The Washington State Cougars close out their trip to the 2011 76 Classic with a battle for the coveted seventh place spot against the UC Riverside Highlanders.
For those of you looking for a stream of the game, the athletic site mentioned it would be broadcast on ESPN3. However, I have found no listing for the game on WatchESPN.com. I have found a stream listed at firstrowsports.tv, and that site tends to be pretty reliable. You can go here for that. If ESPN isn't producing the game, my guess is that it will be some sort of arena feed. As always, you can go to KTTH/mynorthwest.com for an online radio stream.
As for UC Riverside, this is a game that WSU should win and win easily. The Highlanders are currently listed as #255 on kenpom.com and he predicts a 69-59 Cougar win with 81% confidence. UCR is currently 1-4, and has losses to some pretty bad teams including UTEP, Youngstown State, and Boston College (yes, BC is awful this year). Villanova blew out Riverside in the opener for the 76 Classic.
Riverside will slow the game down under head coach Jim Woolridge. They also will play some pretty solid defense. They are currently limiting opponents to 40.1 eFG% and even held Villanova under their season average in that department. Riverside is especially stingy inside the arc, where they are holding teams to 37.6% on twos.
As good as the Highlanders are at limiting the other team, they are even worse at making their own shots. They are currently posting a 36.6 eFG%. That is 342nd out of 345 teams. They also don't get offensive rebounds (30.8 OR%), turn the ball over more than average (22.3 TO%) and don't get to the free throw line (26.9 FTR). Their best efficiency against a Division I team came against Boston College, where they were able to garner about 0.92 points per possession. Their offense is just plain bad.
So you are likely in for a low-scoring affair to go along with your delicious Sunday morning brunch. Join us in the game-thread!
There is one more point I'd like to bring up regarding UC Riverside. It has to do with their nickname, "The Highlanders." I was under the impression there can only be one, so how can that be plural? Methinks you are propagating a lie UC Riverside. For shame.