Five things to watch for: The Rivalry

This weekend marks the second matchup of the rivalry of the season. The men’s basketball team faces off at Hope on Saturday at 3 p.m. Last time, we pointed out some things to look for and this time we’re giving you more things to expect:

1.  This matchup will be a closer game than the previous matchup. Hope was downright humiliated last time these two teams met. Calvin won by 26 points. When only 105 points separate a 183-game history: this is a big deal. Hope does not want to be humiliated in front of their home fan base and they will fight against this.

2.  The next thing to look for is a more aggressive Hope. Hope knows how Calvin plays now so they will plan a better attack method. Hope will have the advantage of the home court this time around. Expect a very loud and packed DeVos Fieldhouse. They will sell out if they haven’t already. It will be standing room only.

3. Who hasn’t wanted to get back at the instigator of a prank after receiving it? Do not be surprised if there is a prank at this game by Hope. I have absolutely no clue what it will be but it should be fun to see what plays out. Honestly, I’m happy the prank rivalry is continuing. It’s like the older, bigger, stronger sibling (Calvin) is picking on the younger, smaller, weaker sibling (Hope). After the stronger sibling does something to bug the smaller sibling, the weaker naturally wants payback. Expect that to happen on Saturday.

4. Another to look for is scoring runs. Both teams will have moments where they are on fire and the other team won’t get many points. The team with the biggest run will win the game. I expect this to be Calvin. Calvin averages 73.9 points a game while Hope averages 77.3 points a game. Those numbers are close together. The stats that matter here though is the defensive scoring average and the scoring margin. Calvin’s defense allows on average 57.1 which is the ninth lowest in the nation. Hope allows 69.3 on average. Calvin’s scoring margin is 16.8; sixth highest in the nation. Hope’s is 8; they come in at 74th in the nation. Calvin has this advantage majorly.

5. Expect anything to happen. It’s a Calvin/Hope game. Calvin has the better defense and defense is key in the matchup. Calvin also has the better numbers overall. I truly believe that rankings mean nothing. Hope was ranked No. 1 last season going into the NCAA tournament and what happened? They lost in the second round. The numbers are in Calvin’s favor but as Hope learned last year, that doesn’t guarantee anything at all.

If you cannot watch the game, follow the action on Twitter using #beathope or watch online here.