Questions we want answered on Night 2
Crazy idea here, but I’ll throw it out there anyhow. How about we let the players decide the games tonight at the Garden? It’s a different officiating crew than the one that botched the afternoon St. John’s-Rutgers game, so we may be in luck.
Here are the questions we want answered in the next five hours or so:
Game 3: South Florida vs. Cincinnati, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Does the glass shoe fit USF?
The conference’s lowest-scoring offense plays its best defense in the first evening game. The Bulls have just one player, Augustus Gilchrist, averaging double figures, yet delivered a stunning 70-69 upset thanks to some late heroics from Anthony Crater. The Bulls have enough experience to avenge a 74-66 loss to the Bearcats earlier this season, but they need 6-foot-8 forward Roy Anderson Jr. to start stepping up. The overly athletic Kansas State-transfer has just one double-figure game in the last two months.
Game 4: Marquette vs. West Virginia, 9:20 p.m. (ESPN)
Who takes the lead for the defending conference tournament champions?
Outside of Pittsburgh and Notre Dame, the Mountaineers might be the most balanced team across the board. There are not one or two guys you can lock down on defensively, then lean back and just kick your feet up on the rest. Da’Sean Butler carried this team to its first net-cutting ceremony last year, but no true leader has yet to emerge for Bob Huggins. That could and should all change tonight if the Mountaineers want to go deep into this tournament and the one that starts next week. Senior guard Casey Mitchell leads the team in scoring, but he often seems content with getting overlooked in the offense. The guy who does have that fire in his heart is Kevin Jones, the matchup-nightmare at forward who poured in 25 points and 11 rebounds in the regular season finale win over Louisville. Jones is a guy who will get in the face of a friend or foe when it’s crunch time. That’s the type of player you find on title contenders.