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SYRACUSE LOOKING TO ANSWER CRITICS AT JIMMY V CLASSIC
December 6, 2010

SCS.comSo weíre already starting to hear the talk that Duke could finish the 2010-11 season undefeated.

Let me make this simple for you: it wonít happen. It hasnít happened since 1976, and itíd take one heck of a team to accomplish the feat. UNLV was close in 1991ósome say that was the best team to ever take the floor. Remember this same discussion about North Carolina in 2008? Not even close. Dukeís great and all, and yes, Coach Kís got the best team in the nation without a doubt.

But theyíre not going undefeated. I understand the ACC is the weakest itís been in years, but an upset will happen at some point. Itís inevitable.

GAME OF THE WEEK

Michigan State vs. Syracuse, Jimmy V Classic
Tuesday 8:30 p.m. ESPN

Syracuse hasnít lost yet, but no Orange insiders are happy with the teamís play thus far. It needed to squeak out a victory at home against North Carolina State on Saturdayóa team that lost by nearly 40 points at Wisconsinóand itís struggled with guarantee games early in the season. Jim Boeheimís team will need to bring it to knock off Michigan State.

Prediction: Michigan State 75, Syracuse 66

OTHERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON

Memphis vs. Kansas, Jimmy V Classic
Tuesday 6 p.m. ESPN

Memphis and Kansas are both 7-0, but they could easily have a loss at this point. KU edged UCLA after benefiting from a horrendous foul call that allowed it make a tie-breaking free throw with less than a second remaining. And the Tigers needed overtime to beat Arkansas State earlier this month.

Prediction: Kansas 73, Memphis 60

Vanderbilt at Missouri
Wednesday 8 p.m. ESPNU

Itíll be all about tempo Wednesday night for these two teams. Vanderbiltís got athletes, but on the road itíll need to slow things down and let the Princeton offense go to work in the halfcourt. Missouri, of course, will need to make this a transition game to defend its home court. The Tigers donít have anyone to match-up with Jeffrey TaylorÖ but then again, who does?

Prediction: Missouri 83, Vanderbilt 80

Notre Dame at Kentucky
Wednesday 8 p.m.

Kentucky saw nearly its entire team foul out Saturday against North Carolina, and still only lost by two points. Thereís serious depth and frontcourt issues for John Calipari, so weíll see how UK handles an upstart Notre Dame squad.

Prediction: Notre Dame 69, Kentucky 62

Georgetown at Temple
Thursday 6 p.m.

Neither team broke 50 points in last yearís meeting, a one-point win by Georgetown. You know Templeís methodical offense wonít want to push the paceóbut the Hoyas showed in an overtime win over Missouri last week that itís not afraid to score.

Prediction: Georgetown 72, Temple 65

Dayton at Old Dominion
Saturday 3 p.m.

Old Dominion followed up a big-time win over Richmond at home with a loss toóof all peopleóDelaware. Those same Hens that havenít been relevant since Mike Brey coached them beat the CAA co-favorite. How? Donít ask me. Letís just see how ODU responds against a strong Dayton squad.

Prediction: Old Dominion 70, Dayton 60

Tennessee at Pittsburgh
Saturday 2:15 p.m.

Bruce Pearlís saga hasnít affected his team yet, and it appears the development of Tobias Harris and Scotty Hopson could lead Tennessee to an East Division title in the SEC. Right now, the Volunteers look like the favorite, with Florida stumbling and Kentuckyís aforementioned issues.

Prediction: Pittsburgh 69, Tennesssee 68

Arizona at BYU
Saturday 5 p.m.

Jimmer Fredette scored approximately 106 points in Tuscon last year. He probably wonít go off like that again, but his BYU team will be a tough task for Arizona to topple. BYU doesnít lose at home very much, and although Arizonaís been impressive, this might be too much to ask of Sean Millerís guys.

Prediction: BYU 78, Arizona 68

Last weekís prediction record: 7-2
Overall prediction record: 29-7

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