Monday, January 14, 2008

The Week Ahead

Although last week really marked the start of conference play and we saw nine top-25 team fall and a number of other fantastic games, this week could be even better. There are dozens of interesting intraconference match-ups, including several top teams testing their mettle against upset-minded opponents, both at home and on the road. Teams in a variety of conferences will begin to separate themselves from each other beginning this week, hence ESPN branding it "A Week of Impact."


Georgetown at Pittsburgh: Two perennial powers in the Big East square off. Georgetown has looked vulnerable lately, while Pitt is still playing well despite the loss of two starters to injury.

Oklahoma at Kansas: Battle in the Big 12. Oklahoma is coming off of a home loss to Kansas State, while Kansas is looking like one of the best teams in the country. Look for the match-ups inside.


North Carolina State at Clemson: NC State looked absolutely awful in its loss at North Carolina over the weekend, while Clemson needed double-overtime to escape a three-game losing streak.

Ohio State at Michigan State: Two teams needing a win after this past weekend's defeats. Ohio State's was respectable, losing at Purdue, but MSU scored just 36 points in a loss to Iowa.

Cincinnati at Notre Dame: Cincinnati has rebounded to become a surprise team in the Big East at 3-1, but Notre Dame has been almost unbeatable at home, going 10-0 in South Bend this year.

Oklahoma State at Baylor: Both teams are playing well lately, as OSU has ripped off five wins in a row, while Baylor is looking like an NCAA Tournament team at 13-2 overall.

Wake Forest at Maryland: Will either of these teams make a middle-of-the-pack push in the ACC? Wake Forest has surprised some so far, while Maryland has been a major disappointment.

Kentucky at Mississippi State: Kentucky is coming off a big win over Vanderbilt, which could give the Wildcats some momentum. MSU has won six in a row since starting just 5-5.

Wisconsin at Penn State: Possible upset in the making? Wisconsin is playing some of its best ball of the year, as it is 3-0 in the Big Ten. However, PSU is 2-1 and has won seven of its last eight.

Miami (Fl.) at Boston College: A win here by Miami would go a long way towards its attempt to solidify themselves as a legit team. BC has lost two of its last three -- at home.

BYU at UNLV: Two of the favorites in the wide-open Mountain West battle. BYU has lost two of its last four, while UNLV had won five in a row before falling at Air Force over the weekend.


Massachusetts at Dayton: Face-off in the Atlantic-10. UMass has lost two in a row since starting 11-2 and needs a win to help its NCAA resume, while Dayton would be in line for a top-four seed right now.

Duke at Florida State: Another potential upset in the top-15. Duke severely lacks an inside presence, and FSU can match-up with them on the perimeter. A win here would help FSU's at-large profile.

Delaware at VCU: The CAA leader battles the preseason favorite (VCU). UD is a shocking 5-0 in the conference, and beat George Mason and Old Dominion in a combined three overtimes last week.

Saint Joseph's at Charlotte: Could either of these teams make a run at an at-large bid? St. Joe's has five road wins and has won five in a row overall, while Charlotte won at Clemson last week.

Alabama at Georgia: Even though the SEC is down this season, neither of these teams looks like much of a threat in the conference. A win here by either could give them momentum going forward.

Florida at Mississippi: Both teams are loaded with young talent all over the roster, but both have also beefed up their records with weak schedules. The two have combined for 22 sub-100 wins.

DePaul at Villanova: A rematch (already?) of two weeks ago, when DePaul knocked off the Wildcats. The Blue Demons are 3-1 in the Big East, while 'Nova needs to bounce back from 1-2.

North Carolina at Georgia Tech: This game should be filled with lots of scoring, plenty of transition basketball and an abundance of athletes. Can Tech put it all together and mount a challenge for UNC?

Texas A&M at Texas Tech: Bobby Knight is still looking for his 900th win, and it would be even better if he could do it against an in-state rival that has won eight games in a row overall and is 15-1.

Utah at San Diego State: Another match-up between contenders in the Mountain West. Utah has played some close games against top competition, while SDSU has the lone top-50 RPI in the league.


Providence at Connecticut: Can either of these teams make a push towards an at-large bid? Both teams are 2-2 in the conference so far, but UConn has a Big East road win and PC does not.

Marquette at Louisville: Going into the season, this looked like a battle of top-three finishers. It still could be, although Louisville is still too inconsistent. Can the Cardinals handle Marquette's guards, and can the Golden Eagles match-up with Louisville inside?

Vanderbilt at Tennessee: Two of the best teams in the SEC, if not the country, go at it. Vandy suffered its first loss of the season at Kentucky over the weekend, while UT has won nine in a row.

Butler at Cleveland State: Although Butler is the clear favorite in the Horizon heading forward, Cleveland State is undefeated in league play and boasts road wins over Florida State and South Florida.

IUPUI at Oral Roberts: Two 5-0 teams in the Summit battle for first place. IUPUI has won 12 of its last 13 games, including a win over UMass. ORU has won three straight games, all on the road.

Indiana at Minnesota: Indiana has not played very well lately, struggling against both Michigan and Illinois before getting the wins. Minnesota wants to prove it's for real in the Big Ten after a 2-1 start.

Oregon at Washington: One of many solid Pac-10 games this week. Oregon has turned it around with three straight conference wins, while Washington needs to nab its first league victory.

Boise State at Utah State: Although the WAC has been very unimpressive this season, these two teams are a combined 12-1 since Dec. 8. This one will be for the conference lead.

Arizona State at California: Can either of these teams legitimately contend for a top-four finish? Arizona State is everyone's favorite "hot" team, winning nine in a row, while Cal is 2-2 in the league.

Arizona at Stanford: With Jerryd Bayless back from injury, Arizona looks like a formidable opponent, while Stanford is 2-2 in the Pac-10 after two losses by single-digits to UCLA and Oregon.

No comments:

Post a Comment