Big East / SEC Invitational 12/1 - 12/3

Big East / SEC Invitational 12/1 – 12/3

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This year the Big East / SEC Invitational is taking on a new, more inclusive format. Instead of a mere four games at two sites, the series will now have a dozen games with each conference hosting six. Of course, four Big East teams are left out, while all the SEC teams will participate. The new format forces the schedule to open a bit more and is certainly a good thing for fans. Uconn probably did not get its way and might actually have to play a real road game at some point…but not this year.


December 1st

St. John’s at Kentucky

St. John’s has beaten the teams they should beat, but they are a young team that has had trouble with more talented squads like Arizona and Texas A&M. And there are not many more talented teams out there than Kentucky. With St. John’s hitting the road for this one, the Wildcats should win handily.

Predicted Winner: Kentucky


Georgetown at Alabama

Georgetown is coming off of a nice showing in Maui while Alabama won it all in Puerto Rico with victories over Maryland, Wichita State and Purdue. The Hoyas have proven that they can play with anybody and this should be a close and thrilling game. But the Crimson Tide will be difficult for Georgetown to defend with forwards Tony Mitchell and JaMychal Green leading the way.

Predicted Winner: Alabama


Providence at South Carolina

Well they all can’t be good games. Providence did win at Fairfield, Coach Ed Cooley’s old stomping grounds, and that is a much better win then it sounds. South Carolina has had trouble getting its offense moving and has a couple bad losses already. The Friars are playing better ball right now, but this should be a close game since it is in South Carolina.

Predicted Winner: Providence


Mississippi at DePaul

This won’t be a good game either, but it might be close. Like Providence and South Carolina, the better team has to hit the road and that may lead to a fun finish. Ole Miss has been pretty steady this year and has a lot of weapons on both ends of the floor. DePaul will not be able to keep up even at home.

Predicted Winner: Mississippi


December 2nd  

Vanderbilt at Louisville

Vanderbilt rebounded nicely following their upset loss to Cleveland State. John Jenkins and Jeffery Taylor are great players and the team is getting used to life without Festus Ezeli. Louisville is banged up, but playing great defense. If Jenkins and Taylor can break the Cardinals defense, this is a game Vanderbilt could easily win. However, Freedom Hall will be rocking and Kyle Kuric and Chris Smith will give the Cardinals enough offensive firepower to squeeze out a win.

Predicted Winner: Louisville


Florida at Syracuse

Florida has already hit the road once to play one of the top teams in the nation. On November 15th the Gators lost by seven at Ohio State. Few teams in the nation can match the Gators talent on the perimeter as Kenny Boynton, Erving Walker, Brad Beal and Mike Rosario can all go off for 20 or more points on any given night. The Orange has plenty of talent of their own all over the floor led by Kris Joseph and Brandon Triche. Syracuse has the deeper bench, but Florida has big game experience. The Gators can win this thing if it turns into a track meet. Without a Jared Sullinger to worry about, this game will become a battle of the backcourts and Florida has that advantage.

Predicted Winner: Florida


Cincinnati at Georgia

Both of these teams have a pretty large blemish on their early season slate. Cincinnati lost at home to Presbyterian and Georgia got absolutely blown out by California. Losing to Cal is understandable, but not by a score of 70-46. Georgia is a young team that will be prone to inconsistencies for a while. Cincinnati should be able to take advantage of that youth and expect big games from Cashmere Wright and Yancy Gates.

Predicted Winner: Cincinnati


Auburn at Seton Hall

This will be the Tigers first road trip and that can be tough, especially when it is to a place like Seton Hall. Auburn does not have a very talented team this year anyway and Seton Hall will be the favorites. The Pirates have three big time scorers with Herb Pope, Jordan Theodore and Fuquan Edwin and Auburn will not be able to stop all three of them.

Predicted Winner: Seton Hall


December 3rd  

Arkansas at Connecticut

Much like Auburn, Arkansas has not been tested on the road prior to this game. However, the Razorbacks do have a little more talent and experience. Unfortunately, Marshawn Powell contained much of that talent and experience and he is out for the year. That gives Arkansas little chance to go into Storrs and come out with a victory.

Predicted Winner: Connecticut


Pittsburgh at Tennessee

Tennessee left Maui with only a victory over Chaminade, but they played a good game against Duke and took Memphis to double overtime. Pittsburgh has not blown out the competition and lost to Long Beach State, but the Panthers should be able to win on the road against a Tennessee team that is not strong defensively and is prone to make mistakes. Pittsburgh will take advantage of that.

Predicted Winner: Pittsburgh


West Virginia at Mississippi State

Mississippi State beat Texas A&M and Arizona in back to back days. Those are a couple signature wins that will go a long way in March. Beating West Virginia would help the resume as well. The Bulldogs have been more consistent than the Mountaineers and the homecourt advantage should be enough to give MSU the slight edge.

Predicted Winner: Mississippi State


LSU at Rutgers

As it turns out, this otherwise pretty meaningless game could go a long way in determining the winner of the Big East / SEC Invitational. Neither Rutgers nor LSU have had good seasons or are expected to get much better. Playing in New Jersey is a big advantage for Rutgers, but LSU has already won some quality games away from home. Justin Hamilton, Johnny O’Bryant and Storm Warren should dominate the glass and that will lead to a Tigers road victory and a tie in the 12 game Big East / SEC Invitational.

Predicted Winner: LSU


Predicted Series Score:

Big East: 6

SEC: 6