Sunday, November 20, 2011

Predictions For The Week Ahead

It should be a good week ahead for the Big Sky, as we get into the heart of non-conference play and the always busy Thanksgiving weekend time.

@ Montana State 67, Seattle 58 (11/22)
Portland State needed a last-second shot to beat Seattle, but the Bobcats have some momentum after beating Utah, and they will be playing with a lot of confidence. Montana State will eventually need to find a go-to guy, but for now their balance is their strength. They have a lot of guys that can hurt you.

Iowa State 77, Northern Colorado 63 (11/22)
Iowa State is simply a bit more talented than UNC, as the Bears will have their hands full trying to slow down Royce White.So far this year, White has shown all of the talent that originally made him a high recruit, with averages of 23 and 12.5 through two games. UNC will need to be firing from the outside if they want to have a chance in this game.

Eastern Washington 71, @ Hawaii 67 (11/22)
It is never easy to go to Hawaii and play, but there is something I like about this Eastern Washington group. They have played Gonzaga and  Oregon very tough on the road, and I think they can pull one out against Hawaii. They will need good games from Collin Chiverton and Cliff Colimon, two guys that have looked very solid so far this year. EWU is reliant on the three-point shot, so they will need it to be falling.

Montana 63, @ North Dakota 58 (11/23)
North Dakota is a talented team. They beat Idaho State pretty easily at home, and gave Bradley all the wanted on the road. But they are still a young team, and I think they will struggle with the defensive intensity of Montana. It will be a matchup of the guards, especially if Derek Selvig is still unable to go. While UND's guards are good, Montana's are a little more complete.

@ Wyoming 70, Portland State 65 (11/25)
Wyoming beat UNC soundly at home, and this one will be in Laramie. Portland State is certainly good enough to win this, but they have been a bit uneven so far this year. They laid an egg offensively against Denver, and they needed a furious comeback to beat a middling Seattle team at home. I see them falling behind early, and spending the rest of the game catching up.

@ Idaho 65, Montana State 61 (11/26)
Montana dominated the first half when they played Idaho, before struggling in the second half. As I talked about earlier, the Bobcats are off to a nice start, but it will be a road test going to Idaho on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Idaho has been a solid three-point shooting team, so Montana State will have to guard the perimeter.

@ Montana 68, Long Beach State 67 (11/26)
The game of the week in the Big Sky, and this prediction is based on the fact that I think Derek Selvig will be able to play by the time this game rolls around. LBSU was already a popular Cinderella pick before the year, and then they went and beat #9 Pittsburgh. They are very talented, lead by PG Casper Ware. Montana is pretty good themselves, and they are looking for a signature win out of conference, and this is one that would hold up well. This pick is based on the fact that I think Will Cherry, the best defender in the BSC, can slow down Ware.

Utah State 67, @ Idaho State 57 (11/26)
With the way New Mexico State has played this year, I am not so sure that Utah State is still the favorite in the WAC, but they still have plenty of talent to take down the Bengals. Idaho State needs Melvin Morgan to start playing like the guy he was hyped up to be. This game is in Pocatello, but it is hard to see the Bengals pulling off the upset.

Any games that you disagree on?

Season Record: 6-3

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  1. What about ISU and Loyola Marymount in Pocatello on Wednesday. LMU has beaten UCLA.

  2. What about Sac State at ucdavis in the basketball Causeway Classic?!?!

  3. I like Sac State to win a close game vs UCDavis. Don't really like what I have seen from UCDavis this year.

  4. Sac St for the win! ( =

  5. Yes, very nice win!! I was worried in the first half, but they certainly came out to play after the break!

  6. Any thoughts on the Bengals tonight? I think it will be a really good test before Utah St; teams seem somewhat evenly match-up.

  7. Pretty even, I do think Loyola Marymount has the edge... ISU needs some better play from Melvin Morgan. If I had to pick I would say LMU by about 7.

  8. LMU by 7 over ISU is optimistic in ISU's favor --the Bengals really don't have much.

  9. Just saw they are missing Ashley Hamilton who is averaging 15 ppg this season, plus Drew Viney is out, who hasn't played this season, but pretty much their bad ass last year.

    Good news for the Bengals, but I still think they fall short tonight. We'll see...

  10. Morgan can shoot the 3 ball no question about it but I did not see him as a penetrating point guard tonight, something that ISU has lacked for years. LMU struggled without Hamilton but managed to win. Liked LMU's point guard.

  11. ISU and UM both losing in OT, weak...

  12. That certainly looked like a good one... interesting observation about Morgan, that will be something watch. Finally had the big game ISU has been waiting for. Montana was a tough loss, though UND is a pretty solid team. Doesn't seem like Selvig is all the way back yet.