Jeff Shelman is the smartest man alive

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

More pearls of college basketball wisdom from men’s basketball beat writer Jeff Shelman, who notes in rather self-congratulatory fashion that the three games he steered you towards last night were decided by a total of five points:

One to watch: Illinois vs. Missouri (8 p.m., ESPN, in St. Louis) — It’s called the Braggin’ Rights Game. Half the place will be orange and blue, the other half will be black and gold. And the Kiel Center/Savvis Center/Scottrade Center is the only arena this writer has ever been where fans can get a shot of Jagermeister in the councourse. By the way, the Illini have won six in a row in this series.

Two to track: Loyola (Ill.) at Bradley: Loyola was the preseason pick to win the Horizon League. Bradley has been better than expected after Blaine native Patrick O’Bryant left for the NBA; Montana at Oral Roberts: Here are two teams that could very well get into the NCAA tournament. Oral Roberts has a key victory at Kansas but is only 4-5 for the season.

Jeff Shelman has forgotten more about basketball than you will ever know

Monday, December 18th, 2006

Jeff Shelman, the Star Tribune’s men’s college basketball beat writer, checks in to dispense some knowledge. You listen to him. He knows about hoops, and he knows where you live. Stay off of his lawn!

One to watch in the world of college hoops tonight: No. 14 Oklahoma State at Tennessee (6 p.m., ESPN2). The Cowboys are undefeated; Bruce Pearl’s Vols have two losses, but they came to Butler and North Carolina.

Two others to track: Missouri State at St. Louis — Very good game between two schools that reside in the world between mid-major and high-major. North Dakota State at Colorado State — Another big test for the plucky Bison. Colorado State has won six in a row since early losses to Baylor and Rice. Here’s a name to remember: Jason Smith. The NBA scouts like Colorado State’s 7-foot junior. He’s averaging 17.4 points and 10.2 rebounds per game.