Tuesday’s Pregame Shootaround: BYU-Wichita State, Saint Louis-Wisconsin highlight the night
GAME OF THE DAY: BYU vs. No. 12 Wichita St, 10:00 p.m. ET
You want to talk about a contrast of styles? BYU loves to run and loves to score, taking advantage of the talent in their back court -- Tyler Haws, Matt Carlino -- to light up scoreboards. Wichita State? They’re a physical team, one that would rather get into a streetfight than a foot race. The Cougars have looked good this season, but the issue is going to be whether or not they can score against Wichita State’s tough defense. And if they can’t, they will be in trouble, because if BYU proved anything last night, it’s that they are not going to be much of a defensive team this season.
Expect the Sprint Center in Kansas City, where this game is being played, to have a large contingent of Wichita State fans. It will be a tough environment for BYU to get a win.
THE OTHER GAME OF THE DAY: Saint Louis vs. No. 10 Wisconsin, 8:30 p.m. ET
Wisconsin is good, and while I’m struggling to come to terms with the idea that the Badgers are playing faster than they have in the past, this is a team that is quite potent on the offensive end, whether they are playing faster or slower. Saint Louis is undefeated, but they are also somewhat untested at this point. The Atlantic 10 is looking tougher and tougher by the day. Is this the Billikins’ chance to make a statement?
MID-MAJOR MATCHUP OF THE DAY: Utah State at Weber State, 9:30 p.m. ET
Weber State entered the season as the favorite to win the Big Sky this season, but they are now sitting at 0-2 on the season after taking pretty solid beatings from Colorado State and BYU. Utah State isn’t on the same level as some of the best teams in the Mountain West, but with Preston Medlin and Jarrad Shaw, that team has the talent.
WHO’S GETTING UPSET?: Dayton vs. No. 18 Baylor, 10:00 p.m. ET
Can we really bet against Dayton to pull an upset in Maui at this point? They are 6-1 in program history in the event, they are undefeated this season and they now own wins over Georgia Tech and Gonzaga. The key for the Bears will be taking advantage of their size inside. Few teams can handle the likes of Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH
1) The Maui Invitational semis take place today, and the best matchup of the bunch might actually be Cal taking on No. 8 Syracuse. The Bears are currently unranked this season, but they are 5-0 and have the kind of talent on their perimeter to attack the Cuse zone.
2) The final of the Legends classic takes place tonight and will pit Pitt against Stanford. This will be the first real test for the Panthers this season. Can they actually compete in the ACC?
3) Some exciting late-night hoops are on the docket as Illinois will square off with UNLV at 10:45 p.m. The Rebels are struggling this season, having lost at home to UC-Santa Barbara and BYU. Can Illinois take advantage?
4) Evansville was supposed to be in rebuilding mode this season, but the 5-0 Purple Aces will head to Assembly Hall to take on Indiana tonight.
5) Dylan Cormier is averaging 29.8 points this season for Loyola MD. The Greyhounds get UConn tonight.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 11 Gonzaga vs. Chaminade, 4:30 p.m.
- North Carolina A&T at Ole Miss, 4:00 p.m.
- Longwood at St. John’s, 7:00 p.m.
- UMass-Lowell at Cincinnati, 7:00 p.m.
- Florida-Gulf Coast at N.C. State, 7:00 p.m.
- Sacred Heart at Boston College, 7:00 p.m.
- Hampton at Virginia, 7:00 p.m.