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College Basketball Week 9 Weekend Preview

Creighton at (11) Butler

Creighton is coming off a nice home win against Marquette. The backcourt for Creighton will need to operate against the defensive backcourt of Butler. Marcus Zegarowski and Ty-Shon Alexander will need to play very effectively to give Creighton and opportunity to win. Mitch Ballack needs to make big perimeter jumpers. Next, Damien Jefferson will need to impose his toughness against the front line of Butler. The ability to score versus the ability to defend will be the difference in this game as both teams have contrasting styles.
The success for Butler will start with their perimeter defense against the Creighton guards. This starts with the play of Aaron Thompson as he sets the tone defensively for Butler. Further, Kamar Baldwin will need to make shots consistently in this game to give Butler a great opportunity. Next, Sean McDermott and Jordan Tucker could be vital in making big perimeter jumpers in this game. Bryce Nze and Bryce Golden will need to continue to give very solid play inside for Butler in this game. The ability to defend will outlast the offense of Creighton in this matchup.
Prediction: Butler 63 Creighton 60

(12) Florida State at (7) Louisville

Image result for steven enochThis will be a huge test for Florida State on the road at Louisville. Their depth will be very key to their success in this game. The play of Patrick Williams and Dominik Olejiniczak will be crucial with their size coming off the bench. Also, Devin Vassell will need to continue to be a go-to player for Florida State giving them a primary scorer. Furthermore, Trent Forest will need to have a big game defending the Louisville perimeter and Raiquan Gray will need to continue to play effectively inside for Florida State. The toughness of Florida State will be the x-factor in beating Louisville on the road.
Louisville needs Jordan Nwora to play at a level against the size and length of Florida State. Next, Steven Enoch could have a huge game for Louisville as there is no true center with the strength to defend him. In addition, Ryan McMahon and Fresh Kimble will need to have solid games against the athleticism of Florida State and be effective offensively. Further, Dwayne Sutton could have a solid game with his versatility and power against the Florida State frontcourt. The star power of Louisville will outlast the depth of Florida State in this matchup.
Prediction: Louisville 72 Florida State 66

(12) West Virginia at (5) Kansas

West Virginia will look to keeps its momentum going against Kansas on the road. The matchup inside for West Virginia must be a strength with Oscar Tshiebwe and Derek Culver against Udoka Azubuike. In addition, Miles McBride will be very key to add scoring off the bench and defense against Ochai Agbaji. Further, Jordan McCabe will need to play well against Devon Dotson who will be a very tough matchup. Also, Emmitt Matthews and Jermaine Haley will be key against Kansas and could be subjected to breakout games against the Kansas perimeter.
Now, as for Kansas Devon Dotson could have a monster game against the West Virginia backcourt that lacks the ability to defend him. Also, Isaiah Moss will be crucial again as he can make perimeter jumpers at a very high level. Furthermore, David McCormick could play a key role against the West Virginia frontcourt with Udoka Azubuike. The frontcourt of both of these teams could determine the game depending on who doesn’t get into foul trouble. The Phog will be too much for West Virginia to go handle on Saturday.
Prediction: Kansas 69 West Virginia 61

(13) San Diego State at Utah State

Image result for yanni wetzellThis will be a challenging road to test for one of two of the last unbeaten in college basketball. For Utah State, they will need a big game from their best player in Sam Merrill. In addition, Brock Miller and Justin Bean need to have big games in contributing to doing the little things to disrupt the flow of San Diego State in this game. Further, Trevin Dorius will need to have a very important task in containing Yanni Wetzel who is very versatile and tough to guard. The Utah State defense will need to have a big game with effecting the efficiency of San Diego State.
As for San Diego State, Malachi Flynn will need to continue to be the go-to player on the perimeter. Next, Yanni Wetzel will need to take advantage of the matchup against Utah State inside. Also, KJ Feagin will need to have a strong game at the point against Brock Miller getting San Diego State’s efficient possessions. As well as, for San Diego State they must be able to play through the toughness of Utah State. The rhythm of San Diego State will be too much for Utah State to prevail in this matchup.
Prediction: San Diego State 72 Utah State 63

(12) Michigan at (14) Michigan State

The battle of Michigan will be very compelling between Michigan and Michigan State. Michigan State will be looking to capitalize with Isaiah Livers being out for Michigan in this game. Cassius Winston will have to be his very best again an elite defender in Zavier Simpson. Also, Aaron Henry will have an opportunity to have a big game against the Michigan wings. In addition, Xavier Tillman must his size and power against Jon Teske with the battle inside. Michigan State must limit its turnovers in this game to win against Michigan.
Michigan, on the other hand, will need someone on the perimeter to step up. This likely will fall on Franz Wagner to be able to make shots on a consistent basis and defend at a high level. Also, Simpson will need to bring his A-game against Cassius Winston limiting his production. Next, Eli Brooks will need to be able to make big shots in this game as well. Furthermore, the key for Michigan could be the play of David DeJulius will be vital off the bench. The home court and better point guard play will prevail in Michigan State in this matchup.
Prediction: Michigan State 77 Michigan 73

Images Courtesy of, The Cardinal Connect, The Indianapolis Star, SDSU Athletics

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