Monday, January 19, 2009

The Week Ahead

After a wild week which saw two of the three remaining unbeatens lose on Saturday to fellow ranked teams, it’s time for another jam-packed week of college basketball. The questions that surrounded many teams after non-conference play are beginning to be answered as teams around the country attempt to separate themselves from the pack in their respective conferences. This week will answer a few more of those questions.


Syracuse at Pittsburgh (7:00 PM, ESPN): Pittsburgh tries to bounce back from its first loss of the season, while Syracuse is coming off of a dominant win over Notre Dame.

Cincinnati at Providence (8:00 PM, ESPN FullCourt/Regional TV): If the Big East is going to get 10 bids to the NCAA Tournament, one of these teams is going to need to step up.

Texas A&M at Kansas (9:00 PM, ESPN): The Big 12 seems to have a host of potential at-large contenders this season, and these two are in the middle of the pack.


Ohio State at Illinois (7:00 PM, ESPN): With Purdue struggling somewhat, there is space for the No. 2 spot in the conference behind Michigan State. Which team will it be?

Tennessee at Vanderbilt (9:00 PM, ESPN): Tennessee needs to gather some momentum in conference play, but it is never easy to win against Vandy, an in-state rival.

Michigan at Penn State (9:00 PM, Big Ten Network): Penn State is still hanging around as a threat in the Big Ten, while Michigan is coming off a home loss to Ohio State.


Virginia Tech at Wake Forest (7:00 PM, ESPN2): Virginia Tech is starting to play much better basketball lately, but Wake Forest is annihilating opponents right now.

Villanova at Connecticut (7:00 PM, ESPN): Villanova still lacks a marquee win to on its resume, which could come back to haunt them on Selection Sunday. This would do the trick.

Florida at South Carolina (7:00 PM, ESPN FullCourt/Regional TV): Florida is looking like arguably the best team in the SEC, while South Carolina nearly beat Tennessee.

Duquesne at Saint Joseph’s (7:00 PM): A battle for second in the Atlantic-10 behind Xavier. Duquesne fell at home to Dayton over the weekend, while St. Joe's has won four in a row.

George Mason at Northeastern (7:00 PM, Regional TV): First place in the CAA is on the line as the 7-0 Patriots go against Northeastern, which lost its first league game Saturday.

Florida State at Miami (Fl.) (7:30 PM): An intrastate and intraconference battle. Outside of the top four in the ACC, it's wide-open. One of these teams will look to move up.

Mississippi State at LSU (8:00 PM): SEC West supremacy will be up for grabs. Mississippi State has yet to prove it can win on the road, while LSU destroyed Ole Miss Saturday.

Bradley at Northern Iowa (8:05 PM, Regional TV): Two surprise favorites in the Missouri Valley face off. UNI has won six in a row, while Bradley has lost two of three.

Clemson at North Carolina (9:00 PM, ESPN): Expect plenty of points in this ACC battle. Clemson never wins at UNC, and the Tigers are coming off their first loss.

Missouri at Oklahoma State (9:00 PM, ESPN FullCourt/Regional TV): Another game that will likely feature lots of running, gunning and scoring. Sounds good to me.

Nebraska at Oklahoma (9:00 PM, ESPNU): Nebraska has been surprisingly solid this year. However, the Cornhuskers don't have anyone to stop Blake Griffin.

Arizona State at Arizona (9:30 PM, Regional TV): In-state rivalry in the Pac-10. Arizona State defeated UCLA on the road Saturday, while UA fell just short at USC.

UNLV at BYU (10:00 PM, CBS College Sports): The two preseason favorites in the Mountain West need to pick up wins and get momentum heading down the stretch.


West Virginia at Georgetown (7:00 PM, ESPN): Yet another Big East showdown between two likely NCAA Tournament teams. Both teams could use a win here.

Purdue at Minnesota (7:00 PM, ESPN2): The Big Ten does not have a clear-cut No. 2 team behind Michigan State, and these two teams might be the best bets for that spot.

Wisconsin-Green Bay at Butler (7:00 PM): First-place in the Horizon is on the line. Butler is making another case for a protected seed, while Wisc.-GB is a surprising 6-1.

Saint Mary’s at San Diego (9:00 PM, ESPN2): Saint Mary's is quietly 17-1 and looking like a second-weekend NCAA Tournament threat. USD has turned its season around.

UCLA at Washington State (9:00 PM, FSN): UCLA can't afford to lose its second straight game, while Washington State has won three in a row, including two road games.

USC at Washington (11:00 PM, FSN): The Pac-10 seems wide-open this year, as every team has at least one loss. One of these teams will sneak in and get an NCAA bid.

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