A look at the games I want to see this weekend while considering all the NCAA implications.
(All games in order of tip-off not importance)
Kent State at Ohio: Ohio needs to assert itself with that loss to Akron still stinging. Always like to see Ohio point guard D.J. Cooper play.
Xavier at Dayton: Dayton hasnít won at Xavier since forever so they need this one at home.
BC at Florida State: Itís never easy for the young Eagles, but another chance to grow up.
Virginia at North Carolina: This game will be a measuring stick for both teams.
Pitt at Marquette: This has to be a close game, right? Iíd be really surprised if it wasnít.
Kentucky at Tennessee: The Vols have improved and a victory over the hated Wildcats would be huge. On the other hand, we get to see how the Wildcats function without Nerlens Noel. BTW, interesting how John Calipari had to put Noelís injury in context with his coaching career? Egocentric, to say the list.
Saint Josephís at LaSalle: Love the Big Five games.
Oklahoma at Oklahoma State: Based on its performance earlier this week, Okie State might be ready to break out. The Sooners would love to put the kibosh on that.
Purdue at Indiana: Itís as big a rivalry as there is, donít sell the Boilers short. Brings back memories. I watched this matchup in a bar in Indianapolis last winter with the place packed and split down the middle. Great fun.
Army at Navy: As far as rivalries go, it doesnít get more intense than this even if it isnít football.
Creighton at Evansville: The Bluejays, a personal favorite, have fallen apart. They need to refocus on the road against an opponent that can beat them.
Butler at Fordham: Just need to see how the Bulldogs are doing without Andrew Smith. They didnít fare well against Charlotte the other night.
Colorado State at Air Force: Love the Mountain West. I think Air Force could be the most underrated team in the country. Colorado State is unbeatable at home, but defending its first national ranking in 59 years is going to be difficult in this game.
Georgia State at George Mason: Just want to see GaState freshman R.J. Hunter, who torched Northeastern a few weeks ago.
Western Illinois at South Dakota State: A big, big Summit League game, but also a chance to see South Dakotaís great guard Nate Wolters.
Saint Bonaventure at Richmond: Iím predicting three overtimes.
Temple at UMass: Hopefully, the Minutemen can recover from that disastrous second half against VCU Thursday night. Hours before that, the Owls had an inexplicable home loss to Duquesne, which prompted a great quote from coach Fran Dunphy: ďWeíre a good team, just not good enough.íí Iíd say this is a must-win for both teams.
Duke at Maryland: Since this is in College Park, it could be interesting.
Charlotte at Saint Louis: I believe Saint Louis is the best team in the A10. Charlotte continues to exceed expectations.
Murray State at Eastern Illinois: I canít believe how far the Racers, another personal favorite, have fallen. They lost to SIU Edwardsville Thursday night. Unacceptable. They should win here, but Eastern is coached by Jay Spoonhour, son of the great Charlie Spoonhour. Itís his first season and itís been a rocky one, but based on the little bit Iíve seen I think he can coach and will have great success in the future.
Baylor at Kansas State: Big stakes for both these teams. K State cannot afford to lose this home game.
Princeton at Harvard: Itís clear these are the two best teams in the Ivy League. Harvard has to hold serve at home.
Texas at Kansas: The Longhorns have point guard Mych Kabongo back from suspension and it should help make this competitive.
Arizona State at Colorado: The Buffs beat Arizona Thursday night and will try to make it a home sweep of the desert schools.
San Diego State at UNLV: Another tremendous Mountain West matchup. San Diego State wonít be intimidated on the road. Inconsistent Vegas needs to protect home turf.
Ohio State at Wisconsin: Winner gets to dance at center court (like Minnesota did after beating the Badgers Thursday night). The Buckeyes could really use this one.
Minnesota at Iowa: After the big victory over Wisconsin, the Gophers need to take care of business on the road. It wonít be easy.
Miami at Clemson: The Hurricanes are tremendous to watch, theyíre playing great team basketball.
Illinois at Northeastern: The meeting of underachievers, but that can sometimes be a recipe for a good game.
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell