(13) Seton Hall vs (11) Oregon
Seton Hall is looking to capitalize on their tough non-conference schedule and Battle 4 Atlantis gives them that opportunity. In return, Oregon is looking to continue to build off an impressive start.
Myles Powell is the driving force for Seton Hall and will play a huge role in how they fair in the Battle 4 Atlantis. Furthermore, the depth of Seton Hall will play a huge role in this tournament. Jared Rhoden has an opportunity to take the next step and become a major part of Seton Hall’s success. In addition, Romaro Gill will be playing a major role in rim protection in this game. Also, Sandro Mamukelashvili needs to be able to stretch the defense such as Francis Okoro and Shakur Juiston. Lastly, Myles Cale and Quincy McKnight take the pressure off of Myles Powell in the backcourt to beat Oregon and advance in Battle 4 Atlantis.
For Oregon, their success will predicate with Payton Pritchard’s ability to distribute and score. Further, Anthony Mathis will have the size over the Seton Hall guards and will need to have a big game. Continued, Chris Duarte will need to disrupt the production of Powell and contain him. The matchup of this game inside could dictate the game and Francis Okoro and Shakur Juistonn must deliver. The big-time scoring of Myles Powell will propel Seton Hall to an opening win over Oregon.
Prediction: Seton Hall 83 Oregon 79
Michigan vs Iowa State
Michigan has been off to a strong start under first-year head coach Juwan Howard. As for Iowa State, they are looking to grow as a team with opportunities in Battle 4 Atlantis to build off of.
For Michigan, all their success on both ends starts with Zavier Simpson as he’s always in control and dictating everything. Next, Isaiah Livers is taking the next step being a more complete scorer being a go-to option for Michigan. Also, Jon Teske is producing the consistent play in the frontcourt giving them valuable experience inside. Eli Brooks needs to continue to be an additional scorer and option. Now, Colin Castleton is developing into another option for Michigan in the frontcourt.
Iowa State starts with Tyrese Halliburton with his athleticism and ability to set the tone offensively for others. In addition, Solomon Young is giving quality minutes in the frontcourt and Michael Jacobson needs to be more effective. Also, the backcourt to go with Haliburton in Rasir Bolton and Prentiss Nixon need to continue to grow. There needs to be another piece to step up on the bench and Zion Griffin is capable of being that player for Iowa State. Now, there is too much continuity for Michigan in order to keep Iowa State in this game.
Prediction: Michigan 77 Iowa State 68
Ole Miss vs Penn State
These two teams are off to a great start looking to continue to be potential NCAA tournament teams. As for Ole Miss, their success starts with the backcourt in Devonte Schuler and Breein Tyree who are capable of taking over games. The success of these two dictates the overall success for Ole Miss. Also, the play of Blake Hinson is vital to their success to give an option on the perimeter. Further, the key to this team is K.J. Buffen with his ability to provide offense and defense in the interior with his athleticism as well. Khadim Sy is an x-factor for this team as he can provide an interior presence on the glass and altering shots.
For Penn State, Pat Chambers has this team playing extremely well early. Next, the ability of Lamar Stevens to be a versatile threat and be a very tough matchup is key for their success. In addition, Mike Watkins provides toughness inside and scoring along with his defensive presence. Also, the backcourt is the most important part for this team with Myles Dread and Myreon Jones being consistent shooters. As well as, being able to contain the opponent’s backcourts as in this game will be crucial. Penn State is capable of the NCAA tournament, but the backcourt must be consistent. In this matchup, Ole Miss will prevail because of the veteran dynamic backcourt of Ole Miss.
Prediction: Ole Miss 79 Penn State 72
Syracuse vs Oklahoma State
Syracuse needs to continue to figure out their roster as they are young and have depth. Oklahoma State must figure out a way to behave more consistent scoring options.
Syracuse’s clear go-to scorer and perimeter threat is Elijah Hughes as he is capable of scoring consistently and producing defensively. Next, Joe Girard is the player who can elevate this Syracuse team to give them a point guard who can control the offense. In addition, Marek Dolezaj and Bourama Sidibe must develop into giving more production to this frontcourt on both ends. Also, Buddy Boeheim must be a consistent shooter from the perimeter to continue to stretch the defense for Syracuse. Brice Goodine and Quincy Guerrier are vital pieces to elevate Syracuse off the bench.
As for, Oklahoma State they need to find consistent scoring from someone. Lindy Waters must be able to make perimeter jumpers on a consistent basis. Furthermore, Cameron McGriff needs to take advantage of a suspect Syracuse frontcourt. Also, Yor Anie is producing for Oklahoma State as he should have a strong game against this Syracuse frontcourt. Next, the backcourt with Issac Likekele is capable of developing into a strong piece for Oklahoma State on both ends. In addition, Thomas Dziagwa must be consistent as a threat offensively to give Oklahoma State a boost. This matchup will be low scoring which will favor Syracuse with their 2-3 zone.
Prediction: Syracuse 60 Oklahoma State 56
(5) Maryland vs Temple
Maryland will be looking to get their first quality win of the season. As for Temple, their looking to build off of their early success. Anthony Cowan is what makes Maryland go and his matchup against Nate Pierre-Louis will be a very intriguing matchup. Also, Cowan will need to be able to contain Pierre-Louis off of the boards. In addition, Jalen Smith will be vital in this game for Maryland as he should dominate the frontcourt of Temple. As well as, Eric Ayala and Aaron Wiggins have been playing very well and give them great options next to Anthony Cowan. Further, the toughness of Makhi Mitchel is really good off the bench to step in for Jalen Smith. Maryland has a very complete team to grow throughout this season.
For Temple, their success is all about Nate Pierre-Louis and Quinton Rose. As for Pierre-Louis needs to be able to match up Cowan offensively and be able to contain him on the other end for Temple to win this game. Also, Quinton Rose needs to elevate his game against Wiggins and Ayala on both ends. Next, P.J. Moorman needs to be able to produce on both ends in this game. As for the frontcourt, Justyn Hamilton and De’Vondre Perry need to contain Jalen Smith in this game. The x-factor for Temple is Josh Pierre-Louis as he can add a spark offensively off the bench. The talent for Maryland will outlast a very solid Temple team.
Prediction: Maryland 76 Temple 70
Images Courtesy of, 247Sports.com, New York Post, Syracuse.com
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