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Pregame Shootaround: No. 19 SDSU gets a test at Cincinnati, Vols take on N.C. State

Winston Shepard

Winston Shepard (AP Photo)


Game of the Night: No. 19 San Diego State at Cincinnati, 9:00 p.m.

If you like high-scoring, up-and-down action, this game won’t be for you. But if you appreciate two teams that play tough, physical defense, grind out every rebound and fight for every possession, you’ll enjoy watching the Aztecs and the Bearcats. I’m not quite sure what to make of the Bearcats yet, but SDSU will be traveling across the country for this game. If Mick Cronin is hoping for an at-large bid out of the AAC this season, this is a win he needs to get.

Mid-Major Matchup of the Night: Georgia State at Old Dominion, 8:00 p.m.

Old Dominion hasn’t gotten much publicity this season, but they’ve been as good as anyone in Conference USA, which includes a win over VCU earlier this year. But Georgia State has a ton of talent on their roster, namely future pro R.J. Hunter and former top 100 recruit Kevin Ware and Ryan Harrow. This could be a matchup between two NCAA tournament teams.

Who’s Getting Upset?: Manhattan at Pitt, 7:00 p.m.

Manhattan is in a bit of a down year, but Steve Masiello’s kids play a tough style to prepare for. Pitt is hurting without Durand Johnson, but they do have a number of quality back court weapons.

Five Things to Watch For:

1. Eastern Michigan at No. 25 Michigan State, 9:00 p.m.: Eastern Michigan is coming off of a win over Michigan. Can they sweep the in-state Big Ten schools?

2. Tennessee at N.C. State, 7:00 p.m.: The Wolfpack just lost at home to Wofford. Tennessee picked up big wins over Butler and Kansas State in their last two games. Either way, I get the feeling this is a game that’s going to get mentioned when bubble talk starts overpowering the conversation.

3. Grambling State at No. 16 Washington, 11:00 p.m.: Outside of Delon Wright, there may not be a more valuable player in the Pac-12 than Robert Upshaw. He’s blocking 4.8 shots a night despite playing just 18 minutes.

4. New Mexico State at Baylor, 9:00 p.m.: The Aggies are missing a number of pieces right now, which makes this test a little less appealing that it would have been otherwise. But Baylor? Baylor is surprisingly good this season.

5. Morehead State at Green Bay, 8:00 p.m.: Morehead State might be the best team in the Ohio Valley. Green Bay? They may be the best mid-major in the country.


  • North Carolina A&T at No. 12 Ohio State, 7:00 p.m.
  • Hampton at Illinois, 7:00 p.m.
  • Charleston Southern at Wofford, 7:00 p.m.
  • Cal St.-Northridge at Oregon, 11:00 p.m.

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