Sunday, January 30, 2011

Eight is enough: Seems like everybody is playing on Sunday

Sunday's previews:

Virginia (12-10, 1-5 ACC) at Clemson (9-13, 2-5), 2 p.m.
Here's a golden chance for the Cavaliers to pick up a second ACC win. They've beaten the Tigers seven straight though are 13-14 at Clemson. Virginia's go-to player in the conference has been Ataira Franklin (10.7 in ACC games), but they need to develop more scoring consistency to make any noisein this conference. Both teams are coming off losses: Virginia to North Carolina and Clemson to Duke. Virginia 70, Clemson 59

Longwood (4-14) at Maryland (17-13), 2 p.m.
David, meet Goliath. The Terps, who lead the ACC in attendance, are ranked 14th nationally behind Alyssa Thomas (six double-doubles in the last seven games). They dominated the Lancers in Farmville 85-40 last year. Longwood is 1-7 on the road. Maryland 83, Longwood 48

Virginia Tech (9-11, 0-6) at North Carolina (18-3, 4-2), 2 p.m.
Hokies stunned the Tar Heels last year 79-64 in their finest performance of the season. We'd love to see it happen again. NC is ripe, with Jessica Breland out with a knee injury. But we're hard pressed to see the Hokies win in Chapel Hill for the first time ever. We like North Carolina's offense better than Tech's, and though we're pulling for the Hokies, we're not picking them. North Carolina 78, Virginia Tech 67

James Madison (14-6, 7-1 CAA) at Towson (7-12, 1-7), 2 p.m.
First-place Dukes vs. last-place Tigers? Easy, right? The last three in this series have been nailbiters. Last year the Dukes won in OT and two years ago the Tigers won by 10. Call us boring but we still like the team that has won nine of its last 10 versus the team that has dropped four straight. James Madison 70, Towson 58

Georgia State (7-12, 2-6 CAA) at Old Dominion (13-6, 7-1), 2 p.m.
Bring a can of food and get a ticket for $5. ODU was nearly beaten by the Panthers in Atlanta earlier this year but scored the last nine points to rally from five down with 2:23 left.Georgia State is only averaging 57 ppg. ODU, still in a tie for first with JMU and Wilmington, is not exactly a scoring machine, but we like Tia Lewis' chances to get another double-double. Old Dominion 63, Georgia State 55

Drexel (12-7, 4-4 CAA) at Virginia Commonwealth (11-7, 6-2), 2 p.m.
While the Dragons' conference record isn't all that daunting, Drexel remains a dangerous team, a fact the Rams can attest to. VCU hasn't won a home game against Drexel since 2008. The Dragons have won three straight in the series and six of the last eight. Those stats aside, we like VCU's chances behind Courtney Hurt and Andrea Barbour. But beware of the 3, Rams. Just ask the Tribe, beaten by Drexel at the buzzer thanks to a 3. VCU 58, Drexel 52

William and Mary (2-16, 1-7 CAA) at UNC Wilmington (15-4, 7-1), 2 p.m.
See above (JMU vs Towson) as this is another case of a first-place league team playing a last-place league team. Cynthia Cooper-Dyke has worked wonders with the Seahawks this season, who are 7-1 at home behind eight players shooting better than 40 percent from the field. The leader of the pack is Brittany Blackwell (15.9 ppg, 57 percent).  The Tribe has dropped three in a row in this series and despite a fine showing against ODU on Thursday, we're going with the surprise first-place team in the league. Wilmington 77, William and Mary 61

George Mason (9-10, 3-5 CAA) at Northeastern (8-11, 3-5), 2 p.m.
Patriots are coming off a great big road win at Delaware. Earlier in the week the Huskies dismissed sophomores Rachael Pecota and Afreya Tolbert from the team, saying they did not live up to team and department expectations. Pecota, who started eight games, was Northeastern's leading scoring (13.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg). Tolbert, who started 15 games, averaged 9.2 ppg and 4.9 rpg. We give the nod to the Patriots given the turmoil. George Mason 62, Northeastern 60

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