Drexel Arizona Basketball

Wednesday’s Pregame Shootaround: Three top five teams take the court

Leave a comment

GAME OF THE DAY: New Mexico State at No. 1 Arizona, 9:00 p.m. ET

Arizona deserves their No. 1 ranking. They’ve played like the best team in the country all season long. But New Mexico State is good. Let’s start with the obvious: this group is the favorite to win the WAC. Daniel Mullings is one of the best guards on the west coast. And Sim Bhullar? Well, he’s 7-foot-5, and while he may not Yao Ming, he’ll definitely be able to give Kaleb Tarczewski all that he can handle. Having said all that, the Aggies enter this one on a three-game losing streak, having losing to Colorado State, New Mexico and Gonzaga. And in the next six days, they’ll be heading to Drake and New Mexico — again — as well. It’s a tough stretch for NMSU.

WHO’S GETTING UPSET?: North Dakota State at Notre Dame, 7:00 p.m. ET

Notre Dame has not been very impressive early on this season, losing to Indiana State at home and struggling to knock off Bryant on Monday. North Dakota State is good. They are the favorite to win the Summit this season, led by Taylor Braun, who is one of this year’s best mid-major players. The Irish will be in for a fight.

MID-MAJOR GAME OF THE DAY: Canisius at Buffalo, 8:00 p.m. ET

MAAC vs. MAC. Canisius and Buffalo will both compete for their respective league titles, but what makes this game so interesting is the stars on those two teams. Canisius point guard Billy Baron and Buffalo big man Javon McCrea are two of the best players in the country you haven’t seen play.


1) George Washington is sitting pretty at 8-1 right now, but they will be pushed by a good Boston U. team tonight. The Colonials have gotten quite a bit of publicity since Sunday’s buzzer-beating win over Maryland. How will they respond?

2) Bryant gave Notre Dame a fight in South Bend on Monday. They head to Columbus tonight to take on No. 3 Ohio State.

3) Milwaukee is sitting at 9-2 this season, but they’ll have their work cut out for them going up against No. 4 Wisconsin.

4) Denver was thought to be one of the best mid-major teams in the country this season, but they are currently sitting at 2-5 on the year. The Pioneers will have a chance to bounce back tonight against Colorado State.

5) Niagara’s Antione Mason leads the nation in scoring at 29.4 points. He plays Davidson at home tonight.

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
Leave a comment

Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
Leave a comment

We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.