Ten Questions to Consider: Premier Match-ups Across the Country

Posted by Matthew Eisenberg on February 19th, 2021

After starting the week with a Monday slate that left much to be desired, this week ends with several great games across the land. A match-up of #3 Michigan vs. #4 Ohio State in the Big Ten leads the way, but plenty of other leagues are also scheduled to have their top teams battling it out. With the end of February fast approaching, here are 10 questions I have for the action taking place over the next few days.

  1. Can Ohio State continue to dominate Michigan in Columbus? (Michigan @ Ohio State, Sunday, 1 PM EST, CBS) Going back to 1950, Michigan is 1-18 on the road against a ranked Ohio State club. Last season, Ohio State big man Kaleb Wesson made seven threes against the Wolverines. With Hunter Dickinson’s size down low, the Buckeyes may need to rely on this again with EJ Liddell going 2-of-4 from deep last weekend against Indiana.
  2. How does Virginia respond from its loss early in the week against a Duke team without Jalen Johnson? (Virginia @ Duke, Saturday, 8 PM EST, ESPN) Florida State’s 81-60 victory over Virginia on Monday marked just the 12th time in Tony Bennett’s 392-game tenure at Virginia that the Cavaliers have given up 80 or more points. With Jalen Johnson shutting things down in Durham, a Duke team that ranks second in ACC play in offensive efficiency will be challenged by a hungry Virginia defense.
  3. Can David McCormack’s recent success continue against against Texas Tech? (Texas Tech @ Kansas, Saturday, 2 PM EST) McCormack is averaging 16.4 points per game over his last seven games while shooting 54 percent from the field. In the December match-up between these teams, Texas Tech held the big man to just seven points on 3-of-10 shooting.
  4. If weather permits, how will Texas fare against West Virginia following a week of obstacles? (West Virginia @ Texas, Saturday, 3 PM EST) After having its midweek game with Oklahoma cancelled, CBS Sports‘ Matt Norlander tweeted that Texas has been unable to practice much of the week because of the snowfall and and power situation in Texas. In the first game between these Big 12 foes, Texas overcame a 54-45 second-half deficit to win.
  5. Will Minnesota continue to be a different team at home than on the road? (Illinois @ Minnesota, Saturday, 3:30 PM EST) Richard Pitino’s Golden Gophers’ squad continues to perform vastly different at home than on the road this season — averaging 80.6 points per game at home and a paltry 64.6 on the road. Defensively, the same trend is true with Minnesota allowing 68.3 points per game at home and giving up 80.3 per game on the road.
  6. Will both Davidson and St. Bonaventure again get balanced scoring or will someone steal the show? (Davidson @ St. Bonaventure, Sunday, 3:30 PM EST, NBC Sports Network) Davidson and St. Bonaventure are two of the A-10’s six teams to have three of fewer conference losses while having played six or more league games. Davidson has four players averaging at least 10.0 points per game while the Bonnies comes into the matchup with five double-figure scorers.
  7. Can Missouri end its tailspin? (Missouri @ South Carolina, Saturday, 2 PM EST, ESPN2) Having now lost three straight games, Missouri’s NET Ranking has dropped nearly 20 spots over the past 10 days. Xavier Pinson has been a barometer of Missouri success, having made 37.7 percent of his three-point attempts in wins and just 25.8 percent in losses.
  8. Can Utah State get production from someone other than Neemias Queta and leave Boise with a split? (Utah State @ Boise State, Friday, 10 PM EST, Fox Sports 1) The Broncos grabbed a win on Wednesday night against Utah State in a game in which Neemias Queta scored a career-best 32 points. While Queta was dominant, it was a lackluster shooting night for the Aggies in shooting under 20 percent from deep for just the second time this season.
  9. Will North Texas be able to attack the rim with the presence of Charles Bassey looming defensively? (Western Kentucky @ North Texas, Friday, 8 PM EST) The Hilltoppers and Mean Green head into the weekend tied at the top of the Conference USA as they prepare to play each other on both Saturday and Sunday. North Texas is shooting 68.3 percent on shot attempts near the rim, a top 15 percentage nationally, which helps them maintain a top-25 two-point field-goal percentage. Defensively, Western Kentucky’s Charles Bassey has a top-10 blocked shot rate and has blocked at least four shots in eight games this season.
  10. New year, same question, why does the NCAA persist on “transition years” for new D-I teams? (Bellarmine @ North Florida, Friday, 7 PM EST, ESPN+) Last season it was Merrimack; this year it’s the Bellarmine Knights of the Atlantic Sun. In Bellarmine’s first year at the D-I level, the Knights have an A-Sun best 10-2 record in league play. They are one of six teams to rank in the top 50 nationally in two-point, three-point, and free-throw percentage.

Matthew Eisenberg (136 Posts)


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