Saturday, February 28, 2015

PW's MVC Men's Basketball Predictions for (Feb 28)

By Peyton Wesner

2:00 PM EST
14-15 (10-7) Indiana State
at 8-22 (3-14) Bradley

Significance: With a win, Indiana State clinches 3rd seed in Arch Madness.

14-15 (10-7) Indiana State
Solid Wins:
-Illinois State 63-61 (Road)
-Evansville 79-75 in Overtime (Home)
-Missouri State 71-56 (Home)
-Illinois State 71-70 in Overtime (Home) 
"Never Shoulda Happened" Losses:
-Eastern Illinois 60-56 (Home)
-Missouri-Kansas City 73-70 in Double Overtime.
-Drake 84-78 (Road)
-Missouri State 60-56 (Road)
Last Game:
-Loss To #11 Wichita State 63-53 (Home)
Players to Watch:
---#11 Devonte Brown (JR) 
-12.3 PPG, 4.4 RPG, & 3.2 APG.
---#4 Brenton Scott (FR) 
-11.6 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 1.7 APG, & 1.0 SPG.
---#1 Khristian Smith (JR) 
-10.3 PPG, 4.6 RPG, & 1.7 APG.
---#5 Justin Gant (SR) 
-9.5 PPG, & 4.2 RPG.
---#15 Tre' Bennett (JR)
-8.0 PPG, 2.5 RPG, & 3.0 APG.
---#0 Jake Kitchell (SR)
-6.6 PPG, 4.9 RPG, & 1.0 BPG.

8-22 (3-14) Bradley
Solid Wins:
-Central Michigan 84-73 (Home)
-Southern Illinois 63-44 (Home)
-Missouri State 61-59 (Home)
-Evansville 56-53 (Road)
"Never Shoulda Happened" Losses:
-Texas-Arlington 86-75 (Home)
-Robert Morris 68-61 (Home)
-UC Irvine 55-47 in the Semi-Final of the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic.
-Arkansas-Little Rock 64-54 in the Consolation Championship of the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic.
Last Game:
-Loss To Missouri State 80-77 in Triple Overtime (Road)
Players to Watch:
---#2 Warren Jones (JR)
-12.7 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.8 APG, & 1.6 SPG.
---#5 Tramique Sutherland (JR)
-12.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 3.1 APG, & 1.0 SPG.
---#4 Auston Barnes (SR) 
-9.9 PPG, 4.7 RPG, & 1.0 SPG.
---#24 Omari Grier (JR) 
-7.9 PPG & 1.8 APG.
---#21 Josh Cunningham (FR)
-7.8 PPG, 7.6 RPG, & 1.0 SPG.
---#0 Ka'Darryl Bell (JR)
-6.6 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 2.2 APG, & 1.0 SPG.

So Indiana State is going to win today? I mean that is at least what the pattern tells me will happen. The Indiana State Sycamores were eventually put away last Wednesday by the Wichita State Shockers by the score of 63-53. The Sycamores were able to hold the eleventh best team in the nation to 40.3% shooting and even neutralized leading scorer Ron Baker causing him to shoot one for eleven from the floor for three points. The problem for Indiana State was that their offense went dormant as the team shot 34%. The only Sycamores that were able to score profusely were Juniors Khristian Smith and Tre' Bennett. The duo ended the night with thirty of their team's fifty-three (Smith had twenty points and Bennett had ten points) points. The two Seniors, Justin Gant and Jake Kitchell, were held to twelve combined points while leading scorer Devonte Brown made no shots. Easily stated is the fact that Indiana State must have a better shooting performance as a collective group to wrap up the third seed at Bradley. The Bradley Braves are capping of another poor season as they come in on a five-game losing streak. On Wednesday, the Braves lost an absolute heart-breaker in Triple Overtime to the Missouri State Bears. To start the game, the Bears came out running and looked to have the game in hand, but the Braves never stopped fighting and eventually Tramique Sutherland hit a jumper to send the game to the First Overtime tied at fifty. Later, in the Second Overtime, Sutherland made a pair of free throws to extend Bradley's lead to three, but Missouri State would have a chance. On the last possession of the period, three-point specialist Austin Ruder swished a long three to force another overtime for the Bears. In the Third and final OT, Bradley found themselves down three with one second left and Warren Jones at the free throw line. Jones intentionally missed the free throw, but the ball didn't bounce into one of his teammates' hands and the game was lost. The game was truly amazing and neither team deserved to lose, but sometimes that is just how it goes. Freshman Josh Cunningham was great in Springfield and ended the game with fifteen points and twenty-one rebounds. In addition, Tramique Sutherland chipped in twenty points while Warren Jones bucketed sixteen. Since Bradley had fifteen more minutes to score points, I do not see Cunningham, Sutherland, and Jones putting up the same big numbers. Expect Devonte Brown to re-discover his shooting stroke and Khristian Smith to continue his as Indiana State's defense to holds Bradley under sixty in a close one.
---Indiana State 62, Bradley 58

2:00 PM EST-Full Court
18-11 (10-7) Illinois State
at 19-10 (9-8) Evansville

Significance: With a win and Indiana State loss, Illinois State clinches 3rd seed in Arch Madness. Otherwise, these two face off next Friday in Game 2.

18-11 (10-7) Illinois State
Solid Wins:
-Old Dominion 64-45 in the Semi-Final of Paradise Jam.
-DePaul 78-72 (Road)
-Missouri State 69-55 (Road)
-Evansville 77-51 (Home)
-Loyola (IL) 48-45 (Road)
Single-Digit Conference Losses:
-Indiana State 63-61 (Home)
-#16 Wichita State 70-62 (Road)
-Indiana State 71-70 in Overtime (Road)
-#20 Northern Iowa 54-53 (Road)
-Southern Illinois 65-59 (Road)
-#15 Wichita State 68-62 (Home)
Last Game:
-Win Against Southern Illinois 73-56 (Home)
Players to Watch:
---#3 Daishon Knight (SR) 
-14.1 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.5 APG, & 1.0 SPG.
---#44 DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell (JR)
-12.9 PPG, 5.5 RPG, & 1.1 SPG.
---#22 Reggie Lynch (SO) 
-9.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG, & 2.8 BPG.
---#4 Bobby Hunter (SR) 
-7.5 PPG & 2.1 RPG.
---#24 Deontae Hawkins (FR)
-7.1 PPG & 5.3 RPG.
---#1 Paris Lee (SO)
-6.6 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 3.6 APG, & 2.6 SPG.
---#11 MiKyle McIntosh (FR)
-6.4 PPG & 4.2 RPG.

19-10 (9-8) Evansville
Solid Wins:
-San Francisco 79-72 in Third Place Game of Gulf Coast Showcase.
-Belmont 65-62 (Road)
-Ohio 81-69 in Overtime (Home)
-#23 Northern Iowa 52-49 (Home)
-Indiana State 89-78 (Home)
-Drake 61-52 (Home) 
Single-Digit Losses:
-Green Bay 64-62 in Semi-Final of Gulf Coast Showcase.
-Murray State 81-79 (Home)
-Indiana State 79-75 in Overtime (Road)
-Loyola (IL) 71-70 (Home)
-Drake 70-65 (Road)
-Bradley 56-53 (Home)
Last Game:
-Loss To #10 Northern Iowa 68-57 (Road) 
Players to Watch:
---#31 D.J. Balentine (JR)
-18.9 PPG, 3.3 RPG, & 3.2 APG.
---#55 Egidijus Mockevicius (JR)
-12.3 PPG, 10.0 RPG, & 2.3 BPG.
---#5 Mislav Brzoja (SO)
-7.8 PPG, 4.4 RPG, & 2.6 APG.
---#50 Blake Simmons (SO)
-7.5 PPG, 1.8 RPG, & 2.3 APG.
---#12 Adam Wing (JR)
-6.8 PPG, 3.9 RPG, & 2.1 APG.

If you cannot make it to today's game this afternoon, don't worry, most likely these two will be playing in the last game of Session Two Friday Afternoon. The Illinois State Redbirds are back to flying high as they have won their last three games after dropping three straight. In their last outing, the Redbirds achieved vengence for their first meeting loss at Carbondale against the Southern Illinois Salukis. Although the score was tied at halftime, Illinois State behind twenty-four points from DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell pulled away and won by the safe margin of seventeen points. Speaking of Akoon-Purcell, he has been great in his last six games and come in averaging 15.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. Despite, the good offensive performance as a team, Star Senior Daishon Knight did have a rough game against SIU and shot four for twelve from the floor for eleven points. Knight and Akoon-Purcell will look to help their team have a chance for the third seed in Arch Madness this afternoon against Evansville with a win. The Evansville Purple Aces' Western road trip that just ended is definitely one to forget. Away from the Ford Center, UE was defeated by an average margin of fifteen points while being held to forty-three and fifty-seven points respectively. The Missouri Valley Conference's leading scorer D.J. Balentine, like his counter part Diashon Knight, had a tough time putting "the biscuit in the basket" and finished the two-game span with a shooting percentage of 33.3% and twelve points per game. In my opinion, the only player that actually showed up to Wichita and Cedar Falls was Egidijus Mockevicius. Mockevicius played tremendous against "The Valley's" best and achieved double-doubles in both performances. But will he be able to get one against the MVC's best shot blocker Reggie Lynch? I think not! In the first meeting between these two, Illinois State ran the Purple Aces out of the gym in a twenty-six point victory. Evansville shot terribly in the game, just like at Wichita State, and finished with a shooting percentage of 32.7%. Honestly, I do not believe UE will shoot as bad as they did in Bloomington, but I do think Redbird DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell will have a good game and take it to Sophomore Blake Simmons, who will most likely be guarding him. And about D.J. Balentine, I have no idea how he will play, but I will say the more he scores, the better the chances of Evansville winning are.
---Illinois State 67, Evansville 64

27-2 (16-1) 10. Northern Iowa
at 26-3 (16-1) 11. Wichita State

Significance: Winner wins regular season conference crown and clinches 1st seed in Arch Madness.

27-2 (16-1) 10. Northern Iowa
Lunardi's Bracketology: 4 Seed
#2 Best Mid-Major According to
Solid Wins:
-Stephen F. Austin 79-77 in Overtime (Road)
-Virginia Tech 73-54 in Semi-Final of Cancun Challenge.
-Northwestern 61-42 in Championship of Cancun Challenge.
-Iowa 56-44 (in Des Moines)
-Loyola (IL) 67-58 (Home)
-Indiana State 66-60 (Home)
-Illinois State 54-53 (Road)
-#12 Wichita State 70-54 (Home)
-Indiana State 61-51 (Road)
-Illinois State 83-64 (Home)
-VCU 93-87 in Overtime (Road)
-Evansville 52-49 (Road)
Last Game:
-Win Against Evansville 68-57 (Home)
Players to Watch:
---#10 Seth Tuttle (SR)
-15.6 PPG, 6.6 RPG, & 3.2 APG.
---#11 Wes Washpun (JR)
-8.2 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 2.9 APG, & 1.1 SPG.
---#1 Deon Mitchell (SR)
-7.2 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 2.3 APG, & 1.0 SPG.
---#14 Nate Buss (JR)
-6.8 PPG & 2.7 RPG.

26-3 (16-1) 11. Wichita State
Lunardi's Bracketology: 5 Seed
#3 Best Mid-Major According to
Solid Wins:
-Memphis 71-56 (in Sioux Falls)
-St. Louis 81-52 (Home)
-Seton Hall 77-68 (Home)
-Alabama 53-52 (Home)
-Illinois State 70-62 (Home)
-Loyola (IL) 67-53 (Road)
-Evansville 61-41 (Road)
-Indiana State 74-57 (Home)
-Illinois State 68-62 (Road)
-Evansville 62-43 (Home)
-#25 Utah 69-68 in Overtime (Road)
-George Washington 60-54 in the Championship of the Diamond Head Classic.
-#18 Northern Iowa 70-54 (Road)
Last Game:
-Win Against Indiana State 63-53 (Road)
Players to Watch:
---#31 Ron Baker (JR) 
-15.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 2.2 APG, & 1.2 SPG.
---#23 Fred Van Vleet (JR) 
-12.4 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 5.3 APG, & 1.8 SPG.
---#12 Darius Carter (SR) 
-11.5 PPG & 5.4 RPG.
---#32 Tekele Cotton (SR)
-9.4 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 3.0 APG, & 1.3 SPG.

College Gameday is in Wichita! Why you ask? Because Northern Iowa at Wichita State is the best game on Saturday's slate of college basketball action. The Northern Iowa Panthers currently have the biggest active winning streak in the Missouri Valley Conference as they have won sixteen straight. The Panthers only conference loss came in a game that never should have been that close. The opponent was Evansville at the Ford Center and UNI had control in the first half with a ten-point halftime lead. The second half was the difference. The Purple Aces outscored the then twenty-third ranked team in the nation 32-19 in the second twenty-minutes giving them a three-point lead with about two seconds remaining. With Seth Tuttle watching from the bench because of five fouls, the pressure found its way on the shoulders of Jeremy Morgan as he fired a desperation three pointer at the buzzer to tie the game. The attempt was off the mark and Evansville upset the Panthers. In my opinion, the loss was the best thing to ever happen to UNI because it made the team realize that they must show up every game to win and cannot just throw their uniforms on the court and expect a victory. Since the loss, the Panthers have played every game to win and are averaging 63.8 points per game on offense while the defense has held teams to an average of 50.9 points per game. In fact, Northern Iowa has held three conference opponents to thirty-nine points! The team is led by Larry Bird Trophy Award Canidate Seth Tuttle, who always steps up when needed. In the first meeting in Cedar Falls, Tuttle bucketed a career-high twenty-nine points. Gregg Marshall's Wichita State Shockers plan on holding him to much less today. If you do not know who the Shockers are by now either you do not watch college basketball or you have been in a three-year coma. Wichita State's only conference loss, as previously mentioned, came to UNI on the road. The "Fantastic Four" of Wichita State (Ron Baker, Fred Van Vleet, Darius Carter, and Tekele Cotton) was held to the poor percentage of 34.2% (thirteen for thirty-eight combined shooting) and only forty-four points. In addition to their offensive woes, their defense was the worst I have seen all season and allowed Northern Iowa to shoot 60% from the field. Since the loss, Wichita State has taken care of business though and come in winning their last seven, setting up today's showdown. Who wins you ask? I love the Northern Iowa Panthers, but honestly I see it being a hard task to win at the Charles Koch Arena. The Shockers' faithful will be loud and proud this afternoon, and I believe that will play a factor. In addition, Tuttle can only do so much, and will need teammates like Washpun, Mitchell, Buss, Bohannon, and Morgan to produce points. Wichita State does not have just one player to score but a four man wrecking crew led by Fred Van Vleet. Van Vleet has been an offensive beast in his last five games and has averaged 17.2 points per game to go along with 4.2 assists. Deep down, I know Wichita State wants revenge and will come out with a "chip on their shoulder." With that being said, I forsee the Shockers shutting down UNI's perimeter game and causing Tuttle to do it all by himself. On the other end of the court, Van Vleet and Baker will dominate the Panthers' guards in route to a double-digit win.
---Wichita State 66, Northern Iowa 54

4:00 PM EST
9-20 (6-11) Drake
at 10-20 (3-14) Southern Illinois

Significance: With a win, Drake secures 7th seed in Arch Madness.

9-20 (6-11) Drake
Conference Wins:
-Indiana State 84-78 (Home)
-Bradley 69-57 (Road)
-Evansville 70-65 (Home)
-Southern Illinois 63-61 (Home)
-Bradley 60-54 (Home)
-Missouri State 78-43 (Home) 
Single-Digit Conference Losses:
-#16 Wichita State 66-58 (Home)
-Loyola (IL) 50-47 (Road)
-Illinois State 64-56 (Home)
-Evansville 61-52 (Road)
Last Game:
-Loss To Loyola (IL) 80-75 in Overtime (Home)
Players to Watch:
---#12 Reed Timmer (FR) 
-11.2 PPG, 2.2 RPG, & 2.5 APG.
---#2 Gary Ricks Jr. (SR)
-10.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG, & 2.2 APG.
---#11 Jacob Enevold Jensen (SR) 
-8.0 PPG & 5.5 RPG.
---#3 Jordan Daniels (SR)
-7.3 PPG.
---#25 Chris Caird (SR)
-7.2 PPG & 2.1 RPG.

10-20 (3-14) Southern Illinois
Conference Wins:
-Loyola (IL) 59-52 (Home)
-Bradley 70-59 (Home)
-Illinois State 65-59 (Home)
Single-Digit Conference Losses:
-Missouri State 53-50 (Home)
-Indiana State 59-56 (Home)
-Evansville 75-66 (Road)
-#18 Northern Iowa 59-52 (Home)
-Missouri State 52-46 (Road)
-Drake 63-61 (Road)
-Loyola 66-62 (Road)
-Evansville 72-64 (Home)  
Last Game:
-Loss To Illinois State 73-56 (Road)
Players to Watch:
---#25 Anthony Beane (JR) 
-16.5 PPG, 2.6 RPG, & 1.2 SPG.
---#14 Jordan Caroline (FR) 
-9.6 PPG & 6.5 RPG.
---#33 Sean O'Brien (SO) 
-7.2 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 1.7 APG, & 1.0 SPG.
---#1 Jalen Pendleton (JR)
-6.5 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.7 APG & 1.0 SPG.
---#5 Deion Lavender (FR)
-6.3 PPG & 2.4 RPG.

---Southern Illinois 61, Drake 59

11-18 (5-12) Missouri State
at 17-12 (7-10) Loyola (IL)

Significance: Win provides momentum heading into Arch Madness.

11-18 (5-12) Missouri State
Conference Wins:
-Southern Illinois 53-50 (Road)
-Drake 62-37 (Home)
-Southern Illinois 52-46 (Home)
-Indiana State 60-56 (Home)
Single-Digit Conference Losses:
-Evansville 56-54 (Home)
-Bradley 61-59 (Road)
-Loyola (IL) 53-50 (Home)
-Evansville 73-66 (Road)
Last Game:
-Win Against Bradley 80-77 in Triple Overtime (Home)
Players to Watch:
---#30 Camyn Boone (JR)
-8.6 PPG & 5.3 RPG.
---#2 Austin Ruder (SO) 
-8.0 PPG & 2.2 RPG.
---#23 Dorian Williams (JR)
-7.4 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 4.5 RPG, & 1.6 SPG.
---#33 Chris Kendrix (FR)
-6.6 PPG & 3.7 RPG.
---#20 Gavin Thurman (JR)
-5.9 PPG & 2.4 RPG.

17-12 (7-10) Loyola (IL)
Solid Wins:
-Kent State 69-61 (Road)
-Texas Tech 62-44 in the Semi-Finals of the Las Vegas Classic.
-Boise State 48-45 in the Championship of the Las Vegas Classic.
-Bradley 64-49 (Home)
-Evansville 71-70 (Road)
-Missouri State 53-50 without Milton Doyle and Christian Thomas (Road) 
Single-Digit Conference Losses:
-#23 Northern Iowa 67-58 (Road)
-Southern Illinois 59-52 (Road)
-Southern Illinois 59-52 (Road)
-Evansville 65-56 (Home)
-Illinois State 48-45 (Home)
-Illinois State 67-60 (Road)
Last Game:
-Win Against Drake 80-75 in Overtime (Road)
Players to Watch:
---#35 Milton Doyle (SO) 
(DNP in last eleven with ankle injury.)
-11.5 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 4.2 APG, & 1.1 SPG.
---#32 Christian Thomas (SR)
-11.2 PPG & 4.1 RPG.
---#24 Montel James (JR)
-9.2 PPG & 4.4 RPG.
---#4 Devon Turk (JR)
-8.1 PPG & 2.5 RPG.
---#2 Earl Peterson (JR)
-7.9 PPG, 2.0 RPG, & 1.9 APG.


---Loyola 65, Missouri State 60

Arch Madness if it Started Yesterday
1. Northern Iowa 27-2 (16-1) 
2. Wichita State 27-3 (16-1)
3. Indiana State 14-15 (10-7) 
4. Illinois State 18-11 (10-7)
5. Evansville 19-10 (9-8) 
6. Loyola (IL) 17-12 (7-10) 
7. Drake 9-20 (6-11)
8. Missouri State 11-18 (5-12)
9. Southern Illinois 10-20 (3-14) 
10. Bradley 8-22 (3-14)

Thursday Night
G1: MOST vs SIU (MOST Swept the Season Series)
G2: DRAKE vs BRAD (DRAKE Swept the Season Series)

Friday Afternoon
G3: UNI vs W-G1
G4: EVAN vs ILST (ILST Won First Meeting at Redbird Arena)
Friday Night
G5: INST vs LOY (INST Swept the Season Series)
G6: WSU vs W-G2

PW's Prediction Record Coming into Today: 186-65 (68-17 in the MVC)

Friday, February 27, 2015

PW's College Basketball Predictions for February 27

By Peyton Wesner

For me it is always exciting to see the last "One-Bid Conference" Friday since that means the conference tournaments are very close! This evening we have five games that are very important to conference tournament seeding as well as who will get the NCAA Tournament berth in the Ivy League. 

10-17 (7-11) Siena
at 14-13 (8-10) Quinnipiac

10-17 (7-11) Siena
Solid Wins:
-St. Bonaventure 73-70 (Road)
-Quinnipiac 88-67 (Home)
-Fairfield 68-67 (Road)
-Rider 79-72 (Home)
Single-Digit Conference Losses:
-Manhattan 87-79 (Road)
-Iona 87-83 (Road)
-Saint Peter's 65-57 (Road)
-Canisius 69-63 (Home)
Last Game:
-Loss To Manhattan 80-74 (Home) 
Key Contributors:
---#33 Rob Poole (SR)
-14.6 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 1.9 APG, & 1.2 SPG.
---#1 Marquis Wright (SO)
-12.8 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 4.8 APG, & 2.0 SPG.
---#24 Lavon Long (SO)
-10.9 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.7 APG, & 1.0 SPG.
---#0 Javion Ogunyemi (SO)
-9.5 PPG, 4.7 RPG, & 1.4 BPG.
---#5 Evan Hymes (SR)
-8.5 PPG.
---#3 Ryan Oliver (JR)
-6.3 PPG, 2.7 RPG, & 1.1 SPG.

14-13 (8-10) Quinnipiac
Good Wins:
-Yale 88-85 in Double Overtime (Home)
-Albany 76-73 in Overtime (Road)
-Oregon State 60-52 (Home)
-Monmouth 68-64 (Road)
-Manhattan 73-59 (Home)
-Monmouth 72-52 (Home)
Single-Digit Losses:
-Fairfield 56-52 in Overtime (Home)
-Saint Peter's 66-60 (Home)
-Iona 81-73 (Road)
-Rider 56-53 (Home)
-Canisius 63-57 (Road)
-Niagara 105-100 in Double Overtime (Road)
-Iona 60-57 (Home)
Last Game:
-Loss To Canisius 65-63 (Road)
Key Contributors:
---#1 Zaid Hearst (SR)
-18.2 PPG, 6.2 RPG & 2.6 APG.
---#23 Ousmane Drame (SR)
-14.6 PPG, 10.6 RPG, & 2.8 BPG.
---#21 Evan Conti (SR)
-8.9 PPG, 4.9 RPG, & 2.7 APG.
---#22 Justin Harris (SR)
-7.7 PPG, 6.4 RPG, & 1,0 BPG.

Siena's Rob Poole (SR)
-14.6 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 1.9 APG, & 1.2 SPG.
Quinnipiac's Zaid Hearst (SR)
-18.2 PPG, 6.2 RPG & 2.6 APG.

Let's face it, this game is definatley not the best of the night. Both teams playing are currently on three-game losing streaks and will have to start the MAAC Tournament in play-in games on Day 1. Although those facts are true, this matchup intrigues me a bit, especially since this will be the last time two "Star Seniors" face-off in Siena's Poole and Quinnipiac's Hearst. In additon, with a win Siena would hold a one-game lead over Quinnipiac in the conference standings due to holding the tie-breaker. The first meeting between the two squads, the Saints dismantled the Bobcats as five of their players were in double-digit point totals. Quinnipiac's Zach Hearst struggled greatly and finished the evening six for fifteen from the field. On national television, I believe Hearst will break his recent shooting woes at 30.7% and 10.7 points per game in his last six outings with a twenty-point performance while the defense outplays Siena.
---Quinnipiac 67, Siena 62

7:00 PM EST
12-13 (5-4) Princeton
at 19-8 (8-2) Yale
PW's Ivy League Game of the Night

12-13 (5-4) Princeton
Solid Wins:
-Rider 64-58 (Home)
-Stony Brook 77-64 (Home)
-Lipscomb 71-61 (Home)
-Norfolk State 71-61 (Home)
-Columbia 74-62 (Road)
Questionable Losses:
-George Mason 63-60 (Road)
-Incarnate Word 79-68 (Home)
-Fairleigh Dickinson 89-85 (Road)
-Saint Peter's 60-46 (Road)
-Cornell 68-60 (Road)
Last Game:
-Loss To Harvard 63-55 (Road)
Key Contributors:
---#10 Spencer Weisz (SO)
-12.0 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 2.7 APG, & 1.1 SPG.
---#30 Hans Brase (JR)
-11.1 PPG, 7.7 RPG, & 2.3 APG.
---#25 Steven Cook (SO)
-10.6 PPG, 3.5 RPG, & 1.8 SPG.
---#5 Amir Bell (FR)
-9.1 PPG, 3.2 RPG, & 2.6 APG.
---#3 Clay Wilson (SR)
-6.0 PPG.
---#31 Pete Miller (SO)
-6.0 PPG, 2.6 RPG, & 1.3 BPG.
---#12 Ben Hazel (SR)
-5.9 PPG.

19-8 (8-2) Yale
#12 Best Mid-Major According to
Good Wins:
-Southern Illinois 53-46 in Men Against Breast Cancer Classic (in Kent, Ohio)
-Kent State 66-59 in Championship of Men Against Breast Cancer Classic.
-Lafayette 82-60 (Home)
-Bryant 67-60 (Road)
-Connecticut 45-44 (Road)
-Vermont 57-56 (Road)
-Princeton 81-73 (Road)
Conference Losses:
-Harvard 52-50 (Home)
Last Game:
-Loss To Columbia 56-50 (Home)
Key Contributors:
---#22 Justin Sears (JR)
-14.2 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 2.5 BPG, & 1.0 SPG.
---#20 Javier Duren (SR)
-13.5 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 4.2 APG, & 1.3 SPG.
---#4 Jack Montague (JR)
-9.3 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 2.1 APG, & 1.0 SPG.
---#42 Matt Townsend (SR)
-8.3 PPG & 3.6 RPG.
---#12 Armani Cotton (SR)
-6.4 PPG & 5.5 RPG.
---#11 Makai Mason (FR)
-5.8 PPG & 2.2 RPG.

Princeton's Hans Brase (JR)
-11.1 PPG, 7.7 RPG, & 2.3 APG.
Yale's Justin Sears (JR)
-14.2 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 2.5 BPG, & 1.0 SPG.

Yale blew it! All they had to do was win out and even if they lost to Harvard, they would be tied for the conference championship! The Yale Bulldogs lost their first place spot in the Ivy League standings last Saturday as they were defeated 56-50 to Columbia at home. The Bulldogs, who shot 36.5% from the field and 43.8% from the charity stripe, had one of their worst performances of the season in addition to their two best players (Justin Sears and Javier Duren). Sears and Duren ended the night with a field goal percentage of 38.1% while combining for twenty points. As Yale is coming off their most disappointing loss of the season, the Princeton Tigers are coming off  an expected loss to Harvard. Crimson "Star Senior" Wesley Saunders had a great game against the Tigers and netted twenty-three points. Will Princeton cause the Bulldogs to be out of regular season conference champions contention--or make it nearly impossible? Personally, I do not believe the Bulldogs will lose a second straight game this evening, but I do think Sears and Duran will combine for thirty points in a multi-possession victory.
---Yale 64, Princeton 57

15-12 (12-6) Manhattan
at 23-6 (16-2) Iona
PW's Game of the Night
PW's MAAC Game of the Night

15-12 (12-6) Manhattan
Solid Conference Wins:
-Canisius 63-60 (Road)
-Monmouth 71-64 (Home)
-Siena 87-79 (Home)
-Monmouth 87-76 (Road)
-Canisius 78-69 (Home)
Single-Digit Conference Losses:
-Rider 82-79 in Overtime (Home)
-Rider 85-77 in Overtime (Road)
-Iona 70-67 (Home)
Last Game:
-Win Against Marist 67-54 (Road)
Key Contributors:
---#13 Emmy Andujar (SR)
-16.4 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 3.5 APG, & 2.2 SPG.
---#0 Shane Richards (JR)
-13.0 PPG, 3.2 RPG, & 1.7 APG.
---#1 Ashton Pankey (JR)
-12.9 PPG, 6.5 RPG, & 1.4 BPG.
---#12 Rashawn Stores (SR)
-6.1 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 3.0 APG, & 1.0 SPG.

23-5 (16-2) Iona
#15 Best Mid-Major According to
Lunardi's Bracketology: 12 Seed
Good Wins:
-Cleveland State 78-73 (Home)
-Wake Forest 85-81 (Road)
-Rider 77-64 (Home)
-Indiana State 91-84 (Home)
-Florida Gulf Coast 86-67 (Home)
-Rider 78-68 (Road)
-Manhattan 70-67 (Road)
Conference Losses:
-Monmouth 92-89 (Road)
-Canisius 78-74 (Road)
Last Game:
-Win Against Monmouth 69-68 (Home)
Key Contributors:
---#13 David Laury (SR)
-20.6 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 2.7 APG, & 1.3 BPG.
---#5 A.J. English (JR)
-19.4 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 5.3 APG, & 1.4 SPG.
---#4 Schadrac Casimir (FR)
-15.6 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 2.0 APG, & 1.1 SPG.
---#1 Isaiah Williams (JR)
(DNP in last twelve due to foot injury.)
-14.2 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.2 BPG, & 1.8 SPG.
---#2 Kelvin Amayo (JR)
-7.5 PPG, 4.3 RPG, & 2.6 APG.

Manhattan's Emmy Andujar (SR)
-16.4 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 3.5 APG, & 2.2 SPG.
Iona's David Laury (SR)
-20.6 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 2.7 APG, & 1.3 BPG.

Iona...Manhattan...Round Two! In case you missed the first meeting between these two great teams from the MAAC, Iona survived, but it was close. To start the showdown, the Gaels jumped out to a 9-2 lead with five of the early points coming from A.J. English. Halfway through the first half with the Gaels lead at 23-12, the Jaspers started a 14-3 run to tie the game at 26. Manhattan was back in the game and the crowd was rocking...until Iona Freshman Schadrac Casimir showed the home faifthful what he could do. Schadrac scored ten of his game-high twenty-two points in the final 6:48, giving Iona a 37-30 lead going into halftime. Coming out of the second half, it was more of the same and Iona increased their lead to twelve. Personally, at this point I thought the Gaels had the game won, but Jaspers' Junior Shane Richards had other plans and nailed two three pointers to make the lead six and get the enviornment rocking again. Later, Richards tickled the twine again giving Manhattan their first lead of the game at the 9:21 mark. The next 8:28 was crazy as the game went back and forth. Then with thirty-two seconds left in regulation, Iona's A.J. English hit the biggest shot of the game as he made a three to give his team a three point lead. The Jaspers' insuing possesion went to Shane Richards. Richards rose up and attempted the game-tying shot. Miss. The rebound landed in the hands of Manhattan's Emmy Andujar, and he was fouled. Andujar made both free throws with seven seconds left, and the Jaspers sent Iona's David Laury to the line for two shots. Laury, who was a 65.8% shooter at the charity stripe, defied the law of averages and gave his team a three point lead. Manhattan hurriedly inbounded the ball and rushed it up court to take a time-out with four seconds in front of their bench. With the game on the line, the ball found the way into the hands of Zane Waterman and him, not Richards attempted a shot to force overtime. Clank! Waterman missed and Iona won. So what will happen tonight? Obviously noted is the fact that the Gaels are one of the higest scoring teams in the nation, but they have no defense to go along with it. Although, Manhattan has the better defense, they do not have enough scoring to win on the road. Look for David Laury to go out in style with a great performance on Senior Night while helping his time get their seventeenth conference win.  
---Iona 75, Manhattan 69

9-17 (4-11) Ohio
at 17-11 (8-7) Akron
MAC's Game of the Night

9-17 (4-11) Ohio
Solid Wins:
-DePaul 99-78 in Consolation Semi-Final of Diamond Head Classic.
-UNC Wilmington 72-53 (Home)
-Buffalo 63-61 (Home)
-Akron 83-82 (Home)
-Eastern Michigan 76-73 (Home)
Single-Digit Conference Losses:
-Toledo 80-73 (Home)
-Central Michigan 74-69 (Road)
Last Game:
-Loss To Bowling Green 76-65 (Home)
Key Contributors:
---#5 Maurice Daly Ndour (SR)
-14.8 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 1.7 APG, 2.1 BPG, & 1.1 SPG.
---#3 Javarez Willis (SR)
-14.4 PPG, 2.9 RPG, & 3.0 APG.
---#33 Antonio Campbell (SO)
-10.5 PPG & 7.4 RPG.
---#14 Ryan Taylor (FR)
-8.4 PPG & 2.4 RPG.
---#22 Steve Taylor (SR)
-7.3 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 2.5 APG, & 1.2 SPG.

17-11 (8-7) Akron
Solid Wins
-USC 66-46 in Quarterfinal of Charleston Classic.
-South Carolina 68-62 in Consolation Championship.
-Bryant 72-66 (Home)
-Western Michigan 72-52 (Home)
-Bowling Green 67-50 (Home)
-Central Michigan 82-76 (Home)
-Western Michigan 71-69 (Road)
-Bowling Green 69-68 (Road)
-Buffalo 75-72 (Home)
-Kent State 61-52 (Home)
Poor Conference Losses:
-Northern Illinois 64-61 (Road)
-Ohio 83-82 (Road)
-Eastern Michigan 78-75 (Road)
-Miami (OH) 57-52 in Overtime (Home)
Last Game:
-Loss To Buffalo 67-62 (Road)
Key Contributors:
---#34 Pat Forsythe (JR)
-11.1 PPG, 5.6 RPG, & 1.4 BPG.
---#4 Deji Ibitayo (SR)
-10.1 PPG, 3.2 RPG, & 1.0 SPG.
---#14 Noah Robotham (FR)
(Out for season with torn rIght ACL.)
-9.9 PPG, 2,7 RPG, 3.3 APG, & 1.3 SPG.
---#2 Kwan Cheatham Jr. (SO)
-8.1 PPG, 4.7 RPG, & 1.2 BPG.
---#21 Reggie McAdams (JR)
-6.0 PPG & 1.8 RPG.

Ohio's Maurice Daly Ndour (SR)
-14.8 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 1.7 APG, 2.1 BPG, & 1.1 SPG.
Akron's Pat Forsythe (JR)
-11.1 PPG, 5.6 RPG, & 1.4 BPG.

Maybe it is just me, but I thought Ohio was going to be waaaaaaay better than they actually are this season. The last time I checked on the Bobcats, it was around Christmas and they were at the Diamond Head Classic. I looked at Ohio's body of work during the tournament and thought that they could be a threat in the Mid-American Conference considering they have a trio of talent in Maurice Daly Ndour, Javarez Willis, and Antonio Campbell. How wrong was I! The Bobcats come into tonight with a conference record of 4-11 to go along with a five-game losing streak. Luckily for Ohio, they will stand a chance since their opponent is dragging a four-game losing streak behind them as well. The Akron Zips picked a horrible time in the conference season to forget how to win. Four games ago the Zips were towards the top of their division with a conference record of 8-3. Today, they are 8-7. What is the reason for the defeats? Obviously all games were close and some breaks didn't go their way, but the offense has been shooting the awful percentage of 36.3%. Yuck! But their is a chance for revenge of the February 4th loss tonight. In meeting one, Ohio came out on top because of a career-high 31 points from Jarvarez Willis. I do not forsee Willis having another career night since the Zips have already seen him once and he comes in averaging only 5.0 points per game in his last two outings. Normally I like a team with scorers, but this time I am going with the group with the better defense. 
---Akron 73, Ohio 65

25-5 (12-3) Valparaiso
at 17-12 (11-4) Cleveland State
PW's Horizon League Game of the Night
PW's Reason to Stay Up Late

25-5 (12-3) Valparaiso
#5 Best Mid-Major According to
Lunardi's Bracketology: 13 Seed
Solid Wins:
-East Tennessee State 90-75 (Home)
-Murray State 93-58 (Home)
-Portland 70-55 in Championship of the Challenge in Music City.
-Eastern Kentucky 72-66 (Road)
-James Madison 79-52 (Road)
-Cleveland State 58-56 (Home)
-Oakland 82-76 (Home)
-Green Bay 63-59 (Home)
-Missouri 56-41 (Road)
-New Mexico 63-46 (Home)
-Oakland 89-75 in Overtime (Road)
-Green Bay 51-50 (Road)
Last Game:
-Loss To Detroit 63-60 (Road)
Key Contributors:
---#25 Alec Peters (SO)
-16.9 PPG & 6.9 RPG.
---#5 Darien Walker (JR)
-11.0 PPG, 4.4 RPG & 1.9 APG.
---#2 Tevonn Walker (FR)
-10.7 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 1.9 APG, & 1.2 BPG.
---#0 Keith Carter (JR)
-9.1 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 3.6 APG, & 1.3 SPG.
---#14 Vashil Fernandez (SR)
-6.8 PPG, 5.9 RPG, & 2.9 BPG.
---#1 E. Victor Nickerson (JR)
-6.1 PPG, 2.2 RPG, & 2.0 APG.

17-12 (11-4) Cleveland State
Solid Wins:
-San Francisco 69-65 in Overtime (Home)
-Milwaukee 84-57 (Home)
-Oakland 65-61 (Home)
-Detroit 70-66 (Home)
-Green Bay 76-62 (Home)
-Green Bay 66-61 in Overtime (Road)
Conference Losses:
-Valparaiso 58-56 (Road)
-Oakland 59-56 (Road)
-Detroit 66-65 (Road)
Last Game:
-Loss To Milwaukee 66-60 (Road)
Key Contributors:
---#3 Trey Lewis (JR)
-17.1 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 2.9 APG, & 1.3 SPG.
---#15 Anton Grady (JR)
-14.0 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 1.6 SPG, & 1.4 BPG.
---#31 Charlie Lee (SR)
-12.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 4.1 APG, & 1.0 SPG.
---#42 Marlin Mason (SR)
-7.6 PPG. 4.6 RPG, & 1.1 BPG.
---#1 Andre Yates (SO)
-5.9 PPG, 1.7 APG, & 1.4 SPG.

Valparaiso's Alec Peters (SO)
-16.9 PPG & 6.9 RPG.
Cleveland State's Anton Grady (JR)
-14.0 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 1.6 SPG, & 1.4 BPG.

Since the days of Gordon Hayward, Shelvin Mack, and Norris Cole, I have believed that one of the best mid-major conferences--if not the best in the nation--was the Horizon League. This year is support to my argument. Coming into each team's final game prior to the conference tournament, the Horizon League's standings leader is Valparaiso by one game over Oakland and Green Bay, who face-off against each other tomorrow, and tonight's opponent the Cleveland State Vikings. In fact, if Cleveland State wins tonight, there would be a three-way tie for first place at the end of the day tomorrow, but if "Sophomore Stud" Alec Peters and the Crusaders can get a huge road win, then they would be the regular season conference champions and, more importantly, receive home-court advantage throughout the tournament. So with that being said, this is the most important game of each team's season. In the first meeting, the game was very exciting as Valpo hung on for a two point victory. Cleveland State had their chance at tying the game as Vikings' star Trey Lewis was fouled on a three point attempt with 1.7 seconds left in the game. Lewis, who is the third best free throw shooter on the team at 76.1%, made the first attempt but surprisingly missed the second. There was no other choice but to miss the third and pray for an offensive rebound and put back. The ball clanked off the rim and fell in the hands of Valparaiso's E. Victor Nickerson. What will happen tonight as Cleveland State tries to black-out Valpo? No matter who wins this game, I will throughly enjoy watching because there is so much on the line. With that being said, Cleveland State was defeated in a neutral site semi-final last season. This year, they are a different team as Lewis and Grady are better and more experienced. The individual matchup to watch is Valparaiso's Alec Peters versus Cleveland State's Anton Grady. Whichever big man can control the paint with a combination of points, rebounds, and blocks will get his team the win. With the game at Cleveland State, I see that man being Grady and the team being the Vikings.
---Cleveland State 64, Valparaiso 62

PW's Prediction Record Coming into Today: 182-64 (68-17 in the MVC)