Monday, November 26, 2007

The Week Ahead

After an exhausting week of holiday tournaments and several marquee head-to-head matchups, the 07-08 college basketball season is ready to hit December with a bang. College football only has a few conference championship games left, meaning that it is time for college basketball to take center stage -- if it didn't already. Here is a preview of several of the top games from Monday-Friday.

Davidson at Appalachian State (Monday, 7:00 PM, Regional TV): The first conference game of the season between the two best teams in the Southern Conference last year. ASU will be down a bit this year, but it does have the homecourt advantage against Stephen Curry and co.

Ohio at Holy Cross (Monday, 7:00 PM): A decent non-conference battle between contenders in the MAC and Patriot, respectively. The match-up inside with Ohio's Jerome Tillman and Leon Williams and Holy Cross' Tim Clifford will be something to keep an eye on.

Wake Forest at Iowa (Monday, 7:05 PM, ESPN2): The opener of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. The organizers probably could have found a better match-up to kick off the Challenge, but both teams are looking to get some momentum heading into December.

Georgia Tech at Indiana (Tuesday, 7:00 PM, ESPN): Another ACC-Big Ten Challenge match-up. Tech needs to make a non-conference statement in order to be considered a serious NCAA Tournament contender, while Indiana has to bounce back after a loss to Xavier.

Minnesota at Florida State (Tuesday, 7:30 PM, ESPN2): Although this is a mediocre game on paper, both teams are looking to make a run at the upper-division of their respective conferences. Minnesota is 3-0, while FSU bounced back from a rough start to win at Florida.

Austin Peay at Memphis (Tuesday, 8:00 PM): Don't write this one off just yet. Sure, Memphis is far more talented, but Austin Peay is the favorite in the Ohio Valley and has a chance to be a deep sleeper in March. Expect Memphis to be more focused after John Calipari "cancelled" Thanksgiving.

Wisconsin at Duke (Tuesday, 9:00 PM, ESPN): One of the premier games of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Wisconsin has started 5-0 this year and point guard Trevon Hughes looks like a star. Duke is much improved since last year and will be a tough team to beat in the ACC.

Purdue at Clemson (Tuesday, 9:30 PM, ESPN2): Two teams trying to break through into the main contenders in their respective conferences. Purdue has a talented young group, while Clemson has been impressive so far this season, including a win at Mississippi State.

UNLV at UCSB (Tuesday, 10:00 PM): Battle on the West Coast. UNLV, coming off of a Sweet Sixteen appearance, is looking to make a run in the Mountain West, while UC Santa Barbara, behind wing Alex Harris, is one of the favorites in the Big West.

North Carolina State at Michigan State (Wednesday, 7:00 PM, ESPN): Another very good match-up in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. NC State may have gotten over its rough start with a win over Villanova Sunday, while Michigan State has been inconsistent but effective all year.

Georgetown at Old Dominion (Wednesday, 7:00 PM, Regional TV): Rematch of one of last year's best early-conference upsets, when ODU went into Georgetown and beat the Hoyas. ODU has taken a step back from last year, while Georgetown might be even better.

Boston College at Michigan (Wednesday, 7:30 PM, ESPNU): Two teams projected to finish in the bottom half of their respective conferences and going in opposite directions so far. BC is 4-0, while Michigan is only 3-3 but tying to build off a close loss to Western Kentucky.

Massachusetts at Syracuse (Wednesday, 7:30 PM, ESPN Classic): Both teams are 4-1 and looking to pick up a solid win. UMass has been more impressive than expected this year, while Syracuse is coming off of a third-place finish at the NIT Season Tip-Off.

Illinois at Maryland (Wednesday, 7:30 PM, ESPN2): Expect this game to be looked at again in three and a half months when both teams are on the bubble. Illinois finished third in the Maui Invitational, while Maryland is only 4-2 after two losses in Kansas City.

Dayton at Miami (Ohio) (Wednesday, 7:30 PM, Regional TV): Can Miami (Ohio) continue to build its non-conference resume with another solid win. The Redhawks have already knocked off an Atlantic-10 team in Xavier and also have a win over Mississippi State. Dayton is 3-1.

Missouri at Arkansas (Wednesday, 8:05 PM, Regional TV/ESPN FullCourt): Expect a high-scoring battle. Missouri has been impressive all year, with a three-point loss to Michigan State as the lone blemish. Arkansas finished third in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, including a win over VCU.

North Carolina at Ohio State (Wednesday, 9:00 PM, ESPN): Two of the nation's best recruiting classes from last season meet up again - without four of the better freshmen of last year. UNC struggled against BYU without Tywon Lawson, while Ohio State was blown out by Texas A&M.

Alabama at Texas A&M (Wednesday, 9:00 PM, ESPNU): Two teams looking to replace big-time point guards and make a run at a league title. Alabama has a bad loss to Belmont on its schedule, while A&M is coming off a dominant performance in New York to win the NIT Season Tip-Off.

Cal State Fullerton at Arizona (Wednesday, 9:30 PM, Regional TV): Another solid battle on the West Coast. CSU Fullerton is one of the contenders in the Big West, while Arizona is coming off of an overtime loss at Kansas. The Wildcats needs to build off the defeat.

California at Nevada (Wednesday, 10:05 PM): Too bad Nick Fazekas is no longer around for the Wolf Pack, who need to find a way to contain the inside duo of Ryan Anderson and DeVon Hardin of Cal. Nevada is led by wing Marcelus Kemp, who is capable of carrying the team.

George Washington at UCLA (Wednesday, 10:30 PM, Regional TV): A potentially interesting game, especially if Darren Collison doesn't play for the Bruins. GW loves to pressure the ball full-court, and UCLA point guard Russell Westbrook has struggle somewhat at times this year.

Drexel at George Mason (Thursday, 7:00 PM, Regional TV): A very solid early-season CAA match-up. Drexel is still smarting after last year's NCAA Tournament snub, while George Mason looks like it could be a potential NCAA Tournament team come March.

Gonzaga at Saint Joseph's (Thursday, 8:00 PM, ESPNU): One of the best non-ACC/Big Ten Challenge games of the week. Gonzaga suffered a loss to Texas Tech in Alaska, but has the talent and depth to bounce back. Saint Joseph's is a contender in the Atlantic-10.

South Alabama at Vanderbilt (Thursday, 8:00 PM, Regional TV): If Vanderbilt freshman big man A.J. Ogilvy plays the way he has, don't expect an upset. He has been one of the better newcomers in the country. On the other side, USA is coming off two impressive wins in the Anaheim Classic.

Oregon at Kansas State (Thursday, 9:00 PM, ESPN2): Another very solid head-to-head match-up in the Big 12/PAC-10 Challange. Oregon is a very talented group who will contend in the Pac-10, but lost to St. Mary's. Kansas State had an up-and-down trip in Orlando, going 2-1.

Oklahoma at USC (Thursday, 11:00 PM, FSN): A potential trap game for USC, who faces Kansas and Memphis in a three-day span starting Sunday. The Trojans looked outstanding in their blowout win over Southern Illinois, while Oklahoma has been impressive so far this year.

Vermont at Florida (Friday, 7:00 PM, Regional TV/ESPN FullCourt): Both teams are looking for a win to get back on the right track. Florida was very impressive early, but fell at home to Florida State this weekend. Vermont started 0-3, but have since won back-to-back games.

Washington State at Baylor (Friday, 9:00 PM, ESPNU): One of the best games of the week. Washington State is 6-0 after three straight wins in Spokane, while Baylor is 5-0 including wins over Notre Dame and Winthrop in the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Island. Expect a low-scoring contest.

1 comment:

  1. Davidson Wildcats roll at App State, 71-60. Stephen Curry lights up the arena for 38 points, setting the all-time scoring record for App State's arena.

    Go Wildcats!!