Northwestern Wins: A College Hoops Blog

An ode to Verne Lundquist’s calls and everything college basketball

Archive for November 14th, 2008

Thirty Must-See Games This Season

Posted by Zach on November 14, 2008

If you call yourself a college basketball fan, here’s thirty games you absolutely cannot miss this season. Not for a wedding, not for a funeral, not for your son’s Bar Mitzvah. There is no excuse. Get the calendar out, folks.

1. North Carolina at Duke (2/11)– A given for anyone that loves the best rivalry in sports
2. North Carolina vs. Michigan State (12/3)– This battle at Ford Field tops any other non-conference duel
3. Connecticut at Louisville (2/2)– This one could very well decide the strongest league in NCAA history
4. Notre Dame at UCLA (2/7)– A historic battle of top ten teams in the heat of conference season? Sign me up.
5. Gonzaga vs. Connecticut (12/20)– The rematch in Seattle could very well be a Final Four preview
6. Texas at Oklahoma (1/12)– The battle of Big 12 contenders begins in Norman with the first meeting
7. Michigan State vs. Texas (12/20)– This game directly follows Connecticut-Gonzaga. Not a bad December doubleheader
8. Duke at Purdue (12/2)– The Blue Devils travel to a raucous atmosphere to face the Baby Boilers in the ACC/Big Ten challenge
9. Memphis at Tennessee (1/24)– It won’t be 1 vs. 2 like last season, but surely this intense rivalry will provide another thriller
10. UCLA at Texas (12/4)– The Bruins are looking for revenge after Texas knocked them off in Pauley early last season
11. Connecticut at Notre Dame (1/24)– If the Irish are ever going to lose at home, this should be the date
12. USC at Oklahoma (12/4)– Two of my underrated teams and two of my favorite players- Griffin vs. DeRozan
13. Michigan State at Purdue (2/17)– This could determine the winner of the Big Ten and possibly a 2-seed in late February
14. North Carolina at Wake Forest (1/11)– Early enough in the conference season where Wake can shock the college hoops world
15. Gonzaga at Tennessee (1/7)– This could be very tough for the Zags. This one isn’t neutral, either…it’s in Tennessee’s backyard
16. Davidson at Duke (1/7)– Cannot wait to see what Stephen Curry has in store for the Cameron Crazies. Good luck Nolan
17. UCLA at Arizona State (2/12)– Some feel Arizona State has a chance to dethrone UCLA this season. Here’s your chance
18. Duke at North Carolina (3/8)– The only contest that repeats on this list. And, really, what else but Duke-UNC deserves it?
19. Texas at Wisconsin (12/23)– The Longhorns would love to win this huge road game after Flowers three last season
20. Wisconsin at Marquette (12/6)– One of the more underrated rivalries in college hoops. These players and fans hate each other
21. Kentucky at Louisville (1/4)– Speaking of bitter rivalries…Kentucky would love to play underdog and knock off Pitino here
22. Gonzaga at Saint Mary’s (2/12)– Don’t think for a second that the Gaels will be pushed over here, especially in their house
23. Louisville at Notre Dame (2/12)– This could be the date, also.
24. Connecticut at Pittsburgh (3/7)– Not an easy place to play for the Huskies in March. This may have BET seed implications
25. UCLA at USC (1/11)– This budding duel should reach a climax in the battle of two outstanding freshmen- Holiday vs. DeRozan
26. Purdue at Wisconsin (1/27)– The Baby Boilers marched into Madison and won last year. How about a repeat performance?
27. UNLV at Louisville (12/31)– This New Year’s Eve clash could end up being a stunner in Louisville
28. Tennessee at Florida (3/1)– Could this game decide the SEC? I wouldn’t be surprised.
29. Duke at Wake Forest (1/28)– Wake stunned the Dukies last season in Winston-Salem. They’re well-equipped to do it again
30. Kansas at Michigan State (1/10)– If KU can win this game, it could be a huge step for this young team

If I missed any, please leave them in the comments. Because I’m sure I did.

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Friday’s Selections

Posted by Zach on November 14, 2008

Zach’s Picks: (Season Record: 3-5-0)

Toledo (+22.5) over FLORIDA- WIN
BRADLEY (-5.5) over Illinois-Chicago- WIN
CLEMSON (-17.5) over Hofstra- WIN
SMU (+11.5) over SOUTH FLORIDA- LOSS
HAWAII (-4.5) over San Francisco- LOSS

Patrick’s Picks: (Season Record: 6-2-0)

Toledo (+22.5) over FLORIDA- WIN
Illinois-Chicago (+5.5) over BRADLEY- LOSS
CLEMSON (-17.5) over Hofstra- WIN
SOUTH FLORIDA (-11.5) over SMU- WIN
San Francisco (+4.5) over HAWAII- WIN

Tommy’s Picks (Season record: (5-3-0)

Toledo (+22.5) over FLORIDA- WIN
BRADLEY (-5.5) over Illinois Chicago- WIN
CLEMSON (-17.5) over Hofstra- WIN
SMU (+11.5) over SOUTH FLORIDA- LOSS
San Francisco (+4.5) over HAWAII- WIN

Posted in Daily Selections | Leave a Comment »

November 14: The Day After

Posted by Zach on November 14, 2008

I am extremely elated that UCLA won that game.

Not because I’m evil. Not because I always root for the powerhouse to crap on the little guy. Not because I’m a diehard Redhawks hater. I just really, really wanted to see this new-look Bruins team and their fabulous freshman, along with mainstays like Collison, Shipp and Roll, on the Garden floor in a possible final against Duke next week. No UCLA would have meant Duke likely plows their way through the semis and finals, and that’s simply no fun for a variety of reasons.

So I’m relieved. Very relieved.

What we learned last night: Miami (OH) is a team to be feared. No, they’re not overly athletic or multi-dimensional or immensely skilled, but they grind out possessions and play excellent defense under coach Charlie Coles. That’s why I was fearful taking the Bruins +15 even with the talent disparity. I just felt early in the season Miami would confuse the UCLA freshmen and slow the game down enough where it would be mildly close by the last minute. And that’s exactly what happened. Holiday only had 5 points in 15 minutes, Gordon had 2 points in 8 minutes, Lee had 2 points in 11 minutes and Morgan with 1.

Instead, the veterans led the way for the Bruins. James Keefe hit a crucial, more lucky-than-good three late in the second half, Michael Roll connected on a few crucial treys, Alfred Aboya hit a couple big free throws, Shipp went 6/14 for 16 points, while Darren Collison went 6/11 for 16 points, as well.  The team only shot 13/20 from the line, but most of those misses came early. They sunk most of the clutch free throws late.

Michael Bramos led the way for the Redhawks with 22 points. Congrats, now you get Pittsburgh!

Crisis averted. We’ll still have the premiere matchups at MSG- Southern Illinois vs. Duke and Michigan vs. UCLA with possible Duke-UCLA final late next week. Miami certainly gave us a scare, though.

NW Wins Horse Trailer of the Day- Darren Collison, UCLA: 36 mins, 6/11 FG, 4/4 FT, 16 points 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block

On the tube tonight: (all times ET)

  • Toledo @ Florida- 6pm, ESPNU
  • VMI @ Kentucky- 7pm, ESPN FC
  • Western Carolina @ Connecticut- 730pm, ESPN360
  • Florida A&M @ Kansas State- 8pm, ESPN FC
  • Stetson @ Texas- 8pm, ESPN FC
  • UT-San Antonio @ Oklahoma State- 8 pm, ESPN FC
  • American @ Oklahoma- 8pm, ESPN FC
  • Detroit @ Purdue- 9pm, ESPN360
  • Hofstra vs. Clemson- 9pm, CSS
  • St. Francis @ Texas Tech- 9pm, ESPN FC

Other games of note: Bucknell @ Maryland, Albany @ Villanova, Stanford @ Yale

Posted in The Day After | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »