Utah State @ Georgetown (-8.5) Take Georgetown- The undefeated Georgetown Hoyas welcome the jet-lagged Aggies to the Verizon Center, where Georgetown has lost just one non-conference game in the last three years. Austin Freeman, Chris Wright, and Jason Clark form arguably the strongest backcourt trio in the Big East, averaging a combined 52 PPG. Utah State is a veteran team, with nine upperclassmen returning from a team that received a controversial at-large bid into last year's NCAA tournament. This one should stay close throughout, but the Hoyas' pressure defense and uptempo offense should help them pull away in the second half.
Kentucky @ North Carolina (+1): Take Kentucky- Harrison Barnes and North Carolina might be figuring life out, but nothing about this team makes me think they're ready to take down the Wildcats at this point in the season. This game will stay close throughout because of Carolina's lanky big men Tyler Zeller and John Henson, but Kentucky is the superior team. Three of Kentucky's top four scorers are shooting over 50% from the field, led by Terrence Jones and his 20.7 PPG/ 10.2 RPG. He'll likely be guarded by the over-hyped freshman Barnes, certainly an intriguing match-up. North Carolina will really have to guard on the perimeter where Kentucky has excelled from 3-point land shooting 41%. Look for a young Wildcat team to notch a hard-fought road win.
North Carolina State @ Syracuse(-12): Take Syracuse- This would be a much tougher call if it weren't for the enormous loss of NC State senior forward Tracy Smith. If your a regular on SFBE, you'll know that Syracuse was publicly chided early for there lackluster play by none other than their head coach Jim Boeheim. Since his three point output against Detroit on November 16, junior wing Kris Joseph has averaged over 18 PPG and shooting well over 50% from the field. Joseph was heralded in the pre-season as the next star for the Orange and it seems he's embraced that role in the last four games. Syracuse is undefeated this year, and should stay that way with a convincing win at the Carrier Dome.