Set Your Tivo: 02.23.10Posted by THager on February 23rd, 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
#13 Georgetown @ Louisville – 7 pm on ESPN2 (***)
For how large the gap is between their rankings, Georgetown is not that much better of a team than Louisville. Georgetown is still aiming for a #3 seed in the Tournament, while Louisville still has some work to do. However, Louisville is a game ahead of the Hoyas in the Big East standings, and with a victory tonight they will have more wins on the year than Georgetown. UL has all the momentum, as they are coming off of three straight conference wins and the Hoyas have not won since February 9. Louisville’s main concern will be guarding the Hoyas, as the Cardinals’ #80-ranked defense will be going up against a Georgetown team that shoots 50% from the floor as a team. They Hoyas are trying to rebound from a rough performance against Syracuse in which they missed 40 shots and Julian Vaughn was held scoreless. The Cardinals have a solid offense as well, ranking ninth in offensive efficiency, but they are going to need more help from players other than Samardo Samuels and Edgar Sosa. Jerry Smith is their third leading scorer, but he hasn’t scored more than seven points in a game since February 6. The Hoyas have lost two straight games, but their second half performance against Syracuse may indicate that they have come out of their slump, and they should get back on track tonight.
#6 Kansas State @ Texas Tech – 8 pm on ESPN360 (**)
The Wildcats have quietly been working towards a potential #2 seed the last few weeks, winning their last five games against the bottom of the Big 12. Texas Tech, who has lost three straight games to most likely kill their at-large tournament hopes, is now among the worst teams in the conference. Had the Red Raiders pulled out their recent games against Oklahoma State and Texas, they would have looked like a much more formidable opponent at 18-8, so this game won’t likely be a blowout. Nevertheless, the Red Raiders are going to have to step up their defense if they want to keep this game close. Their defense, which ranks #97 in efficiency, has allowed their last four opponents to shoot over 40% from the field, including a road game against Baylor in which they allowed the Bears to make 55% of their shots. Kansas State, led by Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente, features four legitimate scorers and ranks in the top 10 in offensive efficiency, so they will likely capitalize on any defensive miscues that Texas Tech makes. Although the Red Raiders don’t have the best offense by any stretch, they shoot almost 39% from the three-point line, and can at least keep the game within reach if they hit their shots. Against Baylor, they made 8 of their 13 three-pointers, so this game may largely hinge on their three-point shooting. KSU has a solid defense, and given that Texas Tech dropped their last two home games, I don’t think the home crowd will play much of a factor tonight.
#17 Tennessee @ Florida – 9 pm on ESPN (***)
When these teams met in January, it was a classic in Knoxville that was decided by one point. Tennessee never led by more than five points in that game, but came out on top when Scotty Hopson hit a jumper with 21 seconds left. With both teams playing well in the last week, it looks like tonight’s game in Gainesville could be equally intense. None of the four combined wins by these teams last week were over impressive opponents, but they are now tied for third in the conference at 8-4. Florida has an impressive lineup that features five players who score in double digits, while the Vols only have three starters scoring over 10 points per game. In fact, UT ranks #83 in offensive efficiency, and have largely been depending on a standout defense to win a lot of games. In their last matchup, Florida only shot 25% from the three-point line, and only had two starters score in double figures en route to a 60-point effort. The Volunteers average 8.4 steals per contest, and rank in the nation’s top 10 in forced turnovers, so if they can match the 17 turnovers they caused against Florida, they will leave Gainesville with another victory.