My viewing habits: Once again, Iíll have to juggle college basketball and the NFL. Besides that, there are Christmas-type obligations. I hate when that gets in the way of good games. My favorite holiday is March Madness.
Looking at this weekendís games (in order of starting times, not preference):
American at Georgetown: American is the best team in the Patriot League, well-coached and smart. This is a chance for the Eagles to make a mark so Georgetown better be ready.
Florida Atlantic vs. Miami in Sunrise, Fla.: Another good mid-major that could make a point with a win. Itís not impossible; the Owls nearly beat Mississippi State last week. They also come to Harvard next Thursday.
Ohio State at South Carolina: Just a peek to check on Jared Sullingerís condition.
Rutgers at Stony Brook: Just a peek to see how agitated Rutgers coach Mike Rice is. Rutgers should play Loyola of Maryland in a nutjob coach playoff.
Baylor at BYU: A chance to see how good Baylor really is. BYU rarely loses at home.
Butler vs. Purdue at Conseco Fieldhouse: Just to see which team is more fundamental sound; I'm expecting an easy win for Purdue.
Texas A&M vs. Florida in Sunrise, Fla.: The original and still best bracketologist, Joe Lunardi, said A&M is the most overrated team in the country. We could find out here.
Fordham at St. Johnís: Fordham never wins but itís a New York City rivalry. Everybody to the Sly Fox after that game. Tommy Cahill is buying
Temple at Texas: This could be a fascinating matchup; a victory for either team would go a long way.
Arizona vs. Gonzaga in Seattle: Saw the Zags Thursday night beating Oral Roberts and I wasnít impressed. This might tell me more.
Memphis at Louisville: An old Metro Conference rivalry game at the Pitino Palace.
Notre Dame vs. Indiana in Conseco Fieldhouse: I need to get a look at the Hoosiers. Irish are definitely down but itís a semi-rivalry game.
Mississippi at Southern Mississippi: If I were a gambling man, give me Southern Miss. Now, I have to check it out to see if Iím right.
UNLV vs. Illinois at United Center: This is in Chicago but it will still be a big Illinois crowd. A victory for Vegas would be significant.
Indiana State at Vanderbilt: Vandy better be ready or the tenacious Sycamores will knock them off.
Boise State at Denver: Iíve grown attached to Denver. Boise Stateís much improved but needs to assert itself here.
Syracuse at North Carolina State: First true road game for Syracuse in December since 1956. (Iím kidding, Iím kidding).
Quinnipiac at UMass: Minutemen need to be on their best behavior or Q will give them trouble.
Houston vs. Oklahoma in Oklahoma City: Sooners have been a big surprise; need to see if they are genuine.
Villanova at Saint Josephís: This is by far the most heated of the Big Five rivalries. When Saint Joeís is the home team the game is normally played at the Palestra but this is the first time the Hawks will host Villanova on campus in their 4,200-seat Hagan Arena. The atmosphere could come to a boil (but hopefully nothing like Xavier-Cincinnati last Saturday). This game is very important for the young and improving Hawks. Villanova has been inconsistent and a win would restore order.
Drake at Iowa: State pride at stake.
Alabama at Kansas State: The Crimson Tide have played some tough road games, hereís another one. A victory would be highly significant.
New Mexico vs. Oklahoma State in Oklahoma City: Two interesting teams still trying to find themselves.
Bryant at BC: This should be another win for Steve Donahue.
Oral Roberts at Xavier: Oral gave Gonzaga all it could handle Thursday night in Spokane. With all the suspensions after the Cincinnati fight, X will be in for a fight.
Virginia at Oregon: The Cavs have been a big surprise and this would be a nice win on the road.
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell