Thursday’s Pregame Shootaround: Arkansas, Oregon with big bubble chances
GAME OF THE NIGHT: Oregon at UCLA, 11:00 p.m.
Prior to these last two games from Arizona, the two most entertaining teams in the Pac-12 have been Oregon and UCLA. The Bruins are loaded with talent, run up and down the floor and are finally starting to win games because they are playing defense. Oregon? You can pretty much say the same thing about them, other than the fact that they don’t play much defense at all. So expect a lot of points in this one. It’s also a key bubble game for the Ducks, who are in the tournament as of now but no where near as comfortable as they would like to be.
THE OTHER GAME OF THE NIGHT: Arkansas at No. 17 Kentucky, 7:00 p.m.
The Razorbacks are in an interesting position right now. They’ve won two of their last three road games and five of their last six games overall. They beat Kentucky at home earlier this season. They have found themselves popping up in a couple of brackets recently. This loss won’t hurt their resume, per se, but missing out on a chance to notch a win over one of the two elite teams in the SEC certainly won’t help matters.
WHO’S GETTING UPSET?: No. 20 Iowa at Indiana, 9:00 p.m.
I just don’t know what to make of Iowa at this point. They have the talent, the depth, the computer profile. On paper, they look like a top ten team. On the court, they can’t close out big wins and have struggled to consistently get stops of late. The good news? Indiana stinks this year.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR:
1) Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 10 St. Louis tonight, a game that will tip at 8:00 p.m. on NBC Sports Network.
2) No. 22 Ohio State pays a visit to Penn State. The Nittany Lions knocked off the Buckeyes in Columbus earlier this season.
3) There are about five Big East teams currently sitting on or around the bubble and two of them -- Georgetown and Marquette -- square off tonight. Josh Smith is ineligible to play, however, which means that we won’t get a chance to see him go up against Davante Gardner.
4) Gonzaga (at Pacific), Davidson (vs. UNC-Greensboro), Stephen F. Austin (at New Orleans), North Dakota State (vs. South Dakota), and Georgia State (at UT-Arlington) can all clinch at least a share of a league title tonight.
5) Temple at No. 7 Louisville and No. 21 Memphis at Houston highlights the AAC slate tonight.