Set Your Tivo: 02.25.10Posted by THager on February 25th, 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
Tulsa @ #5 Duke- 7:00 pm on ESPN2 (**)
Tulsa had a great chance of chance of making the NCAA Tournament a few weeks ago, but four losses in their last five games have virtually eliminated any at-large chances for the Golden Hurricane. Duke, on the other hand, has won six straight games to put itself in contention for a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. It is rare to see an out of conference matchup at this time of year, but it will give the Blue Devils one last chance this season to extend their home winning streak against non-conference opponents. They have won 76 straight games outside of the ACC at Cameron Indoor Stadium, and given Tulsa’s recent performances, it would appear the #77 won’t be that difficult. The Blue Devils are the top ranked team in Ken Pomeroy’s overall rankings, while the Golden Hurricane don’t rank in the top seventy in either offensive or defensive efficiency. Despite their recent performances, the one thing Tulsa has going for them is that their two best players, Ben Uzoh and Jerome Jordan, have continued to play well, scoring over their season averages for much of the last two weeks. There is no non-conference opponent that has even challenged the Blue Devils on the road, but the key for their success will be to shut down Duke’s big three players. Virginia Tech recently shut down everybody else on their team, but Jon Scheyer, Nolan Smith, and Kyle Singler scored 63 of Duke’s 67 points in a win. Tulsa, if they have any chance of coming out with a win tonight, will have to minimize the production from those three stars.
Santa Clara @ Gonzaga – 11:00 on ESPN2 (**)
Gonzaga has had a tendency this year to disappoint their fans as soon as they start to believe that this is a legitimate contender. They lost to San Francisco when they made just 5-18 three-point field goals, and Matt Bouldin was just 3-12 against Loyola Marymount in an eight-point loss a week ago. With a win tonight, the Bulldogs will achieve something that has rarely been done in the history of college basketball – win a tenth straight conference title. The last time these teams met in January, Santa Clara had a golden opportunity to win, with a 13-point lead nearly midway through the second half. However, the Zags held Santa Clara scoreless the last 5:57 of the game en route to the close win. Gonzaga has gone just 5-2 in the WCC since that game, but they have dominated opponents at home in that stretch, beating three teams (including Portland and St. Mary’s) by a total of 63 points. Elias Harris has tailed off a little since his fast start in conference play, and Bouldin cannot repeat his recent performance if the Bulldogs are going to win any game much less make a run in the tournament. Despite their solid play against Gonzaga in their last game, Santa Clara is just 11-18 on the year, so look for the Zags to try and make another late season run to save their protected tournament seed in the Spokane pod.