Here’s why I have Tivo—I’ll be watching for these following moments as I furiously press fast forward and rewind to the relaxing sounds of Hall and Oates' greatest hits.
Presbyterian @ 3 Kansas State
The P word vs. KSU really has no story line. Will Frank Martin bring a toy Tommy-Gun to go along with the zoot suit he typically rolls out? Will they go all the way and turn Bramlage Coliseum into a Speak Easy? How about get Jacob Pullen off the ball and see what you have in Martavious Irving as a playmaker? If the Wildcats waste this glorified scrimmage pounding a hapless Big South squad on the glass, they’ve missed an opportunity. Prohibition makes more sense.
4 Pittsburgh vs. Maryland (Madison Square Garden)
Now that’s more like it. The king of the glass, Maryland’s 6'10" dinosaur Jordan Williams goes up against the kings of shattered glass the Pitt Panthers. There’s no Jerome Lane on this Pitt squad, but there may be three of them as far as cleaning the glass is concerned. Talib Zanna, Gilbert Mcghee, and Dante Taylor give the Panthers plenty of brawn inside to handle Williams. I’ll also be watching perimeter dynamic duo Brad Wannamaker and Ashton Gibbs do their thing. This Pitt team is deep and talented, and the best team in the Big East hands down.
Hofstra vs. 8 North Carolina
When I think of Hofstra, I think of crooked Teamsters and mobsters buried under Giant Stadium. When I think of North Carolina I think of Harrison Barnes—at least in 2010. How good is he? Better than Jared Sullinger? I don’t think so, but I can’t wait to find out. The bigger question for Carolina is who’s going to be a playmaker in the backcourt and who’s going to board in the frontcourt. There are holes in the dike, and I’m not sure Harrison Barnes has the Jordan-like chops or enough fingers to plug them.
North Carolina A&T vs. 10 Florida
Florida may be one of the most talented offensive teams in the country with Boynton, Parsons and Macklin, among others. The key for the Gators is whether or not Erving Walker can take care of the basketball enough to get these scorers enough shots. Walker failed in the task against tOSU and it’s the main reason the Gators were run out of their own gym.
Western Illinois at14 Mizzou
I always thought Western Illinois was in Missouri, or is it East St. Louis? Mizzou is going to do what they do, press and run. Fast forward button please.
16 Illinois vs. 22 Texas
To run or not to run? That is the question for Illinois. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. That’s good advice for a Bruce Weber team that can run, but would be stupid to do so since they have a huge competitive advantage against this Texas team in a halfcourt to halfcourt styled game. Can the Illini beat the Horns by running? Yes. But by doing so, the Illini play to the Longhorns’ strengths enhancing the chances for the upset.
Jackson State vs. 17 Baylor
I’ll watch to see Baylor’s freakishly athletic frontcourt as I contemplate Scott Drew’s Ponzi schemes. Perry Jones may be the most NBA ready freshman in the nation from an athletic standpoint. Quincy Acy is as explosive a forward as there is anywhere in the country. No LaceDarius Dunn just yet, but his three game pound of flesh suspension after breaking his girlfriend’s jaw will be over soon my Baptist friend’s. Glad she turned the other cheek.
What are you watching tonight? If you say reruns of House, then Lord help you.