The next two nights have some good games going on ESPN, and the best one is the leadoff tonight when Georgetown visits Syracuse. Let's take a brief look at the TV fare we've got ahead...
Georgetown at Syracuse (Mon, 7 ET, ESPN): Greg Monroe is the best player on the floor, with his abilty to control a game in the post and for that reason alone the Hoyas have to be given a shot at pulling the road upset. But Syracuse can come at you with bodies. A very good frontline is led by Wesley Johnson, and they have Kris Joseph off the bench to provide a fourth body. Georgetown needs to win the battle of the backcourts and win it decisively. That means loosening things up offensively with some threes. Austin Freeman is the most likely candidate to step up in John Thompson III's three-guard offense. And they need to disrupt the Orange's flow offensively by causing
Andy Rautins problems in running the offense. They've got a good shot. In Washington D.C., I'd pick them and call it very close if they were on a neutral floor in Madison Square Garden. But the 'Cuse is well-coached, deep and at home. I call them in a close one.
Missouri at Kansas (Mon, 9 ET, ESPN)
Mizzou's done nothing to suggest they are about to win at Kansas, but they are hanging around in the Big 12 race. Kim English will be worth watching to see if he can keep his team on his back for a little while, but it's just very hard to think of any kind of scenario, short of a complete and unpredictable implosion by the Jayhawks where Missouri actually wins the game. Sherron Collins provides steadiness at the point, and Cole Aldrich controls the middle. I've been hard on Kansas previously, but only because I didn't think they were an unstoppable powerhouse. They have more than enough to win this one.
Michigan State at Michigan (Tue, 7
Michigan's been up-and-down and needs Manny Harris back in uniform after his suspension for disciplinary reasons. The Wolverines have the talent to win this game at home, but need Harris and DeShawn Sims down low to both step up big. Michigan State has to get back to rebounding with their usual vengenace after relying heavily on the three-ball in Minnesota. Never bet against Tom Izzo's ability to get his team refocused on the fundamentals, and Michigan's only got a chance if they can hold MSU to the low 30s in shooting percentage. I would bet against that. Call this one for the Spartans, as they go to 8-0 in the Big Ten.
Kentucky at South Carolina (Tue, 9 ET, ESPN)
This one's a no-contest. Blowout of the Wildcats, but it will be interesting to see if Devan Downey can get his points against Calipari's attacking defense.
That's a wrap for today. We'll see you on Wednesday to recap these games and others, and look ahead to
the rest of the weekday games.