Set Your Tivo: 02.01.10Posted by THager on February 1st, 2010
***** - quit your job and divorce your wife if that’s what it takes to watch this game live
**** - best watched live, but if you must, tivo and watch it tonight as soon as you get home
*** - set your tivo but make sure you watch it later
** - set your tivo but we’ll forgive you if it stays in the queue until 2012
* - don’t waste bandwidth (yours or the tivo’s) of any kind on this game
Connecticut @ Louisville – 7 pm on ESPN (**)
It’s not too often that a team can be ranked one week and out of the Tournament the next, but that is what UConn could be facing after following up a #19 ranking with back to back losses. The Huskies lost at Providence and allowed Marquette to come back in the final minute for another loss, and the Huskies now stand on the outer edge of the bubble at 13-8 overall. Their RPI ranking is fairly acceptable at #44, but they are going to have to play well at Louisville to give themselves a chance. The Cardinals, who have not been ranked for a while, have a lower RPI and really need to turn things around soon to receive a Tournament bid. They have lost four of their last five games and the Huskies have lost five of their last seven games. Both of these teams are going to have to play to their strengths if they want to be successful down the stretch. Louisville has a solid offense at 79.8 points per game, largely due to their efficiency and solid rebounding. The Huskies have played well defensively this year, leading the country with 8.5 blocks per game. These teams have occasionally struggled even when they have been able to play their style. UL lost its only Big East games when Samardo Samuels scores over 20 points, and Connecticut has lost games when they gave up 70, 68, 67, 64, and 68 points. Still, UL is not going to win games by holding opponents to 60 points, and the Huskies aren’t going to be lighting up the scoreboard. The Huskies have not won on the road this year, and I do not expect them to start winning tonight in the midst of another losing streak.
#6 Texas @ Oklahoma State – 9 pm on ESPN (***)
These teams are struggling despite some of the best individual performances we have seen in the Big 12 all year. The Longhorns have lost three of four games, but senior Damion James has been on a tear. He’s averaging 24/13 in his last three games. Oklahoma State’s James Anderson scored 31 points in his last game against Missouri and still lost, largely due to giving up 95 points to a Missouri team that shot 55 percent from three in the game. Nobody knows what to expect from either of these teams anymore, but look for the Cowboys to get a close win. Oklahoma State is undefeated this year at home, while the Longhorns have dropped their last two road games. Despite the Longhorns ranking in the top 10 in defensive efficiency on the year, they have played quite poorly as of late. They have surrendered over 80 points per game in this four-game stretch, and have also seen their offensive numbers drop. UT is second in the country at 85.3 points per game, but when they only rank 34th in offensive efficiency, they are going to lose some games when they play poorly on the other end. James and Anderson can only lead their teams so far, so somebody else will have to step up and make a difference in this game.