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College Basketball Week 7 Midweek Preview

(15) Rutgers at (23) Michigan State

For Michigan State, this will be a massive opportunity for them to get on the right track hosting Rutgers. The most important aspect for Michigan State to figure out is the point guard position between A.J. Hoggard and Rocket Watts. Additionally, Michigan State will need Aaron Henry and Joshua Langford to be at their very best on both ends of the floor. As for the defensive end, they will need to a good job of containing Geo Baker and Ron Harper Jr. from dominating. The ability for Michigan State to establish an interior presence will be important for Michigan State to win this game.
Now as for Rutgers the biggest factor for them is to continue to have the play of Jacob Young and Montez Mathis be at a high level. Young is a problem for opposing guards on the defensive end and Montez Mathis has been making big shots. Furthermore, Ron Harper Jr. must take advantage of his matchup against Joey Hauser who can struggle defensively at times. Along with, getting the best production from Geo Baker and his efficiency in the mid-range. The battle inside with Myles Johnson against the Michigan State bigs will be vital in determining the outcome.
Matchup to Watch: Geo Baker vs Aaron Henry
Prediction: Rutgers 76 Michigan State 69

NC State at (19) Clemson

This ACC battle will be an intriguing one to see which team can continue to compete towards the top of the ACC. For NC State, the emergence of Cam Hayes at the point guard position has elevated the offense. Continued, Devon Daniels will need to be the dependable scorer in this game against the solid perimeter of Clemson. Also, a key factor in this game will be the interior defense of NC State with Manny Bates’s ability to alter shots at the rim.
As for Clemson, their guard play has been very impressive with Al-Amir Dawes playing really well and Nick Honor’s ability to come off the bench. Aamir Simms must play up to his potential for Clemson to really make noise in the ACC and that starts against NC State. The depth of Clemson is really important as it gives them quality scorers and gives them an edge defensively at times. Therefore, it will be a key competence in this matchup for Clemson to win this game. Clemson’s perimeter play and Aamir Simms’s ability to takeover will lead Clemson to the victory.
Matchup to Watch: DJ Funderburk vs Aamir Simms
Prediction: Clemson 78 NC State 72

Arkansas at (9) Tennessee

Yves Pons withdraws from NBA Draft, returning for senior season | RTIThis game will be vital for both teams looking to make a statement within the SEC. Now, this game will focus on the contrast of styles with Arkansas’ firepower offensively. Moving forward, Arkansas will need Moses Moody to make big-time shots in this game consistently. Connor Vanover will be a key factor with his ability to stretch the defense with his shooting ability. The ability for Arkansas to handle the physicality of Tennessee will be important for them to win this game.
For Tennessee, they will need to get really good play from Santiago Vescovi defending the Arkansas perimeter and setting up others consistently. Also, Victor Bailey must continue to be the perimeter go-to scorer for Tennessee in a game that could need some extra offense. Now, the duo of Yves Pons and John Fulkerson must take advantage of a frontcourt that is still developing. The physicality of the Tennessee perimeter defense will be crucial in forcing contested jumpers on a consistent basis. Tennessee’s physicality and defensive ability will be too much for Arkansas to overcome.
Matchup to Watch: Victor Bailey vs Moses Moody
Prediction: Tennessee 66 Arkansas 58

Seton Hall at (7) Creighton

NCAA sets new deadline to withdraw from NBA draft, giving Creighton players more time to decide | Creighton | omaha.comSeton Hall has been playing very good basketball as of late in the Big East with a massive test at Creighton. For Seton Hall, their ability to defend the 3-point line will be crucial to winning this game. Therefore, containing the shooters of Mitch Ballock and Denzel Mahoney will be important. Additionally, Sandro Mamukelashvili needs to take over this game with his versatility and ability to get to the basket. Further, getting the continued production of Jared Rhoden will be key against Creighton. For Bryce Aiken, this is a big opportunity to show his growth and ability against Marcus Zegarowski. The defensive end of the floor is where Seton Hall can make this game played in their style and give them a chance to win this game.
Creighton will need to take Ike Obiagu away from the basket and take advantage of slips by Christian Bishop. Further, guys like Mahoney and Damien Jefferson have the ability to make a big impact with their versatility offensively. Additionally, Zegarowski needs to have a strong game to give Creighton their best opportunity to win this game. The x-factor for Creighton is Ballock who can change any game with his 3-point shooting ability. Creighton’s offense will do enough to come away with a close win over Seton Hall.
Matchup to Watch: Jared Rhoden vs Denzel Mahoney
Prediction: Creighton 72 Seton Hall 67

(16) Minnesota at (10) Michigan

These two teams have had firepower offensively and are playing very good basketball up to this point. Now, with Michigan, the ability for Hunter Dickinson to make an impact will continue against Liam Robbins. The ability for Michigan to control the wing battle in this game will be key with Franz Wagner and Isaiah Livers taking over this game. Most important for Michigan will be defending Marcus Carr and Eli Brooks will need to be the guy. Michigan’s ability to defend as a unit will be the key to them beating Minnesota.
As for Minnesota, this is all about Marcus Carr and his ability to take over games with his scoring. Also, Liam Robbins must be at his best in the matchup against Hunter Dickinson which could decide the outcome. The biggest aspect will be secondary players stepping up like Both Gach and Gabe Kalschuer swings Minnesota’s potential. The ability to defend will be key for Minnesota to slow down the offense of Michigan. Michigan is playing too well on both sides of the floor and Franz Wagner will be a matchup problem for Minnesota.
Matchup to Watch: Liam Robbins vs Hunter Dickinson
Prediction: Michigan 80 Minnesota 72

Images Courtesy of, Omaha World-Herald, Rocky Top Insider, Rutgers University

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