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Pregame Shootaround: The Jimmy V Classic, and a test for Seton Hall

Rick Pitino

Rick Pitino


Game of the Night: No. 4 Louisville vs. Indiana, 9:30 p.m. (NYC)

Ok, let’s ignore, for a second, the fact that this matchup of styles is so intriguing. Indiana is playing an uptempo, spread-the-floor, jack-up-threes brand of basketball that is quite entertaining when those threes are going down. James Blackmon Jr. and Yogi Ferrell and Robert Johnson can flat out fill it up. But Louisville wants to speed up their opponents, using a couple of different presses and confusing man-to-man and matchup zone looks. And all that is before you try to figure out how Montrezl Harrell can be stopped by Indiana’s front line.

This is Louisville and Indiana. These are two of the most high-profile programs in the country, with campuses that are just a couple of hours apart and large fan bases that don’t like each other. Madison Square Garden should be packed for the Jimmy V Classic’s nightcap.

The Other Game of the Night: No. 7 Villanova vs. Illinois, 7:00 p.m. (NYC)

The opener of the Jimmy V Classic isn’t quite as entertaining as the nightcap, but it still should be a good watch. Both the Illini and the Wildcats play a similar brand of basketball: small ball. It should also be a good gauge game for the Illini, who are a borderline top 25 without the wins to get them into the rankings. Also worth noting: Illinois has a huge fan base, and Villanova has a solid presence in NYC.

Who’s Getting Upset?: Bradley at Kansas State, 8:00 p.m.

I thought that the Wildcats had a chance to be a top 20 team this season. They’ve lost four of their first eight games, including a loss at Long Beach State earlier this season. They’re home on Tuesday night, but will that be enough to turn around their season?

Mid-Major Matchup of the Night: Evansville at Belmont, 8:00 p.m.

Two of the better mid-major programs in the country will be the teaser, but the battle between D.J. Balentine and Craig Bradshaw will be what keeps you around.

Five Things to Watch For:

1. Seton Hall at No. 11 Wichita State, 7:00 p.m.: And here is where Seton Hall proves whether or not we should believe that they are for real. They have not lost this year, having beaten George Washington at home and won an underwhelming Paradise Jame. The Shockers are for real, and if Seton Hall is a real contender in the Big East, they’ll give the Shockers a fight in Koch Arena.

2. Texas A&M at Baylor, 9:00 p.m.: The Aggies look better than expected this season, as Danuel House is eligible and Alex Caruso has been playing great. Baylor has, too, and they’ve done it without Kenny Chery for a handful of their games.

3. Utah Valley at No. 3 Arizona, 9:00 p.m.: Arizona is coming off of a great overtime win over Gonzaga at the McKale Center.

4. Mount St. Mary’s at No. 25 Notre Dame, 7:00 p.m.: Jerian Grant has played like an all-american this season. Notre Dame has looked like a top 25 team in their games against Providence and Michigan State. They’ve played all cupcakes beyond that. This game is no different.

5. UMKC at No. 14 Iowa State, 7:00 p.m.: Iowa State looked good against Arkansas and not-so-good against Maryland. UMKC has a really, really good point guard in Martez Harrison.


  • IUPUI at Xavier, 7:00 p.m.
  • Bowling Green at Dayton, 7:00 p.m.
  • Furman at TCU, 8:00 p.m.
  • Eastern at Michigan, 9:00 p.m.
  • Alcorn State at Iowa, 9:00 p.m.
  • South Dakota at Creighton, 9:00 p.m.