Due to an odd bit of timing I'm not going to be able to watch any of the games tonight, but I'll surely be looking at the box score. There are three big games tonight for the Chicago schools and here are some predictions and things to look for this evening.
- KenPom has: Notre Dame 79-64 (91%)
- Accuscore has: Notre Dame 77.8-63.0 (87.6%)
- Vegas has: Notre Dame -11.5
- What I'll be looking for: What pace is this game played at? Notre Dame really like to play slowly. Its adjusted tempo is 64.9 possessions per 40 minutes, 277th in the NCAA. If DePaul can get this game moving a little quicker maybe Oliver Purnell's team can force some turnovers and get Notre Dame out of its offensive rhythm. That's going to be tough though, because Notre Dame doesn't turn the ball over often. The Fighting Irish are really good at offense. Almost any player on the court can score and score very efficiently.
UIC at Detroit:
- KenPom has: Detroit 76-64 (87%)
- Accuscore has: Detroit 72.0-62.5 (78.0%)
- Vegas has: Detroit -9.5
- What I'll be looking for: Where are the minutes? UIC ran a three-guard lineup for a while against Youngstown State and it was pretty successful. Will Howard Moore do the same thing against a very big Detroit team? It'd be a big gamble. Otherwise, which big men are playing and how productive are they? The Flames need to find production out of Brad Birton, K.C. Robbins, Darrin Williams and Paris Carter tonight if they're going to bother the Titans.
- KenPom has: Wright State 65-59 (75%)
- Accuscore has: Wright State 67.5-64.4 (54.5%)
- Vegas has: Wright State -5.5
- What I'll be looking for: How close is this game? I don't often reference game-flow, but this is a time where I'll definitely be checking it out. It feels like Loyola has turned a corner, can they keep this game close and have a chance to win in the final four minutes? The other key is inside / outside balance. The offense works best when Walt Gibler and Ben Averkamp establish themselves inside and then the shooters get involved. Can Loyola do that tonight and take advantage of the smaller Raiders lineup?