Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Georgia Tech @ Duke

yahoo/reuters
Georgia Tech @ Duke
You are in a 4 game slump so things are about to go your way right? Well not if you playing Duke in Cameron and not after they have lost 2 of their last 3 (and are undefeated at home). Duke is known for perimeter shooting and getting to the FT line. What did Georgia Tech do in their last game? They gave Va Tech 49 FT attempts (and they made 36). I see this one getting ugly unless Georgia Tech can find a way to get the Dukies in foul trouble and expose their lack of depth - nice chance at Cameron. This may be rock bottom for Tech.
Prediction: Duke

Duke Georgia Tech line
There will probably not be a lie on this game, but if there was then I would put it around -1200.

Season: 57-15 (79%)
ACC: 28-10 (74%)

Florida @ Georgia

yahoo/ap
Florida @ Georgia
Whenever Florida plays in Athens I think of the incidents over the years involving Gator players; the basketball throwing incident and the Matt Walsh rushing the court which led to fining of SEC teams for such behavior. Georgia has not beaten Florida since 2004 and lost earlier this year by 10 despite a phenomenal performance by Sundiata Gaines. Florida is just 2-5 away from home this year while Georgia is 11-3 at home - those 3 losses are to Kentucky, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt who are arguably better than the Gators. Florida barely beat South Carolina at home while Georgia has lost to the 3 best teams in the SEC by a combined 17 points in their last 3 games. I think having Billy Humphrey this time around will make the difference for Georgia.
Prediction: Georgia

Florida Georgia line
Florida will be a slight favorite in this game due to their overall record dominating Georgia's. I put Florida at around -170 for this game.

Season: 57-15 (79%)
SEC: 29-5 (85%)

Miami @ Clemson

yahoo/reuters
Miami @ Clemson
Miami returned from the depths of the ACC standings with 4 straight wins including wins over Maryland and Duke. Clemson has had a week off after their offensive performance at Florida State. Last time these two met, Miami beat the Tigers by 3. Not surprising was Miami's FT percentage in that game where they were an astonishing 25-29 from the line. If the Canes can get to the line that many times and shoot that percentage then they will have an outstanding chance to win. But I think Clemson improves on their 7-25 shooting from 3 point land and with the home crowd the fouls don't go Miami's way as much (this is the ACC).
Prediction: Clemson

Clemson Miami line
I figure Clemson wins this game 7 out of 10 times so I put the line at around -220.

Season: 57-15 (79%)
ACC: 28-10 (74%)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Tennessee Vanderbilt Prediction

yahoo/reuters
Tennessee @ Vanderbilt
Tennessee just won the biggest game in their program's history and Vanderbilt will now try to do the same for theirs. The Vols have 9 in a row since losing at Kentucky and have covered in 4 of their last 5. The last time these two met, the Commodores shot just 3-14 from 3 pt and 37% total from the field. Throw in 21 turnovers and you can see why Vanderbilt lost by 20. Vanderbilt is undefeated at the funky Memorial Gym in Nashville this year. Bruce Pearl has said all the right things this year and pressed the importance of the next game being the most important. The Commodores have had some close calls against not so good opponents (Auburn, South Carolina). I like Tennessee to survive an early onslaught of Vanderbilt and eek out a victory.
Prediction: Tennessee

Tennessee Vanderbilt line
This one may be very close to a pick'em by game time. I put the line at around -130 for Tennessee with a lean towards -140.


Season: 57-15 (79%)

SEC: 29-5 (85%)

Discuss this game on the ACCvsSEC board.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Tennessee Memphis Showdown


Tennessee @ Memphis
Number 1 vs Number 2, Battle of Tennessee, Calipari vs Pearl...all comes together at the FedEx Forum on Saturday night at 9PM on ESPN. These two teams play very similar styles of basketball - they like to run 'n gun, press, shoot the 3, and are not very good at the free throw line. Bruce Pearl and John Calipari have a had chilly relationship in the past, but both are mum on their teams chances and how important this game is. I think Tennessee wins by neutralizing Memphis' bigs and getting Chris Lofton going early from the outside. It will no doubt be a high scoring, up tempo game to watch.
Prediction: Tennessee

Tennessee Memphis line
I picked Tennessee to win, but Memphis is going to be the favorite. A fair line for Memphis is right around -150. I think the link might be driven up to the -170 or -180 range by game time though. If you see a line on a big game going one way, take the other team; casinos get bigger for a reason.

Georgia @ Vanderbilt
We will never really know what Georgia could have been this year without the suspensions, dismissals, and dissension, but they have played tough most of the year. Vandy beat Georgia in Athens a few weeks back and the Commodores have been unbeatable at home. Vanderbilt wins this one going away.
Prediction: Vanderbilt

Georgia - Vanderbilt line
I really don't see much of a chance for Georgia in this game and I would put the line at around -900 for the Commodores.

Arkansas @ Kentucky
I remember when these two dominated the SEC in the early 90s. Both have fallen on not as good times, but are still very competitive in the SEC. I have been very impressed with Kentucky in SEC play (especially after their non-conference resume). Patrick Patterson is a beast on the inside and seniors Ramel Bradley and Joe Crawford are playing like veterans down the stretch of the SEC season. I like Kentucky at home.
Prediction: Kentucky

Kentucky Arkansas line
Arkansas is vying for the best team in the West, but they might be only 3rd best in the East. Kentucky has been very good at home and give them around -650 in this game.

Season: 52-14 (79%)
SEC: 26-5 (84%)

Georgia Tech Virginia Tech Weather Watch 2008

si.com
Georgia Tech @ Virginia Tech
I would think Paul Hewitt has a right to be mad. In his team's last game they turned the ball over a season high 22 times and lost by 1. Then on Thursday, a home game with Virginia was canceled due to a leaky roof. Nevermind that Georgia Tech is paying their former football coach $1M per year for nothing. The Hokies have a distinct honor in the ACC; they are the only team to lose to Tech in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets have been very good on the road though. Virginia Tech needs good wins like they had against Maryland and more importantly must hold serve at home. For Georgia Tech to win they need to take care of the ball (15 or less turnovers) and play good perimeter defense where they have lacked most of the season. Logic would say Virginia Tech is the better team and they are at home, but I like Georgia Tech to pull this one off on the road.
Prediction: Georgia Tech

Virginia Tech Georgia Tech line
The Hokies will be the favorite in this game and would peg them around -180. I figure Va Tech wins this one 6 or 7 times out of 10, but not this time.

St Johns @ Duke
This used to be a great game played in Madison Square Garden when the Red Storm had Ron Artest, but now the most underachieving school in the country is a shell of the Mark Jackson and Chris Mullin days. Throw in that Duke has lost two in a row and I am betting the house that Duke wins. The Blue Devils might have this one wrapped 5 minutes into the second half.
Prediction: Duke

Duke St Johns line
There won't be a ML on this game, but I would have to place it around -2000 if there was one.

Wake Forest @ North Carolina
Ty Lawson ankle watch continues as the Deacons travel to Chapel Hill to face North Carolina. The Tar Heels are now tied with Duke after watching the Blue Devils fall twice this week. Wake has had all week to prepare for this game, but lightning won't strike twice. I like North Carolina to win this at home comfortably by 8-15 points.
Prediction: North Carolina

North Carolina Wake Forest line
T
he spread should be around 10-13 points, but I doubt a ML would offered. I am thinking around -900 if one is.

Season: 52-14 (79%)
ACC: 26-9 (74%)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Can Georgia Tech Sweep Virginia?

AP/Yahoo
Virginia @ Georgia Tech
Yes, I would be shocked too if I was Paul Hewitt and I had the chance to sweep an ACC team this season. It has been and up and down (and up and down) season for Tech. The Yellow Jackets have lost their last 3 games including a 1 point loss to Miami last Sunday giving the Hurricanes a sweep of their own for the season. For Georgia Tech to pass on this favor to Virginia they have to take better care of the ball on offense. The Jackets had a season high 22 turnovers last Sunday to Miami. The last time UVA and GT met, Georgia Tech forced overtime late and then dominated the extra period. Senior Matt Causey led the way and will have to play a big role in this game as well. Another mystifying aspect to Tech's season is their poor home record - they have just 1 ACC home win and are below .500 on the season (5-6). I think Georgia Tech plays better defense and gets into a rhythm from the outside to take this one in Atlanta.
Prediction: Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech Virginia Line
I think Georgia Tech wins this game 7 out 10 times at home. Divide 7 by 3 and multiply by 100 gives me a line of around -230. I would be very hesitant to take a line much above this considering Tech's poor home record.

Season: 49-13 (79%)
ACC: 25-8 (76%)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Florida in a Funk


si.com
South Carolina @ Florida
The Gators will look to snap a two game losing streak against South Carolina whom they beat earlier this year in Columbia. They will have to improve upon their 1-15 shooting from 3 point land against Vanderbilt in their last outing. South Carolina is coming off a thrilling home win over Alabama where Devan Downey scored 29 of the Gamecocks 67 points. Florida is 4th in the SEC East right now and a NCAA bid is likely but their weak non conference schedule could hurt them. Billy Donovan will have his team focused and ready to play.
Prediction: Florida

Florida South Carolina Line:
Using my strategy, I like a line favoring Florida around -400.

Season: 49-13 (79%)
SEC: 24-5 (83%)

North Carolina Plays Their Other Rival

North Carolina @ NC State
The biggest headline this week in North Carolina has been the comments made by Mike Kryzewski and Roy Williams regarding each other reporting of injuries. Poor old NC State's slump is back page material when K and Roy get it going, but maybe that is a good thing. Ty Lawson is not going to play again, but at this point the Heels have learned to play without him. These teams play very different styles and in losing 9 of the last 10, NC State has allowed themselves to play UNC's style of fast break basketball as opposed to the Wolfpack's half court game. I thought UNC was going to hit a low vs Virginia Tech last Saturday, but in fact they played their best ball in a month. Roy's comments about Coach K and not about NC State have me a little worried about his focus - and his focus is the team's focus. Plus this game is in Raleigh. Is this enough to pick NC State? I think this game goes right down to the wire, but North Carolina pulls it out in a thriller.
Prediction: North Carolina

North Carolina - NC State line
I like UNC as the favorite with a line around -140.

Season: 49-13 (79%)
ACC: 25-8 (76%)

One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treaure


Georgia @ Kentucky
I asked Tubby Smith for his prediction on the game, but he was busy shoveling snow in his driveway. If you take out the Vanderbilt game last week, Kentucky has been playing much better in SEC play that started with a win over Vanderbilt. So are the Wildcats headed for a downturn now? I don't think so because they have shown they can win at home or on the road. A few weeks back they beat Georgia in Athens behind the play of Patrick Patterson inside and Joe Crawford's sharpshooting from the Perimtere. I look for Billy Gillespie to pound it again with his talented freshman. For Georgia, they get back their best pure scorer Billy Humphrey after a 3 game suspension. In his absence, PG Sundiata Gaines has picked up the slack with superb efforts in a big win over South Carolina and close loss to Tennessee. In the end, I think Patterson is too much on the inside for Georgia. I would put the line at around -220.
Prediction: Kentucky

Season: 49-13 (79%)
SEC: 24-5 (83%)

Clemson Tangles with Seminoles


pictopia.com

Clemson @ Florida State
After Duke and North Carolina play, the ACC starts to shake out and Clemson is usually fading, but the Tigers are asserting themselves in the top 4 a position usually reserved for football. Florida State is one of the 6 teams in the middle of the pack that cannot distinguish themselves. The Seminoles have the talent to stick with anyone in the conference, but playing sound basketball can be a challenge. FSU's guard heavy lineup will have a tough time handling Clemson's power inside. I like Clemson on the road by a line around -180.
Prediction: Clemson

Season: 49-13 (79%)
ACC: 25-8 (76%)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Georgia Tech Strutts Their Stuff

Miami @ Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech faces a must win home game on Sunday if it wants to have any shot at the NCAAT. The Yellow Jackets were on a bit of hot streak on the road until losing their last two away from Atlanta. The Jackets are just 5-5 at home this year while Miami sports a respectable .500 road record. The Hurricanes have had 7 days since their win in Blacksburg last Saturday. In their first matchup this year, Tech jumped out to an early lead but turnovers turned the tide to Miami in the 2nd half for the win. For Tech to win they have to control their turnovers and not let Miami get such a huge advantage at the FT line like they did against Va Tech and the last time these two teams met. I think Georgia Tech gets a boost from a slumping Matt Causey and pulls this one out at the end by 3-8 points.
Prediction: Georgia Tech

How do I like the line on this game? I use a simple theory to help me out. If Miami and Georgia Tech played 10 times, how many would each win? I say Ga Tech wins 7 out of 10 at home. Divide 7 by 3 (# of Miami wins) and multiply by 100. This gives a line of GT-230. Now this isn't a definite one way or the other. I would give leeway of -210 to -250 as being a pretty good line.

Duke @ Wake Forest
When will Duke lose a conference game? They will not go 16-0 (my guess is 14-2) so when will it happen? Well Wake is 13-1 at home this year and they are due for a victory over the Blue Devis (Deacs have lost last 5), but I don't see it happening here. Duke is shooting the ball very well from 3 point land and that would the great equalizer Wake would need. The two teams play a very similar style of offense - drive and kick, but Duke has better talent to run that offense. I like Duke to win by 7-12 points in Winston Salem.
Prediction: Duke

Using my logic above, I think Duke wins this game 8 times out of 10. That puts the line at Duke -400. I would say -375 to -425 is a good bet.

Season: 44-11 (80%)
ACC: 23-6 (79%)


Friday, February 15, 2008

North Carolina Battles Injuries, Flu, and Hokies

google.com
Virginia Tech @ North Carolina
North Carolina has officially hit the injury/flu bug as they are expected to be without three starters against an athletic Virginia Tech team. The Hokies are no stranger to competing with the Heels in Chapel Hill as they won there last year in OT. Expect Seth Greenberg to instruct his club to attack Carolina down low where they will be without Danny Greene and Deon Thompson. This game will be won by who can impose their style on the other. For all of their athleticism, the Hokies would rather grind it out in the half court while North Carolina wants to run. It will be interesting to see if Roy Williams holds back the rains with 3 top players out. I like North Carolina to squeak this one out in the end by 3-7 points.
Prediction: North Carolina


Clemson @ NC State

Every time I think Clemson is going to assert themselves as a top 4 ACC team they stumble - losing a 15 point lead last Sunday was perfect example. Just like VT-UNC this will be a game of contrasting styles and whomever can impose theirs will likely win. The Wolfpack has the muscle down low to combat Clemson's James Mays and Trevor Booker. NC State needs a good game out of the shaky PG Javier Gonzalez who will pressed full court nearly the entire game. This ball handling situation reminds me Georgia's Tech on Thursday and we saw how that turned out. I think Clemson and their depth and press will over come NC State in Raleigh by a close margin.
Prediction: Clemson

Check back tomorrow for previews of Georgia Tech-Miami and Duke-Wake Forest

Season: 44-11 (80%)
ACC: 23-6 (79%)


Tennessee Tries to Sweep Georgia


google.com
Tennessee @ Georgia
Tennessee will try to make a clean sweep Georgia in football and basketball on Saturday. The Vols pounded the Bulldogs a few weeks back in Knoxville with their full court press and should be able to do the same on Saturday. For Georgia to pull off the upset, they will need Sundiata Gaines to have the game of his life. His backcourt running mate Billy Humphrey is still suspended and the Dawgs will need an great effort from the frontcourt to help make up the scoring. I think Tennessee has too much depth and size for Georgia to pull this one off.
Prediction: Tennessee

Florida @ Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt will be looking to remain undefeated at home this year having already won their first 15 home games of the year. Florida has struggled away from Gainesville this year. The Commodores have won their last 4 including a 41 point drubbing of Kentucky in Nashville on Tuesday. Florida lost at home to an LSU team who just fired their coach this past week; maybe 19 turnovers and allowing 60% from the field had more to do with it. Vandy shoots 48% from the field and 44% from three at home. I like Vandy to win by 8-12 points.
Prediction: Vanderbilt

Arkansas @ Mississippi State
The SEC West picture may get a little more clear after Saturday - if Miss State wins they have a two game lead on the Razorbacks, but an Arkansas wins draws them even with the Bulldogs. The last time these two met Arkansas jumped out to an early lead it never relinquished winning by 20. Both teams are hot having gone 15-5 in their last 20 collectively. In the game a few weeks back, Miss State had twice as many turnovers as Arkansas (22-11). Arkansas has struggled as of late shooting the ball averaging just 42% from the field over their last 5. I like Miss State at home where they have lost just 1 conference game to the best team in the league (Tennessee) by 5-9 points.
Prediction: Mississippi State

Season: 44-11 (80%)
SEC: 21-5 (81%)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Clemson Hopes to Rebound Against Tech

Georgia Tech @ Clemson
The most interesting part of this game may be the officials
and how they call the game. Clemson filed a complaint with
the ACC office in regards to the officiating in Sunday's 2OT
loss to North Carolina where the Tar Heels shot 36 FT to
Clemson's 7. Georgia Tech has also been fouled by officials
this year. In 8 ACC games, they have been called for more
fouls than their opponents - something has to give. Georgia
Tech has been red hot on the road this season. Watch how
Clemson's press effects Tech because the Yellow Jackets only
have 2 good ballhandlers and they rarely play at the same
time. If Tech is going to win, I think they need to jump on
Clemson early and hope the Tigers are stil sulking over their
loss to North Carolina. In the end, I like the Tigers and
their press and transition offesne against a week ballhandling
and transition Georgia Tech team.
Prediction: Clemson

Season: 43-11 (80%)
ACC: 22-6 (79%)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Just Like Football?

South Carolina @ Georgia
South Carolina travels to Athens to try and sweep the panting
Bulldogs who will be trying to avoid their 3rd straight home
loss. Georgia's Sundiata Gaines had a fantastic game against
Florida filling the scoring void left by the suspended Billy
Humphrey. The Senior from New York is one of the best players
most nation wide people have never heard of. The Bulldogs
will need another good performance from Gaines who will have
to match the scoring tandem of Devan Downey and Zam Frederick
of South Carolina. I think whomever wins the inside battle
with points in the paint and 2nd chances will win this game.
Expect this one to be low scoring ugly. Last time in
Columbia, South Carolina fans chanted "Just like football".
Maybe this time Georgia fans will be chanting "wait til next
year"
Prediction: Georgia

Monday, February 11, 2008

Does Virginia Catch North Carolina Napping?


google.com
North Carolina @ Virginia
So the Tar Heels extended their now NCAA record winning steak over Clemson to 53 on Sunday, but it took 2 OT to do so. Meanwhile, the Hoos slept walk through another ACC loss at Wake Forest on Saturday. The Heels had to play til close to 9PM on Sunday in a game that took everything they had and now have to travel to Charlottesville less than 48 hrs to play again. Could North Carolina be a little tired? Remember Maryland when the Heels had to play 48 hrs after busing home through the middle of the night? Good thing Virginia isn't that good.
Prediction: North Carolina

Season: 40-11 (78%)

ACC: 21-6 (78%)

Can Kentucky Continue Hot Streak at Vanderbilt?


google.com
Kentucky @ Vanderbilt
The Kentucky Wildcats have gone under a transformation as of late and are starting to assert themselves as a player in the SEC this year. The beginning of this hot streak was the win over a highly ranked Vanderbilt in Lexington team a few weeks back. Now the Wildcats travel to Nashville to play at one of the toughest places in the SEC due to the side line configuration. Vandy has been unbeatable at home and is coming off a nice road win at South Carolina. For Kentucky to win their 6th in a row, they need Patrick Patterson to have a big game against Vandy's AJ Ogilvy on the inside. For Vanderbilt to win, they need to keep the game low scoring and let their halfcourt execution take over.
Prediction: Vanderbilt

Season: 40-11 (78%)
SEC: 19-5 (79%)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Duke Hits Another 3


google.com
Boston College @ Duke Saturday
Note to Boston College - guard the 3 point shot. Duke made 13 of them against North Carolina on Wednesday with Greg Paulus hitting on 6. The Blue Devils are a 3 point shot away from being undefeated and will need to guard against being overconfident after such a big win. That won't be easy because BC is on a 5 game losing streak and has lost 7 of their last 9. Still, the emotion from the crowd will carry Duke to victory even if they are lethargic. Look for Duke to win this going away.
Prediction: Duke


Georgia Tech @ UConn Saturday
In past years, you could pretty much count on Georgia Tech winning at home and losing on the road. Not the case for this Yellow Jacket team who has won their past 3 road games. They run into a red hot UConn team who has won their past 6 including victories over Pitt and at Indiana. The Huskies are 11-1 at home and play stifling defense allowing just 62 ppg. For Georgia Tech to win, they need to force an up tempo style and defend the transition. UConn has a short bench and plays their top 5 for 35+ minutes a game. Maryland shot over 60% against Tech in the first half of the Jackets last loss mostly on dunks and layups in transition. I think Georgia Tech gives UConn all they can handle but the Huskies are really playing well as of late - too well to be beaten at home.
Prediction: UConn


digitallight.com
Clemson @ North Carolina Sunday
Clemson has never beaten North Carolina in Chapel Hill - 0-52. It is the longest active streak in the NCAA. The Tigers came about as close as you could to winning in their last meeting with North Carolina when Wayne Ellington hit a 3 pointer in overtime. The Heels may be without starting PG Ty Lawson for the second straight game and his presence was definitely missed against Duke. For Clemson to win, they need to control Tyler Hansbrough like they did last game holding the junior to a season low 12 points. Wayne Ellington and Danny Greene need to step up and play well to give the Tar Heels options outside of Hansbrough. I like Clemson to give North Carolina a game, but the Tar Heels win in the end by 5-10 points.
Prediction: North Carolina

Season: 36-10 (78%)
ACC: 18-6 (75%)

Indoor Cocktail Party

digitallight.com
Georgia @ Florida 3:00
Lets see...you just lost your last two games at home (and 4 in a row overall) and then your top player is arrested and now suspended (Billy Humphrey). Probably not the way you want to go into Gainesville against a team 14-1 in Gainesville. This is gut check time for Georgia and a loss could send the season spiraling down. I think Florida uses their inside game of Dan Werner and Marrese Speights to pound the Bulldogs inside like Kentucky. This game will get out of hand in the 2nd half with Florida winning by 20+.
Prediction: Florida

Vanderbilt @ South Carolina 5:00
Vanderbilt is a much better team at home than on road especially on offense where they average 11 points less away from Nashville. South Carolina is just 7-5 at home this year winning just 1 home conference game. The Commodores are heading towards a NCAA bid, but they need to show they can beat decent teams on the road to get a top 6 seed. The Gamecocks half court style plays into Vandy's style. I think this one comes down to the end with South Carolina pulling it out at the end.
Prediction: South Carolina

Season: 36-10 (78%)
SEC: 18-4 (82%)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Carolina-Duke...Basketball Season is Here


Duke @ North Carolina Wednesday
Its Carolina - Duke (or Duke - Carolina); its Tobacco Road; its #2 vs #3; its also the return of Dick Vitale to college basketball. I really liked North Carolina in this game until Ty Lawson got hurt. The Tar Heel point guard was wearing a walking boot on Monday and said the injury was "bad" after the FSU game on Sunday. Carolina's offense is largely predicated on two things: Tyler Hansbrough scoring inside and the speed of their fast break and secondary break (led by Lawson). This loss is magnified because of the earlier loss of backup PG Bobby Frasor for the year. This means senior Quentin Thomas will be handling the PG duties with Marcus Ginyard spelling him. Thomas has not done much really in his first three years, but has played fairly well against Duke in his career.

Everyone says the way to hurt Duke is inside, which would seem like a big advantage for the Heels with Hansbrough. I think North Carolina needs to match Duke's outside shooting ability and keep the game flow fast. Roy Williams has more depth than Mike Kryzewski even with Lawson's injury and a high scoring game fits North Carolina's style. Despite all of the clamor about Duke running the Phoenix Suns' offense they still depend on 3's to get their points in bunches, not fast breaks. I think the injury to Lawson may be too much for the Heels to overcome considering how well he has run their offense this year. Oddsmakers have North Carolina as the favorite, but I like Duke in a barn burner by 3-7 points.
Prediction: Duke

Wikipedia entry about the Carolina-Duke Rivalry

Get all the rivalry news here

Georgia Tech @ Wake Forest Wednesday
Georgia Tech played Maryland at home last Saturday like the Yellow Jackets play most road teams - they let the other team get out to an early double-digit lead and then fought their way back only to come up short at the end. Paul Hewitt's team goes back on the road where they have won their last two, but Winston-Salem has not been kind to the Jackets. Wake Forest is 12-0 at home this year and are playing great defense there allowing opponents just 40% shooting from the field. I think for Georgia Tech to win they have to get out to a good start and ride the back of Matt Causey. Wake will this one at home with good defense and taking care of the ball on offense.
Prediction: Wake Forest

Florida State @ Miami Wednesday
Both teams come in struggling in ACC as of late - FSU has lost their last 3, Miami their last 2 and the two are a combined 4-11 in conference play. The Hurricanes hold a clear advantage on the glass averaging 6 more rebounds per game than the Seminoles, but the Noles average about 3 more steals per game largely due to their athletic backcourt. On talent, FSU should win this game, but Leonard Hamilton is still searching for his first NCAA bid in Tallahassee. Miami has played pretty well at home losing only to North Carolina in ACC play. I like Miami by 4-8 points.
Prediction: Miami

Clemson @ Virginia Thursday
The Tigers have been a tough team to figure out. It is very evident that they play much better at home than on the road like most good, but not great teams. Virginia has really struggled this year, definitely more than I thought. They led rival Virginia Tech for most of the game last weekend, but were overtaken in OT. The Cavaliers are still searching for a reliable second scoring option behind Sean Singletary. I like Clemson's offensive balance with the inside play of James Mays and Trevor Booker combined with KC Rivers and Terrence Ogelsby on the outside. Clemson will win this one of the road by 2-7 points.
Prediction: Clemson

Season: 34-7 (83%)
ACC: 16-4 (80%)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Florida Tries to Upend Tennessee


google.com
Florida @ Tennessee Tuesday
Despite the Gators back to back national titles, Tennessee has won 5 of the last 7 in this series. The only blemish in the Vols last 10 games is a road loss to resurgent Kentucky. Florida was embarrassed in its last game against Arkansas. Billy Donovan's club is much more comfortable in Gainesville, especially on offense where they shoot just 41% from the field and 29% from 3 point land away from the O-Dome. This plays right into Bruce Pearl's hands as the Volunteers allow just 41% from opponents at Thompson Boling Arena. Florida likes to play up tempo, but they cannot compete with Tennessee in a shootout. For the Gators to win, they have to make Tennessee play half court offense where they are much less effective. If Florida is going to win, they have to keep the Vols under 80 points. I do not think Florida plays good enough defense to do this and they will lose after putting up a valiant effort. Vols by 7-12 points.
Prediction: Tennessee

Vanderbilt @ Georgia Wednesday
This game is not going to be pretty. It is going to be a 12 round slugfest of half court, shot clock draining basketball. Vanderbilt has struggled mightily with athletic teams and on the road. Georgia is not overly athletic and relies heavily on the back court tandem of Billy Humphrey and Sundiata Gaines for scoring. For Vanderbilt to win, they need to get the ball to AJ Ogilvy inside. If the Commodores watched Kentucky on Saturday then they watched Patrick Patterson have his way with Georgia in the paint. For Georgia to win, they need Humphrey and Gaines to come up big by taking care of the ball on offense and creating havoc on defense. I think Georgia wins a game that goes down to the wire by less than 5 points.
Prediction: Georgia

Season: 33-7 (82.5%)
SEC: 17-3 (85%)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Duke - North Carolina Rivalry

The college basketball season officially started back in November. It got a little more exciting when conference play started, but now we can really look ahead towards March Madness because North Carolina and Duke finally meet. It is not new for these teams to be ranked in the top 5 (Duke - 2, UNC - 3). The winner of this game will have first place in the ACC and will be one step closer to a number 1 seed. It is certainly the greatest rivalry in college basketball and some say it is the best rivalry in all of sports largely due to the fact the schools are less than 10 miles apart.

Last season, North Carolina swept the Blue Devils though both teams regular season finale wasn't without conflict. With the game in hand, Duke's Gerald Henderson fouled North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough giving Hansbrough a blood nose; Henderson was subsequently suspended by the conference. Nearly a year later,
Henderson is anticipating the rematch.

One x-factor will be if North Carolina's Ty Lawson will be able to play after injuring his ankle against Florida State on Sunday. Roy Williams said he will not know Lawson's availability until after Tuesday's practice.

Check back on Wednesday for my prediction.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

ACC & SEC Presence in Super Bowl

espn.com
It should not a be a surprise that the BCS Champion LSU Tigers have the most players of any school in the country playing in the Super Bowl. The team who has the most overall players in the NFL, Miami, has the second most. If they don't have any allegiance to begin with, Georgia fans will probably be rooting for New England - where Richard Seymour, Ben Watson play while Georgia Tech fans will be rooting for New York where James Butler, Gerris Wilkinson, and Michael Matthews will be playing.

LSU - 5
Miami - 4
Tennessee - 4
Georgia - 3
Georgia Tech -3
Auburn -2
Florida - 2
Boston College - 2

Biggest surprise on the list was Marshall with 4 participants.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Will Georgia Tech Make It 4 In A Row?


pic from gooley.com
Maryland @ Georgia Tech
All of a sudden Georgia Tech is back from the bottom of the ACC after beating Virginia Tech and then going on the road for two straight; and before that they lost to North Carolina by 1. The key to the Yellow Jackets turnaround has been the play of G Matt Causey who splits time with freshman Moe Miller at PG for Paul Hewitt. Georgia Tech is also turning the ball over much less than in their previous games. Maryland does not have stars, but does have a good group of 5 who all had double figures in points in a win over Virginia this week. I think this game comes down to the turnover battle. Neither team is very good at holding on to the ball, but Georgia Tech has done a much better job of it recently. I like the Yellow Jackets in a game down to the wire at home.
Prediction: Georgia Tech

Boston College @ Clemson
The Tigers sure would like to get even with the Eagles who have not knocked the football team out of the ACCCG the last 3 seasons. Boston College has lost their last 3 ACC games by an average of 16 points. Clemson will rely on the inside-outside combo of James Mays and Terrance Ogelsby. Ogelsby, a freshman, gives the Tigers a deadly 3 point threat from 25 feet in and on the season Clemson is shooting nearly 40% from behind the arc. BC is also a good three point shooting team at 37% and will be led by their back court of Tyrese Rice and Rakim Sanders. In the end, the home crowd and depth of Clemson will prevail over Boston College by 6-10 points.
Prediction: Clemson

North Carolina @ Florida State
I think North Carolina has recovered from their only defeat of the year and will focused on FSU despite the big matchup with Duke this coming Wednesday. The Seminoles are struggling as of late having lost 5 of their last 6 with the one win coming against Virginia who is at the bottom of the ACC. For FSU to win this game, they have to be able to knock down threes and defend the three. Their four guard lineup will receive a challenge from the Tar Heels in the half court on defense with Tyler Hansbrough garnering much of the attention down low. I think North Carolina runs away with this one in the end winning by 10-15 points.
Prediction: North Carolina

Season: 29-5
ACC: 14-3


East Meets West as Tennessee Travels to Mississippi State


Kentucky @ Georgia
After a rough start to the season for the Wildcats, they have ripped off 2 straight wins over SEC East rivals Tennessee and South Carolina. Kentucky comes into this game with a full week to prepare for a Georgia team who has lost its last 2 to those same teams. The Bulldogs main offensive weapon, Billy Humphrey, has been battling a knee injury for most of the year and said after the South Carolina loss it was a reason for his subpar play. If Humphrey can battle through the injury then Georgia has a great chance at home where they are undefeated this season. The Wildcats are 0-4 away from Rupp Arena and shoot just 42% from the field as compared to 47% in Lexington. Kentucky absolutely has to have this one if they want to make a serious run at the NCAA Tournament. I think this game comes right down to the wire with Georgia prevailing on a last second shot.
Prediction: Georgia
CSTV is broadcasting this Dog and Cat fight online!

Florida @ Arkansas
The Gators are quietly 18-3 and 5-1 on the year despite losing their entire starting lineup from back to back national championship teams. Freshman G Nick Calathes has picked up some of the slack and had a double double in points and assists against Vanderbilt last weekend. His counterpart for Arkansas is Patrick Beverly who had double digits in points and rebounds in a win over Miss State this week. Florida plays much differently on the road shooting just 44% from the field instead of 50% in the O-Dome. I think the Razorbacks will try to slow this game down and let their halfcourt defense that allows just over 60 ppg in Fayetteville take over. I like Arkansas to win by 4-8 points
Prediction: Arkansas

Tennessee @ Miss State
The leader of the East meets the leader of the West in Starkville as Tennessee puts their top 5 ranking on the line. The Vols will want to get this game into the 80s with their full court press defense and run n gun offense. The Bulldogs of Miss State would much rather play in the halfcourt and led their inside defense give the Vols fits in the halfcourt. I think the team that can impose their style on the other will win this one. 75 is the breaking point as Tennessee has lost just once when scoring 75 or above. Miss State has not lost a game in their last 10 if it keeps the opponent to 75 or below. I think Chris Lofton coming on for the Vols gives them that outside shooting they will need against Miss State to win by 5 or less.
Prediction: Tennessee

Season: 29-5
SEC: 15-2