The college basketball conference slate is in full swing this week’s schedule provides some promising games. On Monday, Louisville was voted the number one school in the country. Then on Monday night, the Cardinals dominated a tough Connecticut squad (73-58) in the second half. The defensive tenacity showcased by Louisville was a problem for Connecticut’s offensive rhythm. They outscored the Huskies by 21 points in the second half, and the press was relentless.
Kansas played another dynamic game against Baylor, and they won by a score of (61-44).
Notre Dame vs St John’s
Tuesday, Jan. 15, 7:00 p.m.
Notre Dame is ranked number 20 in the new national poll. They suffered their first loss in the Big East to Connecticut, on Saturday. The Fighting Irish are on the road at Madison Square Garden. St. John’s struggled in their loss to Georgetown, and they will be looking to get back in the win column Tuesday night.
Jack Cooley leads the Irish in points and rebounds, but he will be tested in the paint against St Johns. Chris Obekpa averages 5.1 blocks per game. Obekpa displays great timing on defense, and he alters opponent’s shots on numerous possessions.
Erick Atkins is the consummate point guard, and he gets the rest of the team going. Atkins averages over seven assists per game, while still scoring double figures. Atkins may also guard the ultra talented D’Angelo Harrison when they are in man. Harrison averages 20 points per game.
Northern Iowa vs Creighton
Tuesday, Jan. 15, 8:00 p.m.
The Creighton Blue Jays average almost 80 points per game, but they are making their biggest stride on the defensive end. Creighton is holding opponents to 61 points, and that is the type of defense that leads to deep runs in the NCAA tournament.
Doug McDermott is putting up 23.6 points per game, and he also leads his team in rebounds. McDermott also shoots 57 percent from the field. He is tough to guard, but he isn’t the only offensive weapon for the Blue Jays. Creighton has five players that shoot 45 percent or better from three point range. Center Greg Echinique shoots 67 percent from the floor.
Wisconsin vs Indiana
Tuesday, Jan. 15, 9:00 p.m.
Both teams have won six in a row. Indiana is back at number two in the country, and they have bounced back nicely from their lone loss. The demise of Wisconsin’s tourney hopes may have been greatly exaggerated. The winner of this game is alone in first place of the Big Ten.
Cody Zeller leads Indiana in Points, rebounds, and blocks. Indiana plays a great brand of up tempo basketball, and they have scorers at every position. Five players average in double figures for Indiana.
Wisconsin will apply a very strong half court man to man defense. They only give up 54 points per game, but Indiana scores 87 points per contest. Wisconsin must play effective on offense to help slow down the Indiana transition game.
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