College Basketball on Sling: Duke Finally Unveils Top Recruit Harry Giles, Kentucky and Louisville Revisit Old Rivalry, Villanova Still #1
Monday, December 19
Tennessee State (8-2) vs #tk Duke (10-1)
7pm ET on ESPN2
The Tennessee State Tigers had an easy go of it in their last outing, holding the Alabama State Hornets to 25.4% shooting en route to a 68-46 victory, as Jordan Reed had a game high 13, and Wane Martin grabbed 13 boards to go along with 5 points. The Tigers play tough D, allowing opponents to shoot just 37.7% from the floor for 64.2 ppg. Martin, a 6-7 sophomore forward out of Brooklyn, is the team’s leading scorer and rebounder with 13-10, while senior guard Tahjere McCall works the point, posting 12-6-5 with 3 steals a game.
An already stacked Duke team weathered a number of injuries to start the season, but for the past 3 games they’ve been joined by freshman Jayson Tatum (15 ppg, 7 rpg) and Marques Bolden (4.3 ppg 2 rpg in 9 minutes per game). And tonight they will unveil their top recruit for the 2016-17 season, 6-foot-10, 240-pound Harry Giles, who’s coming off arthroscopic surgery in October. Even without Giles, the Blue Devils last week destroyed the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels 94-45, shooting better from the floor (58.7%) than the Rebs shot from the line (50.0%), outrebounding them 37-25, and tripling their assist total, 18-6, while Grayson Allen scored a career-high 34. Sophomore Luke Kennard is leading the team with 20 ppg, while fifth-year senior Amile Jefferson is averaging a double-double with 15-11.
Cornell (2-6) vs #tk USC (10-0)
10:30pm ET on Pac-12 Network
Tuesday, December 20
Eastern Washington (8-3) vs #tk Xavier (9-2)
6:30pm on FS1
New Mexico (7-4) vs #tk Arizona (10-2)
9pm ET on Pac-12 Network
#tk Creighton (11-0) vs Arizona State (6-5)
9pm ET on ESPN2
Fresno State (8-3) vs <.b>#tk Oregon (10-2)
11pm ET on Pac-12 Network
Wednesday, December 21
Elon (7-4) vs #tk Duke (10-1)
6pm ET on ESPN2
American (2-7) vs #tk Villanova (11-0)
6:30pm ET on FS1
#tk Kentucky (10-1) vs #tk Louisville (10-1)
7pm ET on ESPN
It’s the Battle for Kentucky, featuring the high-octane freshman of the University Kentucky Wildcats against the lockdown D of the Louisville Cardinals, with bragging rights and a spot in the top 10 on the line. The ‘Cats won last year’s showdown 75-73, as they pounded the Cardinals with 3-pointers, hitting 11 of 23.
Freshman Malik Monk has been on everyone’s radar pretty much since he committed to Kentucky, but Saturday’s 103-100 win over North Carolina was a breakout performance, as he scored 47 points on 18-of-28 shooting, including a 3 with 18 seconds to play that put the Wildcats up for good 101-100. De’Aaron Fox would get one of his 10 assists on Monk’s big 3, and then scored the game’s final 2 points on a pair of free throws to finish with 24. Monk leads the ‘Cats with 22.9 ppg, while Fox is second with 15.9 ppg and tops in assists with 7.2. Kentucky is outscoring the opposition by 23.6 ppg, and their lone loss was at the hands of undefeated UCLA.
The Louisville Cardinals are coming off an 87-56 beatdown of the Eastern Kentucky Colonels in which Donovan Mitchell scored a game-high 15 points, the Cardinals dominated the glass 47-27, and held EK to just 36% shooting. In fact, the Cardinals have been holding foes to 36% shooting all season long, enjoying a rebounding advantage of 9.3 per game, and have allowed the 11th fewest points per game in the land at 59.4. For all their defensive muscle, the Cardinals are a little light on the other side of the ball, shooting just 43% from the floor, and Mitchell leads the team in scoring at just 11.3. If the old adage is true about defense winning championships, these guys are a lock for the Elite Eight.
Northern Iowa (5-5) vs #tk North Carolina (10-2)
8pm ET on ESPN2
South Dakota (tk) vs #tk Gonzaga (tk)
9pm ET on ESPN3
Clemson (8-2) vs #tk South Carolina (9-1)
9pm ET on ESPNU
#tk Virginia (9-1) vs Cal (9-2)
10pm ET on ESPN2
Western Michigan (3-7) vs #tk UCLA (12-0)
11pm ET on Pac-12
The Western Michigan Broncos had a 5-point lead with 8:52 to play over the Washington Huskies on Sunday, but failed to close the deal, as the Huskies Markelle Fultz took over, scoring 10 points in the final 6 minutes to lead his team to a 92-86 win. The loss wasted a huge effort from 6-6 senior guard Tucker Haymond, who poured in 28 points on 9-of-15 shooting, as his team lost a shootout 57.4% to 50.0%.
Freshman sensation TJ Leaf, the 6-foot-10 forward out of El Cajon, California, continues to light up the scoreboard for the UCLA Bruins, leading the team in points and rebounds with 18-9, while fellow frosh Lonzo Ball has been averaging 14-6-9. Despite an off night from Leaf (13-8) on Saturday against Ohio State, the Bruins still won, 86-73, as Bryce “The Coach’s Kid” Alford picked up the slack with a game-high 20 points, and Isaac Hamilton kicked in with 17-8-3. No one’s really come close to beating UCLA this year, with the much ballyhooed Kentucky Wildcats palying them the toughest in losing by a margin of 97-92. The Bruins are second in the land in scoring at 96.9 ppg, thanks to being first in field goal percentage (55.4%), and assists (285), while also leading the country in defensive rebounds (383).
Thursday, December 21
Missouri State (7-3) vs #tk USC (10-0)
11pm ET on FS1