The non-football playing Big East schools will soon have their own league, which is a good move by them, but they’ll also raid the Atlantic 10 to strengthen the new conference. I know this is inevitable just like all the other conference changes have been. Personally, I despise it all. It’s all about money. Just once I’d like an educator, a leader of a university step up and say, “We’re going to stay with the schools we’ve been competing with because it’s the right thing to do. We’re not going to waste millions of dollars on some fleeting athletic glory.’’ Now that would be breaking news. Stephan Hessel, the French Resistance hero who escaped a death sentence from the Nazis, died this week at 93. Before his death he wrote an influential essay about life in our times. He wrote we used to fear fascism, now we should fear the love of money. If only our educators passed that message along with examples of their own behavior.
OK, back on the court. Games I’m looking forward to seeing this weekend.
(in order of tip-off, not importance).
Harvard at Princeton: A victory pretty much locks up a second straight NCAA bid. How about that?
Alabama at Florida: The Gators should get back on track after losing at Tennessee but Bama has been grinding all season and has a chance to nail down a big victory here. I predict a close one.
Butler at VCU: The last time these two traditional Atlantic 10 rivals will meet. (Yes, I’m joking. By the way, when Butler and X leave the Atlantic 10, along with Temple and Charlotte, the league should just stick at 12 teams).
Louisville at Syracuse: Hopefully, a high-scoring, up-and-down affair. Syracuse is slumping a bit, needs to protect home court.
Tennessee at Georgia: The Vols are one of the most improved teams in the country but need to prove it on the road here. It’s a dangerous game.
Notre Dame at Marquette: Did you know Marquette fans really don’t like ND? This is a big rivalry game for them. ND doesn’t quite feel the same way.
George Mason at Delaware: Delaware is going to be the main threat to Northeastern in the CAA tournament; I’m going to do some scouting.
Wichita State at Creighton: Both these teams have had some bad losses but in the end here they are tied for first in the MVC on the last day of the regular season.
Arizona State at Southern Cal: The Trojans pulled off an upset against Arizona Thursday so now I think they should win this one.
LSU at Missouri: LSU has quietly put together a better-than-expected season. This will probably be a big loss on the road but, just like Alabama, a chance for a notable victory.
Kentucky at Arkansas: The Hogs are really two different teams, the one that plays in Fayetteville and the one that goes on the road. I think they’ll beat Bingo Long and the Traveling All-Stars.
Texas at Oklahoma State: Haven’t seen Texas’ Myck Kabongo since he returned from suspension and always enjoy watching Okie State’s Marcus Smart.
Colorado at Cal: The Bears need this one to keep moving forward in the Pac 10. Won’t be easy.
Harvard at Penn: This could clinch a tie for the Ivy League title.
Miami at Duke: Friend of mine, a dedicated and veteran observer of the basketball scene who will attend this game, said to me: “They (Duke) lost by 40 (the last time they met). Coach K’s going to make sure that doesn’t happen again. I bet you Duke is in the one-and-one 10 minutes into the first half.’’ Such is Duke hatred and you saw that in the delirium in the Virginia stands Thursday night when the Cavs upset the Dookies. Plus there’s that idea Duke gets all the calls. So I’m going to watch and just count the fouls.
Arizona at UCLA: UCLA seemed really full of itself after beating Arizona State Thursday; let’s see if they back it up.
Santa Clara at Saint Mary’s: A great rivalry game. Saint Mary’s can’t afford any more losses.
Virginia at BC: The Cavs just upset Duke, BC just lost to Duke 89-68. I pick the Eagles in an upset.
Michigan State at Michigan: Blood feud. The Wolverines had to be looking ahead to this when they lost at Penn State. Now they have to make up for that by winning big.
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell