Wednesday was full of college basketball with many ranked teams taking the court. In yesterdays preview I felt that UAB would put up a fight against Duke, but the Blue Devils were in full control. Duke, even without freshman standout Kyrie Irving, are simply better than everybody else. They will cruise through an unusually weaker ACC this year and could be undefeated for a little longer. Elsewhere, undefeated UCF took care of business against Marshall, despite losing at halftime. Marshall was in the game in the second half, but Marcus Jordan's 26 points were too much in the second half.
Only one ranked team fell yesterday and that was Memphis. The Tigers were absolutely walloped by Tennessee 104-84. This was a thirty-point game at some point and Tennessee finished the second half with alley oops and highlight dunks. The Volunteers shot 54% from the field and hit 12 three pointers. After a disappointing few weeks, Tennessee finally put it together and beat a solid team. Not many teams can boast wins on their resume versus Villanova, Pittsburgh, and Memphis. Then again, not many programs have lost to Oakland, Charleston, and Charlotte.
Tonight, there are three ranked teams playing:
The #7 Villanova Wildcats play their second Big East game, as they battle against South Florida. USF has lost its first two Big East games against UConn and Seton Hall. Villanova should not have any trouble with one of the weakest teams in the conference. Prediction: Villanova 82 - South Florida 61
The Fighting Illini, ranked 20th, play the 9-3 Northwestern Wildcats. Northwestern is a very good team that has lost its first two Big Ten games, but Purdue and Michigan State are two tough opponents. They face their third straight ranked Big Ten team; however, I see them winning this one. Illinois is an efficient offense that passes the ball very well and shoots at 48% this season. Prediction: Northwestern 83 - Illinois 78
Ranked for the first week, the #25 Cincinnati Bearcats takes on Xavier, as they look to continue to stay undefeated. Many have not given the Bearcats any credit because they have not played a challenging opponent all season, but Xavier gives them a good matchup. The Musketeers are 8-4, but has been competitive all season long and I see Junior guard Tu Holloway to have a huge game. Holloway has averaged over 21 points per game this season and is poised to give Cincinnati their first loss. Prediction: Xavier 78 - Cincnnati 76.