(14) Oregon vs (13) Memphis
This will be a fascinating game on many fronts. First off, James Wiseman will continue to play while the NCAA investigation continues. Oregon has a veteran-laden team to go against the youth of Memphis. Now, for Memphis if they have James Wiseman it will poise a matchup problem for Oregon as Shakur Juiston and Francis Okoro will have to contain him. Also, the energy that Precious Achiuwa will be key in this game for Memphis to get second effort points and possessions. Furthermore, Boogie Ellis must continue to produce as a knockdown shooter on the perimeter. In addition, Alex Lomax and D.J. Jefferies need to both provide quality depth to their depth positions in this game.
For Oregon, Anthony Mathis is giving Oregon a great shooter on the perimeter and can be a go-to scorer. Also, Payton Pritchard will be a very tough matchup for Memphis with his experience. Next, Shakur Juiston will need to provide toughness and scoring in a very difficult matchup with Memphis’ interior. Further, C.J. Walker and Will Richardson will be important role players in this game. If James Wiseman plays, Memphis will play with great energy and find a way to win this highly competitive matchup.
Prediction: Memphis 77 Oregon 71
Oklahoma vs Oregon State
These are two under the radar teams in their conference with an opportunity to pick up a quality win. As for Oklahoma, Brady Manek provides good scoring as a stretch-four and is consistent in doing so. Also, the addition of Austin Reeves will be vital for Oklahoma to continue to stretch defenses with his ability to shoot. Next, Jamal Bieniemy gives Oklahoma a dynamic guard who can hunt his own shot and provide toughness at the position. In addition, Kristian Doolittle will have a tough task to containing Tres Tinkle for Oklahoma State.
For Oregon State, this team goes through Tres Tinkle with his ability to score at a high level. Also, Kylor Kelley gives great size at the center and his ability to score around the basket is very solid. Further, the key for this team will be the play of Ethan Thompson’s ability to distribute the offense and make timely shots. In addition, Zach Reichle will give another scoring option on the perimeter. For this matchup, Oregon State will with Tres Tinkle leading the way to be too much for Oklahoma.
Prediction: Oregon State 71 Oklahoma 66
(23) LSU at VCU
Will Wade will be returning to his previous school in VCU setting up a great matchup. As for VCU, they will be led by Marcus Evans in the backcourt to provide an all-around effort. As well as, giving Marcos Santos-Silva an opportunity to be very productive in the interior. Furthermore, DeRiante Jenkins sets the tone with his length and athleticism and will be tested containing Ja’Vonte Smart. Furthermore, Issac Vann and Mike’L Simms must provide secondary scoring for VCU to have an opportunity to win this game.
For the Tigers, the production of Ja’Vonte Smart at the point has been great for LSU as he has become a more efficient player. Also, the versatile player of Skylar Mays giving them a threat on both ends. In addition, Trendon Watford will be a tough matchup for VCU to contain with his ability to score. Next, Emmitt Williams will be a key piece defensively containing the wings and Marcus Santos-Silva. The x-factor is Charles Manning if he can bring more scoring to the perimeter. LSU has too much talent and size for VCU to contain in this game.
Prediction: LSU 67 VCU 57
(10) Villanova at (16) Ohio State
These two teams are both highly talented with some veterans mixed in with high-level freshmen. For Villanova, their success starts with Jeremiah Robinson-Earl with his versatility and ability to score with ease. Also, the point guard play or Collin Gillespie is key to their success as he stabilizes their offense and defense. Next, Saddiq Bey and Jermaine Samuels are capable of having big games in this matchup. In addition, the difficult matchup for Villanova defensively will be containing Kaleb Wesson when he gets good post positioning. Further, the x-factor for Villanova is Justin Moore who can score at a high level.
For Ohio State, Kyle Young has given them a big spark in the interior to go alongside Kaleb Wesson. Furthermore, Ohio State will need to keep up in this game and Luther Muhammad and C.J. Walker must make timely shots. In addition, D.J. Carton is going to continue t develop into a factor in the backcourt and must quality minutes in this game. The depth of Ohio State gives them an opportunity to be right there in this game. However, Villanova will win this game with their ability to score way more efficiently than Ohio State
Prediction: Villanova 72 Ohio State 64
(3) Michigan State at (12) Seton Hall
This was supposed to be a great backcourt matchup with Cassius Winston for Michigan State and Myles Powell, however, Powell is battling an ankle injury and is uncertain for this game. Seton Hall must have Myles Powell to win this game and achieve their preseason expectations. Next, the backcourt regardless must step up with Myles Cale and Quincy McKnight. Also, the production of Jared Rhoden must continue to provide more scoring. In addition, the frontcourt will need to continue to produce with Ike Obiagu and Sandro Mamukelashvili. The depth of Seton Hall must be there in the absence of Myles Powell looming.
Michigan State can add a marquee road win to their resume. This will start with Cassius Winston leading the way of putting pressure on Seton Hall’s backcourt. Also, Aaron Henry must prove to be able to score on a consistent basis along with Rocket Watts. In addition, Xavier Tillman and Thomas Kithier will be tasked with giving problems to the Seton Hall frontcourt. If Myles Powell can not go for Seton Hall this will be a long night for Seton Hall as Michigan State should win decisively.
Prediction: Michigan State 80 Seton Hall 65
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