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Tuesday’s Pregame Shootaround: There’s more than just Okla State-Memphis tonight

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 11 Memphis at No. 7 Oklahoma State, 8:00 p.m. ET ESPN

This matchup is so tantalizing we had to give it a separate post.

THE OTHER GAME OF THE NIGHT: Arizona State at UNLV, 10:05 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Net

Do we know what is going on with UNLV yet? How did they go from a team with as much talent as anyone on the west coast to a team that loses by 21 to UC-Santa Barbara? Arizona State is good this year. Jahii Carson is well worth tuning in for, and Jordan Bachynski should help counteract the Rebel’s size advantage. This will be a good gauge for UNLV. The Sun Devils are an NCAA tournament caliber team.

WHO’S GETTING UPSET?: Georgia State at Alabama, 8:00 p.m. ET ESPN3

Georgia State is really good this season. R.J. Hunter is one of the best mid-major prospects in the country, Devonta White and Manny Atkins have no business playing in the Sun Belt, and Ryan Harrow looks like a different player now that he’s out of Lexington. Alabama is a middle-of-the-pack SEC team that the Panthers match up well against. A win gets them to Madison Square Garden for the NIT semifinals.

MID-MAJOR MATCHUP OF THE DAY: Canisius vs. Elon at Rutgers, 5:00 p.m.

Canisius guard Billy Baron is fun to watch play, while Elon is good enough that they could win the Big South and make it to the NCAA tournament.


1) In addition to Marcus Smart taking the floor against No. 11 Memphis tonight, the nation’s top four freshmen will all be playing tonight: Jabari Parker and Duke host East Carolina, Julius Randle and Kentucky take on UT-Arlington, Iona visits Kansas and Andrew Wiggins, and Arizona and Aaron Gordon go up against Rhode Island.

2) If that’s not enough, No. 3 Louisville is also playing tonight, as they host Hartford. Five of the top six teams in the country playing on the same night?

3) Rutgers hosts Drexel in the fourth quarterfinal in the Preseason NIT. The winner heads to Madison Square Garden. Alabama, Arizona and Duke are also hosting quarterfinals.

4) North Dakota is one of the favorites in the Big Sky and they’ll visit No. 12 Wisconsin tonight. Troy Huff is worth watching, but the No Nicknames will be playing their first Division I opponent tonight.

5) A potential upset to keep an eye on: Bucknell visiting St. John’s.


  • Utah Valley at No. 17 Oregon, 9:00 p.m. ET


  • Vanderbilt at Butler, 6:00 p.m. ET FS1
  • Navy at Virginia, 7:00 p.m. ET
  • La Salle at Penn State, 7:00 p.m. ET
  • Coastal Carolina at Minnesota, 8:00 p.m. ET
  • Seattle at Boise State, 9:00 p.m. ET
  • Colorado State at UTEP, 9:05 p.m. ET

Marcus Paige, Joel Berry lead No. 9 North Carolina past No. 2 Maryland

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — He’s back.

For the first time this season — and for the first time in more than a year that he hasn’t been hampered with some kind of foot or ankle injury — Marcus Paige donned a North Carolina jersey, and it didn’t take him long to find the form that made him the Preseason National Player of the Year.

On the first Tar Heel possession, Paige came off of a ball-screen, drove the lane and found Kennedy Meeks at the rim for a layup. Not 30 seconds later, he came off of a down screen and buried a three. Paige would finish with 20 points and five assists as No. 9 North Carolina put together a fairly resounding win over No. 2 Maryland in the Dean Dome on Tuesday night, winning 89-81.

Paige finished 7-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, hitting a number of threes in the second half that helped hold off a Maryland push sparked by their own all-american point guard, Melo Trimble.

Trimble was erratic early on, committing three turnovers in the first six minutes and eight on the night, but it was his play at the end of the first half and early second half that kept North Carolina from blowing their doors. At one point, Maryland was down 32-19 and in danger of getting run out of Tobacco Road.

In total, Trimble finished with 23 points and 12 assists, hitting four big threes during that stretch. He either scored or assisted on 11 of Maryland’s first 12 second half field goals.

As good as Paige was, the bigger story may actually be Joel Berry II. He took two dumb threes in the first half — which played a role in Maryland being able to make this a game — and he missed a few free throws late, but overall he was terrific. He finished with 14 points and five assists, making 3-of-5 threes and turning the ball over just twice. He’s clearly beat Nate Britt out at the point guard spot, and his ability to take pressure off of Paige as a secondary ball-handler and playmaker is huge.

(More to come from Chapel Hill…)

VIDEO: Melo Trimble drops Nate Britt with a crossover

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North Carolina is hosting No. 2 Maryland in a heated contest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Terps sophomore guard Melo Trimble is playing very well and part of his performance was dropping North Carolina’s Nate Britt with a crossover in the second half.

(H/T: The Cauldron)