Today's Specials: Wisconsin, Florida in early-season showdown
Sorry, no nonstop basketball on Wednesday for you. With that said, a Top 25 battle between Wisconsin and Florida takes place.
|Kenny Boynton's experiment playing point guard will see a step up in competition when he faces Wisconsin. (US Presswire)|
Hope everyone caught their breath after the 24-hour marathon. (Well, technically it lasted about 32 hours if you watched every possible minute from Monday evening until late Tuesday night.) But don’t look away too long -- there are some noteworthy games on the docket Wednesday.
Note: All times are Eastern, and the rankings are according to the AP poll.
Best game: No. 23 Wisconsin at No. 10 Florida (7 p.m., ESPN2). With both teams still looking to work out their point guard kinks, this one will be interesting. Wisconsin lost its starter when Josh Gasser went down with a torn ACL, while Florida suspended Scottie Wilbekin and has been using Kenny Boynton at the point since then. Both teams cruised in their respective openers, so not much can be learned from those contests. The key battle could be inside, between Wisconsin’s Jared Berggren and Florida’s Patric Young.
Second-best game: Santa Clara at Saint Louis (8 p.m., FOX Sports Midwest). Despite Rick Majerus not coaching the team this year, as well as an injury to Kwamain Mitchell, Saint Louis is one of the favorites in the Atlantic 10. Santa Clara won’t go down without a fight, though. Kevin Foster can really fill it up, while Marc Trasolini is recovered from a season-ending injury. Evan Roquemore is also back for the Broncos. Saint Louis has a tendency to take teams out of their preferred offense, though.
Another one to watch: UAB at Creighton (8:05 p.m., ESPN3). Creighton’s opener against North Texas was supposed to be a much-anticipated showdown. Instead, the Bluejays locked down defensively (seriously) and dominated. Will they continue to play stingy on the defensive end? That could be the key to their season. Jordan Swing and Fahro Alihodzic lead a balanced UAB attack that scored 105 points in the opener.
Guaranteed win: There are quite a few games to choose from in this one, but Georgetown over Liberty (7 p.m., ESPN3) seems like a fair bet. The Hoyas struggled offensively once Otto Porter left the game with an eye injury, but they have enough weapons to get by Liberty, which has lost its first two games by a combined 64 points.
Potential upset: St. Bonaventure went to the NCAA tournament last season, while Cornell struggled to a 12-16 record. As a result, if the Big Red beat the Bonnies on Wednesday night (7 p.m., NBC Sports Network), it could be an upset. Cornell brings back three starters, but freshman Nolan Cressler was a surprise in the opener. St. Bonaventure has to replace big man Andrew Nicholson.
Three things to keep an eye on:
- Georgia Tech came into the season knowing it needed freshmen to produce. Marcus Hunt, Chris Bolden and Robert Carter combined for 35 points and 15 rebounds in the opener. Will that continue against Presbyterian (7 p.m., ESPN3)?
- It will be interesting to watch Delaware State scoring machine Tahj Tate go up against Wagner and defensive stopper Kenneth Ortiz (7 p.m.). Also, how will Wagner fare with first-year head coach Bashir Mason?
- Brock Motum will put up some serious numbers this year for Washington State. He had 23 points and 10 boards in the opener. He goes up against Utah Valley on Wednesday night (10 p.m., Pac-12 Network).
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