Pregame Shootaround: Villanova-Michigan, Arkansas road test and Maui action
Game of the Day: No. 12 Villanova vs. No. 19 Michigan, 9:30 p.m.
The only game of the night between two ranked teams, Villanova will square off with Michigan for the right to be named the champion of the Legends Classic. What makes this matchup so tantalizing is the number of quality perimeter players on the floor. Caris LeVert, Derrick Walton and Zak Irvin will be squaring off with Ryan Arcidiacono, Darrun Hilliard and Dylan Ennis. The key is going to be the matchups in the front court. Does Michigan have anyone capable of matching up with JayVaughn Pinkston?
Who’s Getting Upset?: No. 25 Arkansas at SMU, 7:30 p.m.
Arkansas is supposed to be the third-best team in the SEC, and that looks like a pretty easy call to make given the fact that both LSU and Ole Miss have struggled early this season. But the Razorbacks are notorious for struggling away from Bud Walton Arena, and they’ll be heading to Dallas, when SMU is tough to beat. The Mustangs have already lost to Gonzaga and Indiana on the road and desperately need a win.
Mid-major Matchup of the Day: Houston at Harvard, 7:00 p.m.
I’m not sure if Houston still qualifies as a mid-major, but I wanted to highlight this matchup because it’s so tasty. The Cougars have looked pretty good early on this season, as Devonta Pollard is living up to his high school reputation. Harvard already lost to Holy Cross this year, and they really need a win here for their resume.
Five things to watch for:
1. Kansas State vs. No. 3 Arizona, 7:30 p.m.: Kansas State was supposed to be one of the better teams in the Big 12 this season, but they have already lost to Long Beach State. As good as Arizona is, they haven’t exactly looked the part of a title contender early on this season. It will be a good test for Marcus Foster as well, as he will likely be defended by either Rondae Hollis-Jefferson or Stanley Johnson.
2. No. 14 VCU vs. Oregon, 7:00 p.m.: VCU suffered an embarrassing loss to Villanova on Monday night, and while Oregon lacks depth, they have looked better than expected this season.
3. No. 17 Miami vs. Charlotte, 8:00 p.m.: Angel Rodriguez has led the Hurricanes to a terrific start this season. Will that continue?
4. Maryland vs. No. 13 Iowa State, 9:30 p.m.: The Terps are in an important season for Mark Turgeon’s tenure. Melo Trimble looked really good on Monday night against Arizona State, but Iowa State is a completely different animal.
5. Pitt vs. No. 15 San Diego State, 11:30 p.m.: Pitt really, really needs this win, but I’m not sure that they are going to be able to handle SDSU’s defense.
The rest of the top 25:
- UT-Arlington at No. 1 Kentucky, 7:00 p.m.
- St. Francis PA at No. 7 Texas, 8:00 p.m.
- Tennessee State at No. 8 Virginia, 7:00 p.m.
- Eastern Illinois at No. 23 Creighton, 8:00 p.m.
- Alabama vs. Arizona State, 7:00 p.m.
- Hofstra at South Florida, 7:00 p.m.
- Loyola (MD) at Syracuse, 7:00 p.m.
- Akron at Penn State, 7:30 p.m.
- Omaha at Nebraska, 8:00 p.m.