The tournament really gets underway today at 12:15, when Murray State and Colorado State tip off in Louisville on CBS. Here is a complete list of today’s game times and announcer pairings by tournament site. We’ll have a game post setting the action for the various sessions, as well as video updates and game summaries as the action dictates.
After Murray State gets us going, the 8 vs. 9 matchup in the East between Kansas State and Southern Miss gets underway, followed an hour later by Louisville vs. Davidson.
#6 Murray State vs. #11 Colorado State, 12:15 in Louisville (CBS). There were very few matchups that the Murray State Racers could have drawn where the opponent had less size than them. Colorado State, though, with no starter over 6’6″, is one of them. These teams are where they are because of their offenses, and their ability to knock down three pointers. Isaiah Canaan is the star for Murray, while Wes Elkmeier and Dorian Green will need to match for the Rams.
The Line: Murray State -4. The Pick: Should be a good game that could go either way. Colorado State +4
#8 Kansas State vs. #9 Southern Miss, 12:40 in Pittsburgh (TruTV). Larry Eustachy gets to face off against a team from the conference where he used to coach. Kansas State is a physical, hard-nosed team that gets after offensive boards as well as anyone and will defend in the paint. They are not a particularly great shooting team, and with a freshman point guard, have had turnover issues at times. They also beat Missouri twice, and won at Baylor, so at their best, they are very difficult. Southern Miss, meanwhile, has struggled down the stretch, going only 5-5 in their last ten in Conference USA. No team has as much discrepancy between RPI and the Pomeroy rankings as Southern Miss, and despite their recent form, the RPI carried them in.
The Line: Kansas State -5. The Pick: 5 is a huge line for a 8/9 game. However, I’m not sure this matchup is a good one for the underdog. They do not shoot the ball well inside, and 6-10 Maurice Bolden will have his hands full against the Wildcats front line. Kansas State -5.
#4 Louisville vs. #13 Davidson, 1:40 in Portland (TBS). This is not a typical Louisville team offensively. They still like to trap and press, but only shoot 31% from three. They are where they are because of the interior presence of Gorgui Dieng. Lightning quick guard Peyton Siva can make big plays, but is also prone to turnovers. Davidson upset Kansas on a neutral court earlier this year. They have size along the front, are good at protecting the ball, and have decent shooters. That spells trouble if Louisville cannot turn them over or avoid turnovers themselves.
The Line: Louisville -7.5. The Pick: Davidson is a potential live dog here. Louisville is coming off a run through the Big East, and we saw UCONN carry that on in the tournament. Davidson +7.5
[photo via US Presswire]