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Preview: Yale and Vanderbilt Get into a BASKETBALL NERD FIGHT

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Vanderbilt can improve to 10-3 by ringing in 2015 with a victory. Standing in their way is a 10-4 Yale team that has the talent to test the Commodores on their home court. Here's what to watch for in Saturday's matchup.

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Vanderbilt will make a case for their status as Ivy League beasts if they can beat their second nerd-school opponent of 2014-15. Standing in their way is a 10-4 Yale team that features a potent inside-out scoring duo with Justin Sears and Javier Duren. Vandy will have a big edge in size and athleticism, but the Bulldogs have the talent to test this team's defense all over the court.

Here's what you should look for when these two academic titans square off on the hardwood this weekend.

KenPom Rankings: Yale is 107th. Vanderbilt is 52nd.

Key Stat16.7. That was Riley LaChance's shooting percentage against Vandy's last Ivy League opponent, Pennsylvania. He'll be looking to prove that was an aberration when the Bulldogs hit Memorial Gym on Saturday. The freshman guard only missed two shots en route to 19 points against Saint Louis earlier this week.

Matchup to WatchJustin Sears vs. James Siakam. Two (relatively) undersized power forwards will do battle on Saturday when Sears and Siakam clash in the frontcourt. The 6'8" Sears is leading the Bulldogs in both points and rebounds but his efficiency has taken a hit after a breakout sophomore season that saw him score nearly 17 points per game. It will be up to Siakam to body him up and push him out of the paint - or at least keep him busy until Damian Jones can bring some help defense from the weak side.

Starters and Rotation Players:

Vanderbilt
Pos. Player PPG RPG APG
G - Shelton Mitchell 4.8 2.4 4.8
G - Riley LaChance 13.0 2.6 2.8
F - Jeff Roberson 4.8 3.7 1.3
F - James Siakam 10.1 5.6 0.7
C - Damian Jones 16.4 7.0 0.8
Key Reserves
G - Wade Baldwin IV 8.3 3.8 4.8
G/F - Matthew Fisher-Davis 5.4 1.9 1.1
F - Luke Kornet 8.8 4.0 0.7
Yale
Pos. Player PPG RPG APG
G - Javier Duren 13.1 5.3 4.3
G - Armani Cotton 5.9 5.4 1.1
G - Jack Montague 9.9 2.3 1.9
F - Justin Sears 13.8 8.0 1.4
F - Matt Townsend 8.8 3.7 2.1
Key Reserves
G - Makai Mason 4.0 1.8 1.5
G - Anthony Dallier 2.7 1.9 1.4
F - Sam Downey 4.1 2.2 0