Thursday’s Pregame Shootaround: Turkey Day Tourneys!
GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 20 Creighton vs. Arizona State, 11:00 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
You like scoring? You like stars? You like two teams that can get up and down the floor? Well then have I got a game for you. The Bluejays look like they could end up being the best team in the Big East right now, led by All-American Doug McDermott. They spread the floor and shoot a lot of threes, which is fairly similar to the way that Arizona State likes to play. The difference? The Sun Devils’ star is lightening quick point guard Jahii Carson, who is on the short list with Marcus Smart as the favorite for the Player of the Year award right now.
MID-MAJOR MATCHUP OF THE DAY: Denver vs. Harvard, Midnight ET
Denver might be the best mid-major program out went while Harvard is one collapse at Colorado away from being undefeated and potentially in the top 25. The best opening round game of the Great Alaska Shootout.
WHO’S GETTING UPSET?: No. 23 Iowa vs. Xavier, 7:00 p.m. ET
The most intriguing game in the Battle 4 Atlantis first round. Xavier has looked good early in the season, particularly Semaj Christon, who is one of the most talented lead guards in the country. Iowa, however, is deep and talented and has a very strong front line. The Hawkeyes haven’t really been tested yet this season, so this will be a nice chance to see whether or not they truly deserve their ranking.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH:
1) No. 5 Oklahoma State kicks off action on Thanksgiving day by taking on Purdue in the Old Spice Classic. The Boilermakers are undefeated, but they haven’t played anyone.
2) Two matchups we’re hoping to see this week? Oklahoma State getting a rematch with No. 21 Memphis, who kicks off the Old Spice against Siena, and UTEP squaring off with USC in the Battle 4 Atlantis. Their coaching staffs nearly brawled last night.
3) LSU gets St. Joe’s in the first round of the Old Spice Classic. The Tigers were supposed to be a sleeper in the SEC this season, but they lost their first notable game against UMass.
4) No. 2 Kansas plays Wake Forest at 3:30 p.m., No. 25 Marquette takes on Cal State Fullerton at 4:30 p.m. ET and No. 19 UCLA tangles with Nevada at 7:30 p.m.
5) Northwestern plays Missouri at 9:30 p.m. in the first game that Frank Haith will be coaching this season.