Sizzling In The Spotlight: Bennett & Wesner's Gulf Coast Showcase Predictions
Photo courtesy of Detroit Jock City and FanSided.

It's that time of year again ladies and gentlemen! What? You don't know? It's time for family get-togethers and early season college basketball tournaments. 

So with these very exciting events about tip-off, VAVEL US' own Tyler Bennett and Peyton Wesner have decided to do a special "Sizzling in the Spotlight" for all twenty November tourneys, including the Gulf Coast Showcase.

12:00 PM EST
4-1 Milwaukee - 2-1 Murray State

Coming In:
Milwaukee: 85-61 Win - Trinity International
Murray State: 63-52 Loss @ Georgia

Players to Watch:
Austin Arians (JR)
---15.2 PPG, 3.0 RPG, & 1.2 SPG.
Murray State:
Damarcus Croaker (JR)
---14.0 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 2.7 APG, & 1.0 SPG.

2:30 PM EST
3-0 Duquesne - 1-2 Pepperdine

Coming In:
Duquesne: 78-52 Win - Penn State
Pepperdine: 81-67 Loss @ UCLA

Players to Watch:
Micah Mason (SR)
---15.2 PPG, 3.0 RPG, & 1.2 SPG.
Lamond Murray Jr. (JR)
---18.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG, & 1.0 SPG.

6:00 PM EST
1-2 Drake - 2-1 Western Kentucky

Coming In:
Drake: 79-73 Loss - UMKC
Western Kentucky: 67-66 Win - Stony Brook

Players to Watch:
Reed Timmer (SO)
---20.3 PPG, 3.7 RPG, & 3.0 APG.
Western Kentucky:
Nigel Snipes (SR)
---17.0 PPG & 4.0 RPG. 

8:30 PM EST
1-2 Weber State - 2-0 Central Michigan

Coming In:
Weber State: 90-47 Win - Antelope
Central Michigan: 79-64 Win - Alma

Players to Watch:
Weber State:
Jeremy Senglin (JR)
---20.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, & 1.0 SPG.
Central Michigan:
Rayshawn Simmons (SR)
---24.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG, & 5.5 APG.

Bennett's Bracket

Murray State is adjusting to life without Steve Prohm and Cameron Payne rather well in their first season. Damarcus Croaker has taken a leading role on the offensive end of the floor, and the Racers have opened the season playing some good basketball. They’ll get a test from Milwaukee, who is expected to contend for the Horizon League title, but the Racers will come out on top.
---Murray State 81, Milwaukee 75

Pepperdine and Duquesne have a ton of potential on their rosters this season, and could contend in their respective conferences. This game will be a tight affair from start to finish. Derrick Colter will do his best to lead the Dukes to victory, but the Pepperdine Waves have the depth to come away victorious. A big game from Stacy Davis will be the difference in this one.
---Pepperdine 77, Duquesne 76

The battle between the Hilltoppers and the Bulldogs won’t catch the eye of the casual basketball fan, but it will be a close contest that won’t disappoint. Drake’s Reed Timmer and Western Kentucky’s Nigel Snipes will be front and center in this contest, and both teams will rely heavily on their stars to lead them to victory. In a gut-instinct selection, the Hilltoppers will take down the Bulldogs.
---Western Kentucky 70, Drake 65

This will be the top match-up of the quarter-finals in the Gulf Coast Showcase, and it’s a shame that this isn’t for the championship. Central Michigan has played some strong basketball without Chris Fowler being 100%, getting big performances from John Simons and company along the way. Weber State has under-achieved slightly, despite having Jeremy Senglin and Joel Bolomboy leading the way. In a showdown that will have its fair share of offense, the Chippewas come away victorious.
---Central Michigan 88, Weber State 80

---Murray State 83, Pepperdine 80

---Central Michigan 90, Western Kentucky 79

While the Chippewas-Wildcats showdown in the quarterfinals would have been a great final, a final between the Racers and Chippewas is just as exciting. Both teams know how to put the ball in the basket, and will rely on their offense to get to the finals. When it comes down to it. The Chippewas have too many weapons for any team in the 2015 Gulf Coast Showcase to overcome, and will bring the tournament title back to Mount Pleasant, MI.
---Central Michigan 83, Murray State 81

Wesner's Bracket

---Murray State 74, Milwaukee 70

---Duquesne 72, Pepperdine 71

---Western Kentucky 80, Drake 68

---Central Michigan 85, Weber State 82


---Murray State 70, Duquesne 69

---Central Michigan 81, Western Kentucky 75

---Central Michigan 79, Murray State 73

Point System for Gulf Coast Showcase:
1 pt for each quarterfinal win
2 pts for each semi-final win
4 pts for correctly choosing the champion

1. Bennett 85 pts (70-30)
2. Wesner 83 pts (70-30)