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College Basketball

College Basketball Week 13 Weekend Preview

Creighton at (8) Villanova

Villanova is starting to come into form being led by Collin Gillespie who’s playing at an extremely high level. Saddiq Bey is extremely effective on both ends and becoming a dynamic scoring on the wing. Where Villanova can take advantage against Creighton could be inside with Jeremiah Robinson-Earl who is starting to round into form. In addition, the ability of Justin Moore to come off the bench and be impactful gives Villanova that second option. The perimeter defense of Villanova will be key against the 3-point shooting of Creighton.
Now with Creighton, they are capable of scoring with any team in the country and have a great opportunity against Villanova. Mitch Ballock is very key to Creighton’s success with his 3-point ability to add to their backcourt. Furthermore, Marcus Zegarowski is going to need to have a big game against Collin Gillespie. In addition, Ty-Shon Alexander needs to have a big scoring day and be very efficient. Next, the bench factor with Denzel Mahoney adds an extra element to the Creighton team and will need to have a strong game for Creighton. If Creighton can neutralize the play of Collin Gillespie they will have a solid opportunity to win this game. Villanova is playing at a high level and will win a good game against Creighton.
Prediction: Villanova 74 Creighton 68

Texas Tech at (3) Kansas

Image result for devon dotsonTexas Tech has a massive opportunity to get a huge road win against Kansas. The perimeter for Texas Tech will need to be very efficient in this game. Also, Jahmi’us Ramsey needs to be able to have a big-time performance with his scoring. They also need to have their guards defend Devon Dotson at a high level to prevent him from attacking the basket. In addition, T.J. Holyfield is going to need to play well in a matchup against Udoka Azubuike who presents a difficult matchup. Furthermore, Chris Clarke has an opportunity to be a mismatch problem in this game with his versatility against Kansas. If Davide Morretti and Kyler Edwards can make shots consistently they will have a great opportunity against Kansas.
As for Kansas, they must try to establish Udoka Azubuike early and use his size against Texas Tech that is lacking there. In addition, Isaiah Moss needs to consistently make 3-pointers, as when he does Kansas is a completely different team. Also, Dotson will have multiple guards guarding him throughout so he must be able to be effective all game. Continuing, Ochai Agbaji needs to begin to start to elevate his level to his capabilities. The emergence of Christian Brown has given Kansas a jolt of energy off the bench and will continue to be a factor. In conclusion, Kansas establishing Udoka Azubuike inside will be too much for Texas Tech to handle.
Prediction: Kansas 68 Texas Tech 62

(13) Kentucky at (17) Auburn

Auburn has an opportunity to prove that they will compete for a high seed in the NCAA tournament. For Auburn, the most important player will be J’Von McCormick’s ability to get going and be effective against the defense from Ashton Hagans. Next, Samir Doughty will need to be a volume scorer throughout the game and will be dealing with Immanuel Quickley and Tyrese Maxey. Now, inside for Auburn, they must be tough against Nate Sestina and Nick Richards with physical play from Austin Wiley and Anferee Mclemore. Issac Okoro could play a very key role in his defensive abilities, especially, against Tyrese Maxey and Immanuel Quickley slowing them down offensive. Auburn will need to be efficient offensively for them to have success against Kentucky.
As for Kentucky, the perimeter for Kentucky is emerging as arguably the best in the country. The play of Hagans and his defense will be key against McCormick with slowing down their offense. In addition, Quickley must continue to shoot the ball at a high level for Kentucky. They also need points at the basket and off of floppy screens with Maxey. If Sestina can stretch the Auburn bigs and make consistent shots from the perimeter that will be vital to their success. Continued, Richards must continue to impose his success against the Auburn frontcourt. Lastly, Kentucky will go into Auburn’s building an come away with another massive road win.
Prediction: Kentucky 69 Auburn 67

(11) Oregon at Stanford

Image result for chris duarte oregonOregon must avoid losses in the PAC-12 in an attempt to get a top-two seed and playing in the West region. To start, Payton Pritchard will dictate the success of Oregon and will need to set the tone against Daejon Davis. In addition, the Oregon bigs will have a big task against Oscar Da Silva inside with his toughness and scoring ability. With that being said, Chandler Lawson and Shakur Juiston will need to have very solid games defensively. A key factor is with Will Richardson in his perimeter defense and his ability to score the basketball when necessary. Furthermore, Chris Duarte needs to continue to be a volume shooter and scorer for Oregon. Oregon, must play to its talent level and start imposing it on teams to reach their potential.
As for Stanford, this is a massive opportunity to get them into the NCAA tournament picture. The play of Da Silva will be vital for Stanford and they must get him going early. Furthermore, the play of Daejon Davis will be key in the perimeter defense on Pritchard along with his timely shot-making. Tyrell Terry needs to continue to lead as their perimeter scoring threat and have a great game. The x-factor for Stanford can be Jaiden Delaire and can provide crucial rebounds and second-chance opportunities. Oregon will come away with a solid road win at Stanford.

Prediction: Oregon 75 Stanford 65

(19) Illinois at (18) Iowa

This is a big-time road matchup for Illinois going to Iowa and is an opportunity to prove them as Big Ten favorites potentially. To start, the play of Ayo Dosunmu dictates the success of Illinois as he is averaging 16.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists a game. His ability to be a lead guard on and off is vital and he can take advantage of an Iowa backcourt without Jordan Bohannon. Now, the ability for Trent Frazier to play next to Dosunmu very well is important for their ability to play two guards who major scoring threats. In addition, the real battle will be inside Garza’s production. The play of Kofi Cockburn and Giorgi Bezhanishville will be crucial for Illinois to win this game they must be effective on both ends. Further, Andres Feliz gives Illinois a boost off of the bench with his scoring ability and will play a big factor against Iowa.
Now, with Iowa, their success starts and ends with the play of Luka Garza who is playing like a First Team All-American. He will need to continue that success against the Illinois frontcourt with Cockburn and Bezhanishville. Next, the emergence of freshman guard C.J. Frederick will be very key in a battle against Dosunmu therefore, offensively he must match his production. Also, Joe Wieskcamp must loot to be a volume scorer for this Iowa team with his shooting and attacking ability. The Iowa perimeter defense will be critical for Iowa to get a win against Illinois. Iowa will make enough plays on the perimeter and Garza has another big win for Iowa.
Prediction: Iowa 64 Illinois 59

Images Courtesy of, 247 Sports, Philadelphia Inquirer, Oregon Live

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