1. NC State coach Mark Gottfried is hoping for an Indiana-Assembly Hall like atmosphere to pull off a second consecutive Saturday upset of a No. 1 ranked team. The Hoosiers knocked off Kentucky last week and the Wolfpack host top-ranked Syracuse at the RBC Center this weekend. Gottfried said the crowd will be standing room only for this event. He said for the Wolfpack to have a shot they’ve got to take away the fast break, keep the ball out of the paint, not allow second-chance points and be effective from the short corner against the zone.
2. Baylor coach Scott Drew said he relishes the idea of playing at BYU’s Marriott Center on Saturday for what will easily be the Bears’ toughest game to date. The Cougars have been nearly unbeatable, with one loss in the past 49 games at the Marriott Center. BYU coach Dave Rose said the Cougars will have to pick up the pace to get space on rebounding against the Bears. BYU likely won’t be able to rebound in the halfcourt against Baylor’s length (see Perry Jones III and Quincy Acy). This game has to be up and down for BYU to have a shot. Meanwhile, the Bears get Cal transfer guard Gary Franklin eligible for this game, deepening an already solid perimeter.
3. Oregon is pleased with its unplanned and essential trade of the disgruntled Jabari Brown, who quit the team after two games, for eligible Minnesota transfer Devoe Joseph. Joseph jumped to the top of the Ducks’ stat sheet after two games against Fresno State and Portland State, averaging a team-high 15.5 points and five assists a game. Meanwhile, an earlier report by CBSSports.com Thursday was confirmed that Brown is down to Missouri and Georgia Tech, two programs that would take the unpredictable, but talented guard. Brown’s absence isn’t affecting the Ducks as much as some projected. Oregon has won five of six games without Brown (the only loss was BYU in Salt Lake City). To beat Virginia Sunday in Eugene, the Ducks will have to rebound effectively in the halfcourt against Mike Scott and a stingy Cavs defense.