Pittsburgh men at Rutgers
Tipoff: 11 a.m., Rutgers Athletic Center
Records: Pittsburgh (12-2, 0-1 in Big East); Rutgers (9-3, 0-1 in Big East)
Coaches: Mike Rice is 38-38 in his third year at Rutgers and is 111-69 in his sixth year overall. Jamie Dixon is 250-79 in his 10th year as head coach at Pittsburgh.
Probable starters: Pittsburgh - G Tray Woodall, 6-0 Sr. (11.5), G James Robinson, 6-3 Fr. (7.2), F Lamar Patterson, 6-5 Jr. (9.4), F Talib Zanna, 6-9 Jr. (13.4), C Steven Adams, 7-0 Fr. (6.8). Rutgers - G Myles Mack, 5-9 So. (13.3), G Eli Carter, 6-2 So. (17.1), G Dane Miller, 6-6 Sr. (8.5), F Wally Judge, 6-9 Jr. (7.9), C Austin Johnson, 6-8 Sr. (5.6).
Notes: Rutgers leads the all-time series, 24-23. ... Pittsburgh has won six straight games at Rutgers since 2001, and the Panthers are 12-3 against the Scarlet Knights since 2000. ... Pitt, which is playing in its 15th game this year, is playing its first road game of the season. ... The Panthers, ranked No. 24 in the AP and ESPN poll, lead the nation in assists per game and fewest turnovers per game. ... Rutgers is coming off a 25-point loss to No. 7 Syracuse.
Mirror prediction: Pittsburgh 62, Rutgers 49
Comment: After starting Big East play 0-7 last season, the Panthers need a win to avoid negative thoughts creeping back in.
Mirror prediction record: 13-1
- Michael Boytim
Bryant at St. Francis men
Tipoff: 4 p.m., DeGol Arena
Records: Bryant (8-4, 1-0 Northeast Conference), St. Francis (1-11, 1-0)
Coaches: Tim O'Shea is 28-103 in his fifth season at Bryant and is 148-198 in his 12th season overall. Rob Krimmel is 1-11 in his first season at St. Francis.
Web stream: NECFrontRow.com
Probable starters: Bryant - G Corey Maynard, 6-3 Jr. (7.9), G Frankie Dobbs, 6-3 Sr. (13.9), G Dyami Starks, 6-2 R-So. (17.9), F Alex Francis, 6-6 Jr. (15.5), F Vlad Kondratyev, 6-8 Sr. (3.3). St. Francis - G Umar Shannon, 5-11 R-Jr. (14.4), G Greg Brown, 6-2 Fr. (2.7), F Earl Brown, 6-6 So. (7.1), F Stephon Mosley, 6-6 Fr. (7.5), G Stephon Wyatt, 6-1 So. (7.8).
Notes: The Bulldogs lead the all-times series, 3-2. Bryant opened NEC play with a win at Robert Morris on Thursday. ... This is the first season Bryant is eligible for the postseason as a full-time Division I member. ... Dobbs is 16 points away from reaching the 1,000-point plateau. ... Bryant is on a three-game winning streak, including a 80-79 victory at Lehigh on Dec. 29. ... St. Francis travels to Monmouth and Fairleigh Dickinson next weekend.
Mirror prediction: Bryant 74, St. Francis 68
Comment: St. Francis will definitely make this one interesting after posting an impressive win on Thursday, but the Bulldogs may be a little too strong.
Mirror prediction record: 11-1
- Nate Foreman
Bryant at St. Francis women
Tipoff: 1 p.m., DeGol Arena
Records: Bryant (4-6, 0-0 Northeast Conference), St. Francis (5-6, 0-0 Northeast Conference)
Coaches: Mary Burke is 298-308 in her 22nd season at Bryant. Joe Haigh is 5-6 in his first season at St. Francis.
Web stream: NECFrontRow.com
Probable starters: Bryant - G Jenniqua Bailey, 5-6 Jr. (7.1), G Danielle Douglas, 5-8 Sr. (9.1), G Breanna Rucker, 5-11 Fr. (3.0), F Courtney Schissler, 5-9 Jr. (12.4), F Naana Ankoma-Mensa, 6-0 Jr. (11.9). St. Francis - G Brittany Lilley, 5-8 R-Sr. (3.4), G Kia Gibbs, 5-8 Sr. (10.7), G Alexa Hayward, 5-8 So. (9.3), F Alli Williams, 6-0 Jr. (17.5), F Shene Fleming, 5-11 R-Jr. (7.6).
Notes: This is the conference opener for both teams, as well as Haigh's NEC coaching debut. St. Francis leads the all-time series, 3-2. The Red Flash are 3-0 against Bryant at DeGol Arena. ... This is the first season Bryant is eligible for the postseason as a full-time Division I member. ... Williams needs just 10 points to reach the 1,000-point plateau. ... The Bulldogs were drilled by Akron, 78-56, earlier this season, an opponent St. Francis defeated. ... Haigh has used the same starting five in each of SFU's 11 games this season. ... The Red Flash host Central Connecticut on Monday.
Mirror prediction: St. Francis 82, Bryant 68
Comment: The Flash need to start strong, not only in this game, but in NEC play. It could very well be a successful run for this team.
Mirror prediction record: 8-3
- Nate Foreman