Tonight we have our favorite science major taking his team and his game to Champaign, Illinois in hopes of pulling out a win. This will be a big game but we have plenty of other ones from both the men's and women's sides right here ...
Marquee Match Up
Remember that you can find the full list of players playing in Division 1 right here.
9:00pm St. Bonaventure @ Illinois
This is a huge game for the Bonnies and an equally huge test for Andrew Nicholson. Make no mistake about it, Nicholson is a likely NBA Draftee in June but before then he has to go up against the Illini. The test for Andrew comes in the form of 7-foot-1, 245 lbs Meyers Leonard. He’s the sophomore center that did battle with Rob Sacre in the low block during the "upset" of Gonzaga this past weekend. He was named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week for his efforts and looks like he could be a handful for Nicholson to defend. Andrew will likely be a lot quicker and maybe even more offensively polished from both inside and out but will he be able to handle the banging down low? Nicholson had been MIA in some games this season against the more physical teams and that pattern doesn’t bode well for the Bonnies. He’s obviously the centerpiece of the team and he’ll need to dig deep tonight to get play. Nicholson’s had his troubles facing high major teams in the past but he’s also had great success too. Let’s see what he can come up with in this contest. Illinois will probably go to a double team in low block situations with Nicholson since they have the players to cover the weak side and if that’s the case, he’ll need to find those cutters or open shooters. With that said, this could be a time for Matthew Wright to get the open shot often. He can knock them down if their available and he may need too to keep the defense honest for Nicholson.
And here is where the rest of the men are playing today …
7:00pm Loyola (MD) @ George Washington
7:00pm Vanderbilt @ Davidson – Nik Cochran’s role last season as instant offence off the bench to steady starter this one. He’s scored in double-digits three of his last four games and this could be a good one for him to have a breakout of sorts against a very good Vandy team.
7:00pm Buffalo @ Niagara
7:30pm St. Francis (PA) @ Lehigh
7:30pm Western Carolina @ Purdue – This will be a big game for Western Carolina. I don’t know what you’re thinking but I’m thinking that Harouna Mutombo will likely have a target on his back. He’s scored in double figures four out of the last five games and is averaging 16 points over the last three as well as 5 rebounds and 2 assists in the wins. Purdue will be a tough cover and the Catamounts may be a little undermanned here but Harouna has had big games against big teams before so this could be one of them. Also look out for Keaton Cole to possibly put on a shooting display. He’s hot and cold, like most shooters are, but lately he’s been on.
8:00pm Vermont @ Saint Louis
8:05pm North Dakota @ UMKC
8:30pm Nevada @ Arizona State
8:30pm East Tennessee State @ Tennessee Tech
9:00pm Portland @ Boise State – Nem Mitrovic has had a tough start to the season so far. He’s been playing the peak and valley game and it’s a little strange. For instance, after going off for 20 points and 5 boards against Kentucky, he followed that up with a 4 point, 6 rebound performance against Lewis & Clark and then a 2 point, 3 board game against Saint Louis. Is this the game that he finally breaks out and plays the way he did last season against a tough Boise State team?
9:00pm Iona @ Denver
10:05pm Washington State @ Idaho
10:30pm San Jose State @ California
And here’s where the ladies are playing today …
7:00pm Marquette @ Notre Dame – This is the big game for the ladies tonight. This will be a battle of two former NEDA and National Team comrades in the Big East. Notre Dame’s Natalie Achonwa, who is just back from a knee injury, is coming off a career high when she put up 20 points in 18 minutes of action Sunday for one of the top teams in the NCAAs. Marquette’s Katherine Plouffe is the do-it-all forward for the Golden Eagles averaging 14 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.2 steals. I don’t know if the game will be close but the battle between these two burgeoning stars will be. I would expect some great performances here.
5:00pm Vermont @ Brown
5:00pm NJIT @ Lehigh
7:00pm Massachusetts @ Holy Cross – Carolann Cloutier is playing great ball for UMass right now as a starter. The transfer from Old Dominion is averaging 7 points, 5 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 34 minutes.
7:00pm Bryant @ Dartmouth – In her last game for Bryant this Saturday, Naana Ankoma-Mensa went off for 15 points and 15 rebounds in the 67-56 loss to Quinnipiac. She could be someone to watch tonight for a similar performance.
7:00pm West Virginia @ Syracuse – Syracuse’s Kayla Alexander is living up to her billing as a preseason All Big East selection thus far. She’s averaging 20 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game and with the Orange sitting on a two game losing streak at the moment, I would think that she’s going to come out looking for a W. This should be a good contest of two tough Big East teams.
7:00pm Rhode Island @ Central Connecticut State
7:00pm Canisius @ Buffalo
7:00pm Siena @ Navy
8:00pm Air Force @ Minnesota