outside the arc to keep this game close. They must also defend better in transition than they have thus far this season. I like North Carolina pulling away at the end by 12-18.
Pick: North Carolina

Georgia vs Alabama

Both Georgia and Alabama will be looking for their first conference wins on Wednesday. Alabama is led by three double digit scorers in F Richard Hendrix, G Alonzo Gee, and G Mykal Riley; Hendrix is also double digits in rebounding. Georgia is not as fortunate with talent and has had 3 defections/suspensions/dismissals this year. Still, Dennis Felton has kept this club competitive against better competition. Georgia is led by their backcourt and everything runs through PG Sundiata Gaines. G Billy Humphrey is a threat from deep and also to put the ball on the floor.

This Alabama team is not one of the better ones Mark Gottfried has had. Georgia has been tough at Stegeman under Felton even during the leaner years. If Georgia can get Gaines and Humphrey on track then they should win this one by 6-10 points.

Pick: Georgia

Florida at Ole Miss
I am still not exactly sure what to make of Florida this year. The come from behind win at Alabama gave the Gators their first quality win of the year, but calling Alabama quality is a stretch this year. Ole Miss’ loss to Tennessee was closer than most expected and affirmed this team’s strong start is not a fluke. The Rebels are being led by freshman Chris Warren who has scored in double digits each game this season. Ole Miss ranks top 10 nationally in scoring and rebounding.
Ole Miss season has been one to celebrate thus far and keep the beer and hot toddies flowing.
Florida is a young team searching for its identity; Ole Miss has made one under Kennedy. The Rebels are very strong at home (24-1 last 2 years) and will continue that streak. Rebels win by 10-15 points.
Pick: Ole Miss

Duke at Florida State
The Seminoles have played Duke as tough as any team in the ACC over the last few years. Duke has the same record it did last season at this point, but has much more depth this year bolstered by a solid freshman class. The Blue Devils are winning the way we are used to seeing them win - 3 pointers and defense. FSU has the athleticism to hang with Duke, but does not execute as well. Duke wins by 5-9 points.
Pick: Duke

Vanderbilt at Tennessee
Who would have thought the state of Tennessee would have 3 top 20 programs in basketball! The Commodores suffered their first loss of the year in OT last weekend to Kentucky. I don’t know if that loss signals more so that Kentucky is playing better or that Vanderbilt was overrated coming into that game.

This will be a game of contrasting styles and the team who can impose their style on the other will come out on top. Vandy will try and pound it inside to center AJ Ogilvy and Shon Foster. But the Commodores have had trouble with athletic teams. Tennessee wants to run and let their athletic front court and sharp shooting backcourt get some easy shots. The home crowd will give the Vols the edge they need to win by 8-12.
Pick: Tennessee

Season: 7-1
ACC: 4-0
SEC: 3-1

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