Set Your Tivo: 02.04.10Posted by THager on February 4th, 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
#19 Georgia Tech @ #9 Duke – 7 pm on ESPN2 (****)
Georgia Tech is fifth in the conference race at 4-3, yet the only ranked ACC team besides the Yellow Jackets is Duke. GT has played average since the start of ACC play, but is 4-1 in their last five games to climb back into the thick of the ACC standings. The Blue Devils, on the other hand, are coming off a bad road loss to Georgetown, their third road loss in a row. Although Duke is known for their three-point shooting and second-most efficient offense, they give up even fewer points than the Yellow Jackets per game. The main problem with Duke is how inconsistent they are. They held Gonzaga, Clemson, and Florida State to 41, 47, and 56 points earlier in the year, but gave up an average of 88.5 points to N.C. State and Georgetown. In their earlier matchup against Georgia Tech, Duke held GT to just 71 points, but 6-28 shooting from beyond the arc led to a loss. The Blue Devils only shot 9-29 from three on Saturday, so they are going to have to shoot closer to 40 % if they want to win the game. The Blue Devils have not lost back-to-back games all year, and given their 13-0 record at Cameron Indoor Stadium, look for Duke to remain atop the ACC tonight.
Maryland @ Florida State – 9 pm on ESPN360 (***)
Before Maryland’s last game against Clemson, we claimed that Maryland was not a lock for the tournament with an RPI of #50. They lost to Clemson by nine in that game, but their ranking in the RPI only dropped to #51. Virtually in the same scenario, the Terrapins will now face another solid ACC team on the road. In Florida State’s last four ACC games, they have recorded three victories, but they are still looking for that signature win over a top conference team. With a win against the second place Terps, the Seminoles may finally get that big victory to improve their tournament resume. With just five losses and an RPI of #29, the Seminoles are likely in as of now. Florida State’s solid defense will be keep them close against Maryland’s high scoring offense. Clemson, with the third best defense in the country, held the Terps to just 53 points in that game, and the Seminoles have the best defensive efficiency in the nation. Clemson held forward Landon Milbourne to just three points on Sunday, so he will have to play better to give UM a chance tonight. Florida State’s leading scorer in Solomon Alabi only averages 12.9 points per game, so this game should be close no matter how well FSU plays defense.
Portland @ #13 Gonzaga – 11 pm on ESPN2 (***)
Before last Saturday, it seemed like Gonzaga had locked the WCC up for the season. They had won nine games in a row and had beaten their toughest WCC opponents in Saint Mary’s and Portland on the road. However, after a shocking loss to San Francisco (#237 in the RPI) people are starting to doubt the Zags. Portland, on the other hand, has won four games in a row and gave up an average of 53 points during that stretch. Gonzaga’s offense is extremely quick and balanced, and will certainly light up the Pilots, but if Portland can hold the Zags below 75 points they have a decent chance to win the game. When Gonzaga trailed Santa Clara recently, they only gave up two baskets in the final 13 minutes to escape with the win, but have been inconsistent on defense all year. The Bulldogs have played all the other WCC contenders on the road so far, and tonight’s game will be the first important conference game in Spokane. Elias Harris has emerged to form a 1-2 punch along with Matt Bouldin, and has scored 20+ points in five of the last six games. If he keeps that up at the Kennel, the Bulldogs will likely continue their home winning streak against conference opponents tonight.