Monday, January 5, 2009

The Week Ahead

As we enter the first full week of 2008, conference play is already beginning to separate some of the pretenders from the contenders. Last week featured several marquee match-ups with teams attempting to send a message to the rest of the country that they are going to be in their respective conference race for good. This week continues that trend, with plenty of quality intra-conference battles as well as a couple of non-conference games. If nothing else, last week showed that no one was invincible – who will step up this week?


Georgetown at Notre Dame (7:00 PM, ESPN):
Both teams coming off of losses over the weekend; can either of these teams become a consistent threat to Pittsburgh and UConn?


Miami (Ohio) at Dayton (7:00 PM, Regional TV): Dayton is looking like a legit at-large team out of the A-10 right now, while Miami (Ohio) has a very impressive RPI and SOS, but needs wins.

Connecticut at West Virginia (7:00 PM, ESPNU): West Virginia has been flying below the radar in the Big East thus far, but a home win here over the Huskies would get the nation’s attention.

Ohio State at Michigan State (7:00 PM, ESPN2):
Two of the Big Ten’s battle it out. Michigan State is solidifying itself as the favorite in the conference, while OSU is struggling somewhat.

Siena at Kansas (8:00 PM, ESPN FullCourt/Regional TV): Can Siena finally grab a marquee win against a BCS team? Kansas is playing excellent basketball and could rout the Saints.

Illinois State at Bradley (8:05 PM, Regional TV): Will Illinois State’s undefeated season continue against the always-competitive Braves? The Redbirds are playing very solid basketball lately.

LSU at Utah (9:00 PM, Regional TV): Utah knocked off Gonzaga on New Year’s Eve and then obliterated Wyoming; LSU is looking like a contender to win a watered-down SEC this year.

Alabama at Clemson (9:00 PM, ESPN FullCourt/Regional TV): Alabama could be turning its season around after an impressive win over Georgia Tech; Clemson is still undefeated (again).

Purdue at Penn State (9:00 PM, Big Ten Network): Will Penn State be a legit contender in the Big Ten? Purdue lost at home to Illinois in its last outing and won’t have an easy time with PSU.

Texas at Arkansas (9:00 PM, ESPN2): Arkansas already knocked off Oklahoma last week; can the young Razorbacks defeat both Big 12 powers? Courtney Fortson is a name to remember.


Davidson at Duke (7:00 PM, ESPN): Stephen Curry will be on display against another in-state power; he has struggled against the top teams this season, though; will that change?

Gonzaga at Tennessee (9:00 PM, ESPN2):
Who would have thought that these two teams would have a combined seven losses at this point in the season? They both need a big-time win.


Minnesota at Iowa (7:05 PM, ESPN2): Iowa is undefeated at home this season, while Minnesota is still hanging around the top of the Big Ten. A win here would keep their name in the discussion.

California at Washington State (10:00 PM):
One of the most impressive weeks in the country last week has to go to Cal, who knocked off both Arizona and Arizona State in impressive fashion.

Stanford at Washington (10:30 PM, Regional TV):
Stanford’s undefeated season went down in flames in a 30-point loss to Arizona State, while Washington blew out rival Washington State.

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