Game of the Day: UNC – Wilmington @ Davidson (-11.5)
This should be a fun one between the North Carolina neighbors. UNCW beat Saint Bonaventure in Olean last year, has made the NCAA Tournament the last two years and has been a popular first weekend upset pick, but after losing head coach Kevin Keatts and much of their star power, Davidson should be in good shape against this formidable foe.
The Seahawks return talented junior Devontae Cacok, who after finishing his first game of the season with 21 points and 16 rebounds will be a handful inside. Davidson hopes one (or both) of Will Magarity and Nathan Ekwu will be able to help contain Cacok after both sat out the first game of the season.
For Davidson, the question will be if the Friday night massacre of Charleston Southern was an outlier performance against a bad team, or if this Davidson team is truly ready to take the A-10 by storm with an experienced and deadly shooting squad. Kellan Grady and Jon Axel Gudmundsson will look to prove that their stellar first game stats are not what Davidson fans should hope for but instead come to expect on a nightly basis.
Prediction: UNCW 74, Davidson 88
George Washington (+16) @ Florida State
With GW coming off a nice win against Howard, they will have to step it up a notch against an ACC opponent. Florida State is coming off of one of its best seasons in recent memory, earning a three-seed in the NCAA Tournament. However, they lost much of their core and only return one starter, making them vulnerable to a non-conference upset.
If GW wants to get a great win for their program and the A-10, they will have to get a great performance from Yuta Watanabe. He was stellar against Howard with 19 points and 11 boards, and has the natural ability to be the best player on the floor on any given night.
While Maurice Joseph has GW headed in the right direction, I still believe Florida State’s size and talent will be too much for the Colonials.
Prediction: GW 58, Florida State 77
VMI @ Duquesne (-15.5)
Duquesne and those around the program know that this will be a transitional year, but they should still be able to get an easy win on Tuesday. After finishing last season 6-24 and ranked 328th in KenPom, VMI began this season by giving up 102 points to NC State.
Duquesne will likely struggle this year, but Mike Lewis II alone should allow the team to win easily on their home floor. Otherwise, losing this game would not be awful for the Dukes but for the A10 as a whole.