The second half of WAC play begins on Thursday night. Three games are on tap as teams ramp up their effort to get a good seed for the WAC Tournament in March. The road to WAC Vegas is going to be intense over the next four weeks. Will road teams continue to dominate and win games? Who will break free of the cluster in the middle of the WAC standings?
These questions and more will be answered as the second half tips off on Thursday night.
In this post, Kyle and Tyler share their thoughts on each contest. And the duo shares their predictions for each contest. This is a new segment that WAC Hoops Digest will have prior to each night of WAC play during the second half of the conference season.
UTRGV at Kansas City
Kyle – Last time these two teams met, Kansas City got out to a big lead early but struggled to handle the UTRGV pressure. The Vaqueros outscored the Roos by 14 in the second half en route to the 76-64 win. Lesley Varner II, Jordan Jackson and Javon Levi will have to have big games if the Vaqueros are to earn the season sweep. But, Javan White is back in the lineup and Franck Kamgain has been playing out of his mind for Billy Donlon and the Roos. If this gets into a track meet, advantage UTRGV. But, the physicality of the Kansas City defense will slow this game down. Kansas City opens the second half of WAC play with a 74-69 win over the Vaqueros.
Tyler – Jordan Jackson and Lesley Varner II were big for the Vaqueros when they met last month. The ‘Roos missed Javan White that game but were led by Jahshire Hardnett on the road. He’ll have to be big for the ‘Roos tonight as they look to exact revenge. It’ll be a defensive slug-fest and close contest. However, I’ll take the Vaqueros, 72-68. The Vaqueros will be led by Jordan Jackson and Javon Levi, en route to getting the huge win on the road
NMSU at Chicago State
Kyle – New Mexico State should win this one rather easily. Sorry Chicago State. That is just the way it is. The 26-game conference winning streak becomes a 27-game conference winning streak for the Aggies. Look for Terrell Brown to find his rhythm and keep an eye on what Ivan Aurrecoechea and Jabari Rice do. Both of those players are in the discussion for the All-WAC team and Aurrecoechea is on the shortlist of Player of the Year candidates. New Mexico State wins its 27th straight conference game, 94-71.
Tyler – Nothing else needs to be said other than NMSU makes it 27 conference wins in a row. Chicago State will give the Aggies all they can give them but the Aggies take this one easily, 96-63. This is a potential pad-statting game for WAC POY candidates Ivan Aurrecoechea and Jabari Rice.
CSU Bakersfield at CBU
Kyle – The Lancers won the first meeting of the Battle of California back on Jan. 8 in Bakersfield. And they should sweep the season series.
CSU Bakersfield just doesn’t have the offensive firepower to match CBU. Milan Acquaah, Brandon Boyd and Ferron Flavors Jr. are deadly from beyond the 3-point line. But, CBU has others who have stepped up recently. Zach Pirog and Bul Kuol are coming off perhaps their best games of the season in the win at Seattle. Yes, CSU Bakersfield has Taze Moore, Czar Perry, Cam Allen, Shawn Stith and De’Monte Buckingham but it still won’t be enough in this Battle of California. CBU tips off the second half of WAC play with an 83-73 win over the Roadrunners.
Tyler – This is lining up to be a fun in-state conference game. The Lancers won back in January although Bakersfield made a push in the 2nd half to keep things interesting. The Lancers have a lot of firepower on offense, and with elevated play from big man De’Jon Davis, the Lancers will take care of business and sweep the season series with a win tonight. Lancers win 79-65.