Old Spice Classic Preview: Wisconsin vs. Notre Dame In Title Game?

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In all honesty, the 2010 Old Spice Classic could be the lowest scoring tournament in the history of Feast Week.  With teams like Wisconsin, Temple, and Notre Dame that emphasize defense and are very patient on the offensive end, there is not a lot of offensive firepower in Orlando although teams like Texas A&M, Cal, and Georgia could cause some noise because of their athleticism.  Here is a preview and predictions:

By: David Kay

QUARTERFINALS (Thursday):
Texas A&M vs. Boston College, 11:00 am, ESPN2

What to Watch:
Under first year head coach Steve Donahue, B.C. lost at home to his former Ivy League opponent Yale by eight points last week.  They have some talent but not a whole lot of depth.  The Aggies have not been tested early in the year but are a well-rounded team that should be able to take care of the Eagles in the opening game in Orlando.

Prediction:
Texas A&M 71, Boston College 55

Wisconsin vs. Manhattan, 1:30 pm, ESPN2

What to Watch:
To be honest, I do not know much about this year’s Jaspers team except that they are coming off a loss to Long Island.  The Badgers lost by three at UNLV on Saturday and should have no problem advancing with a bounce back win.

Prediction:
Wisconsin 74, Manhattan 57

notre dame cheerleader

Georgia vs. Notre Dame, 6:00 pm, ESPNU

What to Watch:
With SEC Preseason Player of the Year Trey Thompkins sidelined with an ankle injury, the Bulldogs have struggled.  They had to rally to beat Mississippi Valley State in their opener and then needed a last second lay-up to squeak past St. Louis on Saturday.  Thompkins is doubtful for this first round game which gives Notre Dame a huge advantage especially with their size all over the court.

The Irish are sort of flying under the radar without Luke Harangody but have shooters on the wings in Ben Hansbrough, Tim Abromaitis, and Scott Martin.  They will try to control the tempo with a slower pace in hopes of limiting Georgia’s athleticism.

Prediction:
Notre Dame 73, Georgia 59

Temple vs. California, 8:30 pm, ESPN2

What to Watch:
Cal is a very young team that plays five freshman but is coming off a 25-point thumping of New Mexico.  Temple has a veteran squad that is one of the better disciplined teams in the country and really gets after it on the defensive end.  I think the young Golden Bear team will give the Owls a scare, but the experience of Temple wins out.  Cal ends up taking the consolation bracket by the way.

Prediction:
Temple 70, California 63

SEMIFINALS (Friday):
Wisconsin vs. Texas A&M, 11:00 am, ESPN

Jon Leuer WisconsinWhat to Watch:
The Aggies have a lot of length and athleticism in their frontcourt that could cause problems for Big Ten Player of the Year candidate Jon Leuer.  A&M also has quickness in guards B.J. Holmes and Dash Harris who will pester Jordan Taylor all game long.  The Badgers had issues against a more athletic UNLV squad but have the experience advantage.  If they can control the tempo and keep the Aggies from getting out in the open floor, Wisconsin should be playing in the championship game.

Prediction:
Wisconsin 68, Texas A&M 62

Notre Dame vs. Temple, 4:00 pm, ESPN

What to Watch:
The Irish starts four players who are between 6-7 and 6-8 and though they are not the most physical or athletic foursome, they are fundamentally sound, have good length, and can knock down shots on the perimeter.  The Owls will need Lavoy Allen to be beastly inside and Juan Fernandez to effectively run the show.  The lower the score, the better the chance Temple has to win.  With that being said, I think Notre Dame has too many weapons and will win this game (unless they are cold from the outside.)

Prediction:
Notre Dame 58, Temple 56

THIRD PLACE GAME (Sunday):
Texas A&M vs. Temple, 12:00, ESPNU

What to Watch:
If this scenario plays out, this will be the second straight match-up where the Aggies play a slower tempo team who really embraces their defensive philosophies.  I think the Owls will impose their will on D’ and frustrate a Texas A&M team that does not shoot the ball especially well from the outside.

Prediction:
Temple 64, Texas A&M 59

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (Sunday):
Wisconsin vs. Notre Dame, 6:30 pm, ESPN

What to Watch:
This should be a methodical game featuring two teams that have versatile guys who can knock down three’s or do work inside.  Neither the Badgers nor Irish really force the tempo so it should be a half-court game and whoever can run their stuff better and create good looks will get the win.  Wisconsin is not afraid to go with a taller line-up that features four guys 6-6 or taller so Notre Dame’s size advantage with their wings should be a moot point as long as UW gets out and defends the three-point line.

Prediction:
Wisconsin 72, Notre Dame 67

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and The Washington Times Communities.  You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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Comments

  1. I’m going to have to DVR that wisco-ND game..I’m actually excited about that

  2. I will have to DVR that game as well! Packers/Falcons plus Badgers in the championship game would be a fun Sunday

  3. I called:

    A- the title game… (finally got one right)

    B- that this would be the lowest scoring tourney ever… WIS 50, MAN 35… ND 57, CAL 44… WIS 65, BC 55… CAL 57, TEMPLE 50… BORRRRRRRINGGGGGG… BORRRRRRINGGGGGGGG…

  4. YAWN is right. ND shoots literally 1-20 from 3, 27% for the game and wins by 13 WOW is Cal that bad

  5. almost got this oen exactly right. you got the title game, just gave them too much generosity in pts scored, and you had the result backwards.

    still, not bad. you were right about the “burn offense” versus the swing resulting in 2007 big ten tournament like final scores

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