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College Basketball Week 5 Weekend Preview

(9) Wisconsin at (12) Michigan State

This game is setting up for Michigan Stare to have a big bounce-back game after being upset by Northwestern. The inexperienced frontcourt for Michigan State will have a major test containing Nate Reuvers and Micah Potter. The ability of Michigan State to shoot from the perimeter will be key in this game. Therefore, Gabe Brown is an important player for Michigan State to have it going offensively. Also, Rocket Watts must score and play at a high level and play to his potential. Aaron Henry must be a force on both ends in this game with his ability to defend and score effectively. For Wisconsin, the backcourt brings very good consistency with Brad Davison and D’Mitrik Trice. Therefore, Michigan State will need to contain the problem that this duo can cause for them. The most important aspect for Wisconsin will need their frontcourt to control this game. Further, Aleem Ford against Aaron Henry will be an important matchup in this game. Michigan State will come away with a big win at home against Wisconsin.
Matchup to Watch: Aaron Henry vs Aleem Ford
Prediction: Michigan State 74 Wisconsin 70

(4) Iowa at Minnesota

Luka Garza got 44, but Michigan got 103 ... and the win over Iowa basketball | The GazetteMinnesota is coming off an impressive win against Saint Louis and will look to keep that momentum against Iowa. For Minnesota, the play of Liam Robbins will be critical as he matches up against Luka Garza. Additionally, Marcus Carr has the ability to take over any game and against a struggling Iowa backcourt, he must score at a high level. Both Gach will be important defending Joe Wieskamp in this game with his length and athleticism. Another player who can be a major factor for Minnesota will be Gabe Kausher with his ability to make big shots. For Iowa, the focus will be the defensive end as they must improve as a team to reach their potential. The backcourt will aslo need to live up to their potential with C.J. Frederick and Jordan Bohannon making shots consistently. Additionally, their perimeter defense in containing Marcus Carr will be key for Iowa to slow down Minnesota. Also, Wieskamp has scored really well this season and will need to continue to be their second scorer and defend the wing well. Overall, the inability for Minnesota to slow down Luka Garza in this game will be the difference.
Matchup to Watch: Luka Garza vs Liam Robbins
Prediction: Iowa 84 Minnesota 78

Kentucky at (23) Louisville

Both of these teams need to win this game to start to build momentum for their conference seasons. First off, the health of Louisville is crucial, as they need Malik Williams to return to give a veteran presence to their frontcourt. The backcourt of Louisville is talented with David Johnson and Carlik Jones’ ability to take games over. Additionally, Jae’Lyn Withers will need to continue to develop and play well for Louisville’s frontcourt against Olivier Sarr. For Kentucky, this game is the one shaping up to come away with a victory. Further, Kentucky must allow Olivier Sarr to dominate this matchup with a weakened frontcourt of Louisville. The guard play of B.J. Boston and Terrance Clarke need to use their size and athleticism against the Louisville backcourt. The continued development of continuity for the Kentucky offense will be key and taking care of the basketball will be important in this game. Kentucky will get a massive road win at Louisville giving them momentum towards SEC play.
Matchup to Watch: B.J. Boston vs David Johnson
Prediction: Kentucky 75 Louisville 70

Jalen Suggs - Men's Basketball - Gonzaga University Athletics(17) Virginia vs (1) Gonzaga

Gonzaga is averaging 94.7 points per game and that number will be tested against the vaunted Virginia defense. Therefore, Gonzaga will look to continue their offensive success in transition especially before the packline defense will be set. The battle of the Virginia defense and Gonzaga offense will be a fascinating part of this game. The point guard matchup of Jalen Suggs and Kihei Clark will be very intriguing with the size difference being massive. The interior defense of Virginia with Jay Huff guarding Drew Timme be vital. Continued, the game changers for Gonzaga are Joel Ayayi and Corey Kispert who provide really good versatility and the ability to score with the best of them. Therefore, Gonzaga will score in this game needing Virginia to have its best shooting performances from Trey Murphy and Sam Hauser. The continued development of the Virginia offense will need to showcase well in this game to give Virginia a chance. The overall firepower of the Gonzaga offense will be too much for Virginia to keep up with.
Matchup to Watch: Virginia Defense vs Gonzaga Offense
Prediction: Gonzaga 78 Virginia 68

Indiana at (18) Illinois

For Indiana, this game will be critical for them to be in the middle of the Big Ten after losing to Northwestern. Trayce Jackson-Davis will need to attack the bigs of Illinois who lack great mobility. The guard play will be important for Indiana defensively to handle Ayo Dosunmu and Andre Curbelo’s playmaking. The scoring of Armaan Franklin and Rob Phinisee will be important to keep up with the potent Illinois offense. The ability for Indiana to find consistency on both ends is imperative against Illinois. For Illinois, they must continue to develop their defensive identity to reach their potential. Kofi Cockburn will need to use his size and continue to be a force inside against the Indiana bigs. Their guard play of Ayo Dosunmu and Andre Curbelo  needs to set the tone throughout. The ability for Trent Frazier and Adam Miller to make perimeter jumpers allows Illinois to take the next step offensively. The inability for Indiana to keep up offensively will be the difference in this game.
Matchup to Watch: Andre Curbelo vs Rob Phinisee
Prediction: Illinois 85 Indiana 76

Images Courtesy of, CBS Sports, Gonzaga University Athletics, The Gazette

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