Videos by OutKick
College Basketball is picking up and the Thanksgiving games and tournaments are taking place. Today there is a massive slate of games and they run all day long. With that in mind, I have picked out plays in two of the bigger games on the slate. We have eight of the top-25 teams going today and play has already tipped off as I write this for some games. I’m looking at the only two matchups that have top-25 teams playing against each other.
Purdue vs. Gonzaga, 5:00 ET
The Maui Invitational always is a fun tournament. Purdue comes into the game as the second-ranked team in the country. They were one of the top teams in the country last year as well and a lot of that revolves around their center, Zach Edey. Edey seems to be one of those guys that will have a good college career, but most aren’t sold on the success that he will have in the NBA. I do want to point out that last season he was just as effective in games against top-25 teams. For Gonzaga, they lost their big man Drew Timme, and now search for ways to try and stop Edey in this game. To start the season, Gonzaga looks like they are trying to play a bit faster with their team this season. They have a transfer from Wyoming (Graham Ike) that has looked good to start the season. They also have Ryan Nembhard who will make life difficult defensively for Purdue. Gonzaga usually has a pretty good gameplan, but they haven’t had to have any sort of test this season, playing two poor opponents. Purdue has only played one more game, but it was against Xavier so at least it was somewhat of a tough game. They handled it with ease but were at home. I’m not sure that Gonzaga will have much of an answer for Edey, but like most teams, they will double him in the post and he will need to kick it out to the guards for somewhat open shots. I think the best bet here is that the game will go over the point total. Neither team is a sure thing to shut their opponent down. I lean toward the over and Purdue and will likely split a unit on both. But, I also think Edey will rack up rebounds in this one and like him to get over 11.5 rebounds in this game.
UConn vs. Texas, 7:00 ET
Purdue and Gonzaga will be the main course tonight, but I think I’d argue that Connecticut and Texas is a solid dessert for us. UConn comes into the game 4-0 and ready to unleash their backcourt on the Longhorns. Their backcourt is averaging over 45 points per game between Tristen Newton, Cam Spencer, and Stephon Castle. Perhaps the bigger impact has been the trio’s defense. They are also averaging more than five steals a game. They haven’t played in any close game so far this year, but I’m interested to see how they perform when they aren’t cruising past competition and are in a different environment (though being in Madison Square Garden is closer for them than Texas). The Longhorns are also 4-0 right now and have been tested in a close game. Yesterday, they took on Louisville and barely escaped with a victory. They won the game 81-80 and had to use a lot of energy to escape with a win. In comparing the backcourt, I feel like there is a pretty significant edge for UConn. Texas might be able to keep the game close if Kadin Shedrick finds a way to dominate. Texas has enough height to deal with him, but I think the skill of Shedrick could shine. If it does, the guards might get some open looks. The thing is I think UConn is the better team, they are fresher (both played yesterday, but UConn coasted), and I think UConn has the better talent overall. Back UConn -6 in this one.
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