Hoops du jour
No. 1 Virginia at Pittsburgh men
Tipoff: 4 p.m., Petersen Events Center
Records: Virginia (25-2, 14-1 in ACC); Pittsburgh (8-21, 0-16 in ACC)
Coaches: Tony Bennett is 213-85 in his ninth season at Virginia and is 282-118 in his 12th season overall. Kevin Stallings is 24-38 in his second year at Pittsburgh and is 479-321 in his 25th season overall.
Probable starters: Virginia — G Devon Hall, 6-5 sr. (12.0), G Kyle Guy, 6-2 so (14.9), G Ty Jerome, 6-5 so. (10.0), F Isaiah Wilkins, 6-7 sr. (5.9), C Jack Salt, 6-10 jr. (3.4). Pittsburgh — G Parker Stewart, 6-5 fr. (8.9), G Marcus Carr, 6-1 fr. (10.2), G Khameron Davis, 6-4 fr. (4.2), G-F Jared Wilson-Frame, 6-5 jr. (12.7), F Kene Chukwuka, 6-9 so. (2.6).
Notes: Pitt has led its last three games at halftime. … Virginia leads the all-time series 13-4 and has won nine of the last 10 meetings. … The Panthers are 9-1 against top five teams at the Petersen Events Center. The Cavaliers enter this game ranked No. 1 in the country. … The Panthers actually beat Virginia in overtime on Jan. 4, 2017 under Stallings. … A Virginia win clinches the ACC regular season outright title for the Cavs.
Mirror prediction: Virginia 73, Pittsburgh 41
Comment: The Panthers’ 9-1 mark against top teams at home will be brought up during the ESPNU broadcast, but it really means nothing in the current state of Pitt’s program.
Mirror prediction record: 25-4
— Michael Boytim
Robert Morris at SFU men
Tipoff: 7 p.m., DeGol Arena
Records: Saint Francis (17-11, 11-6 NEC); Robert Morris (15-15, 9-8)
Coaches: Rob Krimmel is 78-106 in his sixth season at Saint Francis and overall. Andrew Toole is 150-122 in his eighth season at Robert Morris and overall.
Probable starters: Saint Francis — G Jamaal King, 5-10 Jr. (18.0), G Keith Braxton, 6-4 So. (17.1), G Andre Wolford, 6-2 Jr. (13.9), G Randall Gaskins Jr., 6-3 So. (5.4), C Mark Flagg, 6-9 Fr. (6.3). Robert Morris — G Dachon Burke, 6-4 So. (17.8), G Matty McConnell, 6-2 Jr. (10.5), G Jon Williams, 6-1 Fr. (6.3), F Koby Thomas, 6-6 Fr. (12.4), F Charles Bain, 6-8 Fr. (5.3).
Notes: These rivals meet to wrap up the NEC regular season, and Saint Francis will look to continue its recent series dominance as it’s won five in a row and six of the last seven against the Colonials. … There’s a great deal at stake for the Flash, who need a win and a loss by Mount St. Mary’s (home against Wagner) to claim the No. 2 seed in next week’s NEC Tournament. The top seed in each round hosts games in the tourney, so SFU would guarantee itself at least two home games, should it win in the first round, if it gets the No. 2 seed. If the Flash win and the Mount also wins, Mount gets the No. 2 seed because the teams will finish tied, and Mount won both regular-season meetings against SFU. … Saint Francis legend Mike Iuzollino will be back in DeGol Arena once again as an assistant coach for Robert Morris. … The Flash won the first meeting on the road at Robert Morris, 89-80, back on Jan. 11. King had 27 points and Wolford 22 for the Flash in that one. Burke led RMU with 21 points, while Thomas had 20. … ESPN’s matchup projector gives SFU a 73.4 percent chance to win.
Mirror prediction: Saint Francis 81, Robert Morris 75
Comment: Saint Francis has matched up well against the Colonials in recent years, a result of Rob Krimmel improving the Flash’s talent level immensely through recruiting. With this game at home and so much on the line, look for SFU to play well and do its part to claim the No. 2 seed.
Mirror prediction record: 20-8
— Cory Giger
SFU women at Central Conn. St.
Tipoff: 1 p.m. at Detrick Gymnasium, New Britain, CT
Records: Saint Francis (17-9 overall, 12-2 Northeast Conference); Central Connecticut State (6-19, 6-8).
All-time series: Saint Francis leads 29-12.
Coaches: Joe Haigh is 87-97 in his sixth season at Saint Francis; Beryl Piper is 141-195 in her ninth year at Central Connecticut State and is 430-335 overall.
Online video: NEC Front Row
Online stats: www.ccsubluedevils.com
Probable starters: Saint Francis — G Jessica Kovatch, 5-9 Jr. (24.2), G Caitlyn Kroll, 5-10 R-Fr. (13.2), G Maya Wynn, 5-11 Sr. (5.1), F Ace Harrison, 6-2 Gr. (11.1), F Courtney Zezza, 6-4 Jr. (6.8). Central Connecticut State — G Kiana Patterson, 5-6 Jr. (13.1), G Morgan Johnson, 5-10 Gr. (5.8), F Andi Lydon, 6-0 Jr. (11.6), F Ashley Chin, 5-8 Sr. (2.6), F Tiffany Slicklein, 5-11 Fr. (2.2).
Notes: This is the first of three straight games on the road for Saint Francis … SFU sits in a first place tie with Robert Morris atop the Northeast Conference standings, while Central Connecticut State is in sixth place … The Red Flash owned the first meeting by an 87-59 score as six players reached double figures. They also had 46 points in the paint to CCSU’s 22 … The Blue Devils led the conference in 3-point field goal defense allowing teams to shoot just 28-percent.
Scoring with the best of them (Kovatch’s national scoring rank): 1. Megan Gustafson, Iowa, 24.9; 2. Kelsey Mitchell, Ohio State, 24.5; 3. Joyce Kennerson, Texas Southern, 24.3; 4. Kovatch, 24.2.
Mirror prediction: Saint Francis 82, Central Connecticut State 64
Comment: The Red Flash are focused after a hiccup two games ago. The Blue Devils may defend the three well, but they won’t be able to handle the SFU defense.
Mirror prediction record: 19-7
— Nate Ritchey
Watkins to miss Nebraska game
UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State redshirt sophomore Mike Watkins will miss the regular-season finale at Nebraska after suffering a right leg injury early in the first half of the Nittany Lions’ game vs. Michigan on Wednesday.
Watkins is undergoing further testing to determine the nature and severity of the injury.
“Mike has been an integral part in building our program,” Penn State men’s basketball coach Patrick Chambers said. “When our team has been faced with adversity in the past, we find that we learn more about ourselves and how we can become better.”
Eagles hosting Landmark championship
The Juniata men’s basketball team comes into today’s Landmark Conference Championship game 22-4 after their 77-70 victory over Catholic. Moravian comes to Huntingdon after earning their place in the championship game with their 96-91 overtime win over Drew. The squads will tipoff at Memorial Gymnasium at 2 p.m. with a spot in the NCAA Division III tournament at stake.
Juniata prevailed 76-65 in their first meeting this season in December while in the more recent matchup in February the Greyhounds prevailed 96-84.
Juniata’s Marcus Lee — a Bishop Carroll product — is second in the conference in scoring with 19.3 points, second in field goal percentage (65.8 percent) and is fifth in the Landmark in blocks with 24.
Juniata ranks second in the country in field goal percentage at 51.6 percent, seventh in the country in scoring defense (62.8) and 11th in the country in scoring margin (14.6).
Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children. All youth under the age of 10 are admitted free as are all students, faculty and staff with a valid ID from any of the eight Landmark Conference institutions. College students without a Landmark school ID and seniors are $3.
Juniata women head to Scranton
The No. 2-seeded Juniata women’s basketball team will face Scranton in the Landmark Championship Game in Scranton today at 3 p.m.
The Royals are the top seed, have won 20 straight games and are seeking their sixth Landmark championship and 24th overall conference title in program history. Scranton has appeared in all but one of the Landmark Conference championship games.
Today’s game is the third meeting between the two squads, with the teams splitting the regular season as JC handed Scranton its only loss on the year. The Eagles prevailed 62-54 in Huntingdon with Scranton coming back and winning 62-45 in the Long Center on Feb. 3.
n The Mount Aloysius women will face Pitt-Bradford today at 3:30 p.m. at Hilbert College in Hamburg, N.Y. in the AMCC semifinals. If the second-seeded Lady Mounties win, they’ll play in the championship on Sunday.
From Mirror reports