Hoops du Jour
Iowa at Penn State men
Tipoff: 6 p.m. Bryce Jordan Center
Records: Penn State (15-9, 5-6 Big Ten); Iowa (12-12, 3-8 Big Ten)
Coaches: Patrick Chambers is 102-118 in his seventh season at Penn State and 144-146 in nine seasons overall. Fran McCaffery is 137-101 in his eighth year at Iowa and 388-278 in 21 seasons overall.
Radio: ESPN 1430
Probable Starters: Penn State — G Shep Garner, 6-1 Sr. (10.4), G Tony Carr, 6-3 So. (19.2), G Josh Reaves, 6-4 Jr. (10.9), F Lamar Stevens, 6-7 So. (15.1), F Mike Watkins, 6-9 R-So. (13.1). Iowa — G Jordan Bohannon, 6-0 So. (14.0), G Isaiah Moss, 6-5 R-Jr. (11.2), F Ahmad Wagner, 6-7 Jr. (1.8), F Tyler Cook, 6-9 So. (15.1), C Luka Garza, 6-11 Fr. (11.0).
Notes: Penn State blew a 12-point second-half lead against Michigan State. … The Lions beat Iowa earlier in the season, 77-73. … The Lions are first in the Big Ten in steals with 7.9 per game and third in blocks with 5.6 per game. … The Hawkeyes are coming off a win against Minnesota. … Tyler cook leads the Hawkeyes in scoring and rebounding.
Mirror prediction: Penn State 76, Iowa 67
Comment: Even though the Lions have better shooting talent, Iowa’s size will be a challenge in the paint. Iowa is struggling in Big Ten play and Penn State will be hungry for a win after a disappointing slip up against No. 5 Michigan State.
Mirror prediction record: 17-7
— Paddy Cotter
Pitt men at North Carolina
Tipoff: 8 p.m., Chapel Hill, N.C., Dean Smith Center
Records: Pittsburgh (8-15, 0-10 in ACC); North Carolina (16-7, 5-5 in ACC)
Coaches: Kevin Stallings is 24-32 in his second year at Pittsburgh and is 479-315 in his 25th season overall. Roy Williams is 414-122 in 15 years at North Carolina and is 832-223 in 30 years as a head coach overall.
TV: ACC Network
Probable starters: Pittsburgh — G Parker Stewart, 6-5 fr. (8.2), G Marcus Carr, 6-1 fr. (10.4), G-F Jared Wilson-Frame, 6-5 jr. (12.8), G Khameron Davis, 6-4 fr. (5.1), C Kene Chukwuka, 6-9 so. (2.8). North Carolina — G Joel Berry II, 6-0 sr. (17.5), G Kenny Williams, 6-4 jr. (11.0), G Cameron Johnson, 6-8 sr. (12.7), G Theo Pinson, 6-6 sr. (9.1), F Luke Maye, 6-8 jr. (18.0).
Notes: Members of the Pitt basketball team visited Sacred Heart Elementary Thursday to help the kids celebrate National Catholic School Week. … North Colina is still ranked, at No. 19, but has lost three in a row and is just 5-5 in ACC play. Currently, the Tar Heels still project to be a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. … Pitt won’t play again until Thursday when it travels to ranked Clemson.
Mirror prediction: North Carolina 84, Pittsburgh 68
Comment: Guessing UNC will take out some frustration on the Panthers.
Mirror prediction record: 20-3
— Michael Boytim
SFU men at Mount St. Mary’s
Tipoff: 4 p.m., Knott Arena, Emmitsburg, Md.
Records: Saint Francis (13-9, 7-4 NEC); Mount St. Mary’s (13-11, 7-4)
Coaches: Rob Krimmel is 74-104 in his sixth season at Saint Francis and overall. Jamion Christian is 96-92 in his sixth season at Mount and overall.
Probable starters: Saint Francis — G Jamaal King, 5-10 Jr. (17.6), G Keith Braxton, 6-4 So. (16.5), G Andre Wolford, 6-2 Jr. (14.3), G Malik Harmon, 6-0 Sr. (3.1), C Mark Flagg, 6-9 Fr. (6.1). Mount St. Mary’s — G Junior Robinson, 5-5 Sr. (21.7), G Jonah Antonio, 6-5 Fr. (12.4), G Donald Carey, 6-5 Fr. (9.0), F Bobby Planutis, 6-8 Fr. (5.0), F Chris Wray, 6-8 Sr. (8.8).
Notes: Mount has won the last six meetings against the Flash, including an 81-80 OT win at DeGol Arena three weeks ago. … This is a huge game for both teams as they jockey for position near the top of the NEC standings. Both are part of a four-way tie for second place at 7-4, along with Robert Morris and St. Francis Brooklyn. … This is an even bigger game for the Flash because they’ve already lost to Mount once and cannot afford two losses, which would doom them in any tiebreaker scenario should the teams finish the regular season tied. Given how much Mount has dominated the series in recent years, and that winning in Emmitsburg is always very difficult, the Flash need to finish ahead of the Mount so that if they do meet in the NEC tournament, it would be in Loretto. … Mount is coming off an incredible performance at Robert Morris on Thursday, building a 33-4 lead in the first half and cruising to a 67-42 win. … Very surprisingly, ESPN’s matchup predictor gives SFU a 51.4 percent chance to win this game.
Mirror prediction: Mount St. Mary’s 73, Saint Francis 67
Comment: I’m stunned the Flash are favored in the ESPN projection model. They’ve had very little success at Mount over the years, and last season let an eight-point halftime lead slip away in losing the NEC Tournament championship game.
Mirror prediction record: 16-6
— Cory Giger
Robert Morris at SFU women
Tipoff: 2 p.m. at DeGol Arena, Loretto
Records: Robert Morris (16-4 overall, 9-0 Northeast Conference); Saint Francis (13-8, 8-1).
All-time series: Robert Morris leads 43-40.
Coaches: Joe Haigh is 83-96 in his sixth season at Saint Francis; Charlie Buscaglia is 38-15 in his second year at Robert Morris.
Online video: NEC Front Row
Online stats: www.sidearmstats.com/francis/wbball
Probable starters: Saint Francis — G Jessica Kovatch, 5-9 Jr. (24.2), G Caitlyn Kroll, 5-10 R-Fr. (12.9), G Maya Wynn, 5-11 Sr. (4.7), F Ace Harrison, 6-2 Gr. (11.8), F Kyasia Duling, 6-3 R-Sr. (6.4). Robert Morris — G Megan Callahan, 5-8 Fr. (8.5), G Honoka Ikematsu, 5-6 Fr. (9.7), F Jocelynne Jones, 6-0 Sr. (7.8), F Megan Smith, 6-1 Sr. (10.5), C Mikalah Mulrain, 6-3 Sr. (7.0).
Notes: The game features the top two teams in the Northeast Conference as Robert Morris leads the way by one game over Saint Francis … Kovatch has won player of the week honors every week since conference play began. She had 42 points in the first meeting … The Colonials are ranked No. 24 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll … Jones is second in the NEC in steals per game at 2.5, while Ikematsu is second in the entire country in 3-point field goal percentage at .489 a game … SFU leads the series, 23-15, inside DeGol Arena.
Mirror prediction: Saint Francis 72, Robert Morris 63
Comment: In the opening meeting, the Red Flash, other than Kovatch, combined to shoot just 6-for-29 and it still took a Smith buzzer beater to knock off SFU. Kovatch will do her thing and the rest of the team will play much better on the offensive side this time around.
Mirror prediction record: 15-6
— Nate Ritchey