Set Your Tivo: 03.07.10Posted by THager on March 7th, 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
Florida @ #3 Kentucky – 12:00 pm on CBS (***)
Despite recent struggles, Florida is still a tournament team and Kentucky is still a #1 seed. However, if Florida loses this game and has an early exit in the SEC Tournament, they will likely be off the bubble. The Gators have been streaky all year, recording four different runs of at least two losses (including their current slide against Georgia and Vanderbilt). Their chances against the Wildcats don’t look great, as UF ranks #49 and #56 in offensive and defensive efficiency. The Wildcats rank in the top twenty in both categories, and have both the speed and size to shut down Florida’s offensive weapons. The Gators have four players who average over 10 points per game, but Chandler Parsons scored just three points in his last game, and Alex Tyus has not scored in double figures in his last four. When these teams met in Gainesville, the Gators had a lead in the closing minutes but a scoreless period near the end of the game sealed their fate. UK was not impressive in that contest, but look for the Gators to get Kentucky’s best effort in Patrick Patterson’s (and presumably John Wall’s and DeMarcus Cousins’) final home game.
#15 Wisconsin @ Illinois – 2:00 pm on ESPN (***)
The Illini are another team who appear to be playing themselves out of the tournament. Although this was the same team that was in contention for the Big Ten title after they upset Wisconsin a few weeks ago, the Illini then lost four of their next five games. They are still in fifth place in the conference, but an 8-5 record outside the Big Ten may be what keeps them out of the big dance. Wisconsin has won three straight games and has rebounded since a loss to Minnesota in Jon Leuer’s first game back from an injury. Leuer was not playing the last time these teams met, and a much inferior Tim Jarmusz was playing in his absence. Jarmusz shoots below 32% from the field, and now that their star forward is back, they have not had to rely on him. The Illini don’t rank in the top 40 in either of Ken Pomeroy’s efficiency ratings, while the Badgers rank fourth overall. They Badgers are the best team in America in turnovers per game, and with Jarmusz out of the mix for UW, they should avenge their loss to Illinois.
Clemson @ Wake Forest – 6:00 pm on FSN (**)
Even with a loss here, both teams should be in the tournament, but Wake Forest’s situation is much more critical. They have already lost four games in a row, and took themselves from recent contention for an ACC title down to sixth place in the conference. If the Demon Deacons manage to squeak into the tournament, their late season slide does not bode well for any success there. Clemson has won five of their last six games, even though four of their victories were at home. Both teams excel on the defensive end, as WFU ranks #21 in defensive efficiency while Clemson ranks #9 in the country and leads the conference in steals per game. When looking at the lineup, these teams start to look very similar. The leading scorer for both teams is a forward who averages slightly under 16 points per game, and the next three offensive threats are guards. There are only two players on either team who average over ten points per game, which is pretty rare for even one team to have. The main difference between these two teams is their current level of play, which has to go in favor of the Tigers.