Today's Marquee Match Up is like a Choose Your Own Adventure book - you get to pick it! You can choose the stud and is undefeated team taking on a tough ACC foe or go with West Coast Three facing a squad from the Big Ten. Find out who else is playing right here ...
Marquee Match Up
5:15pm North Carolina State @ Syracuse OR 5:15pm Illinois @ Gonzaga
So this is a first here at the Can Ball Report. I couldn’t really make a decision on which of these two games to watch so I’ll let you people pick which one. Here is how they breakdown:
Syracuse is still currently undefeated going into this game against NC State. But don’t let State's early 4-2 record fool you. They are a tough team from a tough conference. Even though they are currently playing by committee, they are talented and should match up well against the Orange. What will be an interesting to see is who will be guard Kris Joseph. My bets are on freshman CJ Leslie. Joseph has been averaging about 19 points, 4 rebounds and a steal and a half over the last four games so if the task goes to Leslie, he’ll have his hands full in this game. I think after the Georgia Tech game this past Sunday, Joseph should be ready for anything and everything now.
Gonzaga will be taking on their second ranked opponent this season (San Diego State doesn’t count since they weren’t ranked when the Zags lost to them) and it will be a great game. Illinois will matchup almost evenly with the Zags across the bench and this will require some special effort by everyone to get this win, especially the Canadians. Rob Sacre will need to play big in the middle, especially on the glass and Kelly Olynyk will need to also need to help in this area also. With sophomore Elias Harris possibly being less than 100% to play in the game let alone 100% physically, those two players in particular will need to pick up the slack in the frontcourt. Sacre’s has been consistently hovering around the 7 rebound mark nightly while Olynyk has had some big board games this season. Manny Arop has the possibility to be an X factor in this game. He’s a defensive stop who can score and grab glass in bunches but he has also seemed to be vanish from game to game also so Arop will need to be the former to help beat the Illini.
And here is where the rest of them are playing ...
12:00pm Wright State @ Detroit
1:00pm Harvard @ Michigan – In the blowout win against Fordham three nights ago, Saint-Bruno, PQ’s Laurent Rivard had 21 points in 20 minutes. I just want to see what he can do against Michigan.
1:00pm Western Carolina @ Chattanooga
2:00pm California @ Iowa State – Iowa State is coming off an upset loss to Northern Iowa three days ago and they should be ready to knock someone's block off. What a great time to face a Cal team that is looking for a win so this can only mean that this will be a good game to watch. Both Ejim and Vanderbeken were non factors in the Iowa State loss so this could be a contest they come out looking to prove something.
2:00pm Belmont @ Vanderbilt
2:00pm Longwood @ Marquette
2:00pm Brown @ Maine
2:00pm St. Francis (PA) @ Long Island – Kyle Johnson had 20 points and 8 rebounds in the Blackbirds’ one point loss to Robert Morris a few days ago. How will the senior respond to this game?
2:00pm Wagner @ Sacred Heart
3:00pm Troy @ Arkansas
3:00pm Davidson @ Citadel
4:00pm Northeastern @ Drexel
4:00pm Stony Brook @ Columbia
4:30pm Robert Morris @ St. Francis (NY)
7:00pm Buffalo @ St. Bonaventure – This Buffalo team is a good warm up for the Bonnies before they meet a surging St. John’s team in a few days. Andrew Nicholson had his third double-double of the young season, his third in four games, in the 2 point loss to Cleveland State last week and he seems to be putting it all together into the package Coach Schmidt said he’d be by this time in his career. Freshman Matthew Wright has been scoring less lately but has been passing the rock so this could be a game for him to break out of that scoring drought.
7:00pm Boston University @ Bucknell
7:00pm Tennessee-Martin @ Eastern Kentucky
7:00pm Wofford @ Elon – Roger Dugas is quietly playing a great starting role for the Elon Phoenix this season. He’s averaging 8.5 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting 44.8% from the three in 25.5 minutes of floor time and he’s worthy of your attention right now.
7:30pm Southern Utah @ IPFW
8:00pm Arkansas-Pine Bluff @ Auburn
8:00pm Cornell @ Minnesota – Devoe Joseph’s return to the Gophers’ lineup was nothing short of spectacular. He put up 16 points in the loss to Virginia this past Monday in 24 minutes off the bench. After that game, I wonder if he’ll be back to starting for this one.
8:00pm Cleveland State @ Milwaukee
8:00pm Louisiana-Monroe @ Louisiana Tech
8:00pm Middle Tennessee @ SIU-Edwardsville
8:05pm Central Arkansas @ Missouri State
8:45pm Tennessee Tech @ Jacksonville
9:00pm New Mexico @ New Mexico State – New Mexico State will play their second home and home set of the season. They start off hosting in state rivals New Mexico in Las Cruces and are looking to snap a five game losing streak at the Lobos' home floor. The three Canadians, Hernst Laroche, Tyrone Watson and Christian Kabongo, have started the last three games together and are averaging 25 points, 13.6 rebounds, 9 assists and 4 steals in that span collectively.
10:00pm San Jose State @ UC Irvine
10:00pm UC Santa Barbara @ Santa Clara – Marc Trasolini and his Santa Clara team have looked good this season but they are currently sitting on a two game losing streak, first getting crushed by Arizona on Nov. 26 and then losing by six to Ohio the following day. In those two games Traz has scored 19 points and collected 6 rebounds per contest. I would think that the Broncos will look to bust out against the Gauchos in tonight and Traz should be leading the charge in the middle.
10:00pm San Francisco @ Cal State Bakersfield
11:00pm Monmouth @ Idaho
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