PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Great matchups in New York City tonight
GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 14 West Virginia vs. No. 10 Virginia, 7:00 p.m.
You’re not going to see a more intriguing matchup in styles that this. West Virginia is known as Press Virginia, because they press and they trap and they fly around for 94 feet for all 40 minutes. They’re goal? Force turnovers, get transition opportunities and create easy looks at the rim. Virginia is the exact opposite, as they run their Pack-Line defense. Rare is the time that a Virginia player will be defending beyond half court. The key may end up being the health of London Perrantes, the Virginia point guard that missed their last two games following an appendectomy.
THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 6 Maryland vs. UConn, 9:30 p.m.
Maryland has finally looked the part of a national title contender in their last two games, a loss at North Carolina and a blowout win this weekend. UConn isn’t UNC, but they do have enough guard play to be able to get Maryland some trouble. The Huskies really need a big win after suffering two losses in the Battle 4 Atlantis.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR
- Michigan at No. 19 SMU, 9:00 p.m.: Michigan isn’t as good as we thought and SMU won’t be playing in the tournament, but Caris LeVert vs. Nic Moore will be fun.
- Florida at No. 17 Miami, 7:00 p.m.: Miami shot up the rankings earlier this season when they won the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, but they followed that up with a loss at home to Northeastern. Florida is not as good as the team that had Joakim Noah and Al Horford, but they are probably better than they’re getting credit for right now.
- Montana at No. 20 Gonzaga, 9:00 p.m.: Gonzaga will be looking to make a statement after losing to Arizona at home, but keep an eye on Martin Breunig, he’s a former Washington player that is one of the nation’s leading scorers right now.
- Stony Brook at Notre Dame, 9:00 p.m.: Stony Brook is really good. They are deep, balanced and experienced and Jameel Warney will give Zach Auguste trouble inside. Can the Irish avoid the upset?
- Wright State at No. 12 Xavier, 7:00 p.m.: Xavier has been terrific this season.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- Northwestern State at No. 16 Baylor, 8:00 p.m.
- Houston at Rhode Island, 7:00 p.m.
- Winthrop at Georgia, 7:00 p.m.
- Colgate at Syracuse, 7:00 p.m.
- UTSA at Texas, 8:00 p.m.
- Air Force at Ohio State, 8:00 p.m.
- South Dakota State at Minnesota, 8:00 p.m.
- Iona at Tulsa, 9:00 p.m.
- Evansville at Arkansas, 9:00 p.m.