GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 1 Syracuse at No. 25 Pitt
The game that everyone is going to be talking about will take place down on Tobacco Road, but the most important game of the night is going to be played in Pittsburgh, as the Panthers host No. 1 Syracuse in an old school Big East battle disguised an ACC Rivalry Week headline. The Orange are undefeated this season, but they are also 1-6 at the Peterson Events Center, where the Panthers are 9-0 under Jamie Dixon against top five teams. Pitt needs this win badly, however, as they have yet to beat a team that’s climbed above the bubble this season.
I can write all about how Jamie Dixon knows how break down the Syracuse zone or how they have the pieces to matchup with the Orange up front, but at the end of the day, Pitt won’t have a chance to win if Lamar Patterson’s thumb isn’t healthy.
THE OTHER GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 8 Duke at North Carolina, 9:00 p.m.
This will be fun. It looks like this game may end up being packed with students, as a snow storm is currently slamming the state, making traffic about as fun as it was in Atlanta last week. As far as the game itself, North Carolina is streaking right now, but they are doing it by knocking off teams that the Heels simply shouldn’t lose to. Duke has also found a rhythm, as Jabari Parker is playing as well as he has since November.
WHO’S GETTING UPSET?: New Mexico at Boise State, 9:15 p.m.
Boise State is not an easy place to play, and the Broncos are a difficult team for New Mexico to matchup with. It’s easy to look as BSU’s record and think this will be a win for UNM, but remember that Leon Rice’s club was up big on SDSU and UNLV late in the game before blowing those two leads.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR:
1) George Washington will be squaring off with VCU in a battle for second place in the Atlantic 10. The game will be shown on the NBC Sports Network.
2) No. 6 Villanova will be heading to Chicago to take on a DePaul team that will be without Cleveland Melvin, who got the boot last week.
3) No. 14 Kentucky is heading to Auburn, where they should win if they can get to the arena through the storm. The attendance at this game might end up being in the single digits.
4) Playing their first game since Marcus Smart overshadowed their best win of the season, Texas Tech will be headed up to Norman to take on Oklahoma.
5) Some bubble games on the docket tonight:
- Baylor at TCU, 7:00 p.m.
- Penn State at Indiana, 8:00 p.m.
- LSU at Texas A&M, 9:00 p.m.
- Stanford at Washington, 9:00 p.m.
- Cal at Washington State, 11:00 p.m.
- Central Florida at No. 20 Memphis, 9:00 p.m.
- South Florida at No. 24 UConn, 7:00 p.m.