What I'm looking forward to: Lots of interesting matchups Saturday that will affect championships and NCAA tournament berths. Here's where my trigger thumb will be directed. Noon is especially busy with four good games. We'll list them in chronological order.
BC at Virginia: The Eagles have to win this game to keep some positive momentum toward an NCAA bid. Plus, they're just the better team. Win a big one on the road! If they do, hopefully the students will notice.
Missouri at Kansas State: This should be entertaining and it's a chance for both teams to prove something. Mizzou has struggled on the road and this would be a good place to end that. Kansas State, revealed months ago by Bob Ryan as a fraud, can gain back some respectability.
Syracuse at Georgetown: The Hoyas will have to adjust to the absence of guard Chris Wright and Syracuse should try to exploit that.
James Madison at Virginia Commonwealth: OK, I just get hung up on teams and JamMad is one of them. If they're on, I'll always check in.
Wichita State at Missouri State: The winner wins the Valley so the stakes are high. Should be a great atmosphere; the Missouri State fans show up and get involved.
BYU at San Diego State: Jimmer scorched the Aztecs in Provo, but it could be different on the coast. Remember, that was the Aztecs' only loss. Joe Lunardi projects both these teams as No. 2 seeds right now so there's a lot at stake including a possible Mountain West championship. I predict another close game and the Aztecs better hope Jimmer doesn't have it in his hands with the game on the line. Quick aside, I've noticed a trend against Jimmer for player of the year. To me, it's power conference thing. Some big-time experts just feel the player of the year should come from one of the top six leagues. Hogwash (or something worse). JIMMMER IS THE PLAYER OF THE YEAR.
Miami at Florida State: Miami was impressive in winning at BC. Now they have to do it on the road again. A win here will really help their NCAA chances. Florida State really misses the injured Chris Singleton.
Central Connecticut at LIU: Two of the best in NEC, LIU can assert itself. LIU likes to get up and down the court. Always glad to see that.
Memphis at UTEP: Conference USA could end up with a five-way tie for first. UTEP has blown a lead so the Miners can get back on top with a win over another contender. Memphis is young, so winning in El Paso would be impressive.
Arizona at UCLA: Arizona keeps improving every game and UCLA has played really well of late despite that tough loss at Cal last weekend. The Bruins need to win this one on their home court.
Florida at Kentucky: There's not a lot of buzz surrounding the Gators but I really like them. A win at Lexington will create some. Kentucky can't afford to lose at home, the only place they've played well.
Arkansas Little Rock at Arkansas State: ArkState leads the West Division in the Sun Belt and I haven't seen them. Not sure if this is a rivalry game so I want to check it out.
Michigan at Minnesota: Michigan could really help itself with a win here. Minnesota can't afford to lose another home game.
Seton Hall at Notre Dame: The Hall is like my wayward child, I love them but I'm always concerned and have to check up on them. I love the Irish too; what a season they're having. These are two of my favorite teams.
UC Santa Barbara at Long Beach State: Long Beach is called the 49ers but shouldn't they be the Surfers or Surf Bums? No matter what, they're in control in the Big West, a league Santa Barbara was projected to win. It will be the first time I've seen either team.
Duke at Virginia Tech: The nation's top-ranked team is vulnerable to an upset in Cassell Coliseum. Should be a wild scene.
Texas A&M at Baylor: A&M is another Sully's Court favorite and this should be a tight one in Waco.
Portland at Saint Mary's: I feel so bad for the Gaels. Their season is collapsing. They can't afford to lose at home but Portland could beat them.
Sad tale: Great story by the NY Times's Pete Thamel on Coastal Carolina and their coach Cliff Ellis, who always seems to be one step ahead of the posse. I find Ellis really likable and he knows how to win, but this story is pretty damning.
Going nutty: In case you missed it here's the video of Tim Floyd losing it as UTEP got beat at East Carolina. He'll have to be punished for this.
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell