Friday, November 27, 2009
Weekend Viewer's Guide
With all the turkey and Thanksgiving festivities out of the way, most of the nation will now settle down for a nice, relaxing weekend -- filled with college basketball. Oh, sure, there's college football and NFL too, but we all know that it's going to be Texas vs. Alabama/Florida in the title game and the best pro game of the week is not until Monday night. Therefore, just kick back and watch some holiday hoops.
Marquette vs. Michigan (Friday, 12:00 PM, ESPN): Michigan is a contender in the Big Ten, and Marquette has gotten off to a surprising start in what is a rebuilding season.
Texas A&M vs. No. 8 West Virginia (Friday, 2:30 PM, ESPN): A&M handled Clemson relatively easily, while Devin Ebanks could make his season debut for West Virginia.
Xavier vs. Creighton (Friday, 2:30 PM, ESPNU): Two non-BCS teams that could be fighting for an at-large come Selection Sunday; a win here would look good.
No. 13 Connecticut vs. No. 7 Duke (Friday, 5:00 PM, ESPN): While this game might not be as important as it has in the past, anytime these two get together, it's destined to be a classic.
Siena vs. St. John's (Friday, 5:30 PM): St. John's is optimistic about the season, while Siena has the potential to be a factor in the NCAA Tournament again.
Richmond vs. Mississippi State (Friday, 6:00 PM, FCS Pacific): Both teams are in need of a win. Richmond won't get many opportunities for big wins, while MSU has been somewhat disappointing.
Nevada at VCU (Friday, 7:30 PM): Both teams are looking to continue their good starts -- Nevada has defeated Houston, while VCU beat Oklahoma.
Florida vs. No. 2 Michigan State (Friday, 8:00 PM, Regional TV): I like Florida a lot more than most, but the Gators could have trouble against MSU's experience and defense.
Old Dominion vs. Missouri (Friday, 8:30 PM, FCS Pacific): A win here for ODU would boost the CAA's profile in the early season, while Missouri is lurking in the Big 12.
Portland vs. No. 22 Minnesota (Friday, 9:30 PM, ESPNU): Portland destroyed UCLA on Thursday, but Minnesota's defense will not allow them to shoot as well as they did.
Butler vs. UCLA (Friday, 11:30 PM, ESPNU): One of these teams will exit Anaheim with at least two losses, as Butler fell to Minnesota and UCLA was rocked by Portland on Thursday.
La Salle at No. 4 Villanova (Saturday, 3:30 PM, ESPN2): Battle in Philly. La Salle is expected to be a sleeper in the Atlantic-10, while 'Nova is a Final Four contender again.
No. 16 Louisville at UNLV (Saturday, 4:00 PM, Versus): UNLV surprised Louisville by pulling the upset last season, and the Cardinals will head into Vegas for revenge.
Boston College at Providence (Saturday, 7:00 PM): Two New England teams that are headed for a down season, but could get some momentum with a win here.
76 Classic (Sunday, 2:30/5:00/7:30/10:00 PM, ESPNU/ESPN2): By far the best preseason tournament will have four marquee games on the docket, including a potential West Virginia-Minnesota battle in the title game.
Niagara at Akron (Sunday, 2:00 PM): Don't overlook this game. Akron is the favorite to win the MAC, while Niagara is one of the more entertaining teams to watch.
Nevada at No. 11 North Carolina (Sunday, 6:45 PM, FSN): Another tough battle for Nevada this week, as the Wolf Pack will face a UNC team looking to bounce back from its loss to 'Cuse.
Old Spice Classic Championship (Sunday, 7:30 PM, ESPN2): A potential Michigan-Florida State match-up could be very interesting. Marquette and Alabama are also in the mix.