Set Your Tivo: 02.08.10Posted by THager on February 8th, 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
#4 Villanova @ #5 West Virginia – 7 pm on ESPN (*****)
Depending on how this game plays out, we could be looking at some major Tournament seeding implications in this one tonight. Before Villanova’s last game against Georgetown, they had won eleven in a row, but gave up over 100 points to the Hoyas and now must face a West Virginia team that has a six-game winning streak of their own. The Mountaineers now stand at 19-3 and would get a huge boost in the rankings with a clutch home win over Villanova. These teams have only met once the last two seasons, but West Virginia led virtually the entire game in last year’s 93-72 blowout victory in Morgantown. As shown by their 90 points in a double-digit loss to Georgetown, Villanova can score with anybody. They are ranked second in points per game and third in offensive efficiency, but what is killing them is their 64th ranked defense (according to Pomeroy). West Virginia averages less than 74 points per game, but they are right behind the Wildcats in offensive efficiency and have a top 25 defense to complement it. WVU only surrenders 61.5 points per game, and hasn’t given up 75 points in a single game since January 1. In Villanova’s loss to the Hoyas, Scottie Reynolds scored 24 points, but it was on 6-17 shooting. If he is having an off night, look for him to distribute the ball more in this game, but it may not be enough against a tough Mountaineer team at home (and their crowd).
#1 Kansas @ #14 Texas – 9 pm on ESPN (****)
Texas is still going to make the NCAA tournament, but their situation is getting more desperate with every passing week. Following their 17-0 start, they have lost four of the last six games, perhaps none worse than the loss at Oklahoma in which they never led and trailed by as much as 20 points in the second half. Kansas has won eight straight games, but has been in a recent funk with two overtimes and trouble putting teams away in each of their last three games. Both of these teams can put a lot of points on the board, as they also rank among the nation’s leaders in points and rebounds per game, while Kansas also ranks fourth in assists per game. Due mainly to their earlier performances, both teams also rank highly in defensive efficiency, but Texas has now given up 80+ points in four of their last five. Perhaps the most intriguing matchup tonight is between big men Dexter Pittman and Cole Aldrich. Pittman shoots over 68% from the field, while Aldrich averages a double-double (12/10). To be honest, Aldrich has been a bit of a disappointment this year with decreases in points and rebounds per game, as well as a drop off in minutes and field goal percentage. He couldn’t keep his stamina at the end of the Colorado game, and only scored eight points against Nebraska, but the Jayhawks will need him if they want to keep pace with their high-scoring opponent in Austin.