Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Intriguing night of games on tap
By Andy Katz
Some interesting games Wednesday night. Here are the ones I’ll be keeping an eye on:
UTEP, fresh off losing for the first time this season, goes to Southaven, Miss., to play Ole Miss. Derrick Caracter will be playing in his second game. Both teams have guards that can fly. This game should be an up-and-down affair and ultimately be a quality win for one of the teams.
Cincinnati at UAB. These two used to have some great battles in Conference USA. The Bearcats were stung in double overtime at Xavier on Sunday night and are searching for a bounce-back win against a Blazers team that is off to a surprisingly torrid start. UAB is 8-1 (only loss to Kent State), but the best wins are against Green Bay and Georgia, neither of which will be in the NCAAs.
Ohio State should walk over Presbyterian, but it will be a much-needed experiment game for the Buckeyes in their second contest without Evan Turner. OSU lost its first game without the do-everything guard last Saturday at Butler.
Dangerous Richmond plays the first of its back-to-back games against the SEC when the Spiders travel to South Carolina, which is still without starters Dominique Archie and Mike Holmes. The Spiders, who have already beaten Mississippi State, have Florida up next on Saturday night. Gamecocks fans don’t have exactly have fond memories of Richmond. A John Beilein-led Spiders team upset South Carolina in a 14-vs-3 game in the 1998 NCAA tournament.
New Mexico plays as a ranked team for the first time in 10 years, hosting Northern Arizona. Coach Steve Alford is wondering how his young team will handle the pressure.
Oral Roberts plays its first game after the death of the school’s founder and namesake. ORU, which beat Missouri at home, plays at Louisville, which is fresh off losing to Western Carolina at home.
The Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series returns Wednesday night with Oklahoma State going to Stanford. The Pac-10 has only won two games so far in the series -- Cal over Iowa State and Oregon State over Colorado.
Oregon State goes to Illinois-Chicago as Craig Robinson seeks to continue his recruiting success in his hometown. But this is a dangerous game for the Beavers, which lost at Nebraska last week. OSU, desperate to hit a consistent stride, won at GW and needs to get on a roll before the Pac-10.