Tigers-Hoyas highlight Weekend Primer
Are you ready for some basketball? …. How about our Bracketville Weekend Primer. What you need to know about the weekend in college hoops. Quick-hitters, notes, and thoughts about the best, worst, most intriguing, and bubbalicious games directly ahead. Ready, set, here we go …
Best Game … Memphis at Georgetown (Saturday) – This might not be a Final-Four type preview, but it’s the type of matchup we could easily see in the Sweet 16. The visiting Tigers have stayed away from the spotlight since San Juan. This will be the Hoyas biggest test since losing to Tennessee in the Old Spice Classic.
In the Neighborhood … Xavier at Cincinnati (Saturday). Outside of Duke-UNC, it’s tough to find a closer geographic rivalry than the Crosstown Shootout. Simply put, these teams don’t like each other. And while XU has certainly been the best program over the past couple of years, UC’s rebuilding efforts figure to make this one a battle.
Remember when … the Indiana/Kentucky game (Saturday at UK) featured star powered coaches, players and rankings? This year’s version won’t generate much national interest, but locals still care. Big Blue fans especially will be on edge – given the early loss to VMI. Can you imagine if the Wildcats manage to lose at home to an Indiana team decimated by defections and probation?
Most Intriguing … Has to be Butler at Ohio State (Saturday). The Bulldogs beat the Buckeyes at Hinkle last year, spoiling Thad Matta’s return. This year’s BU team is not as experienced or talented, but they’re also unbeaten. Few teams do “ugly winning” better than Butler. Did we mention the Buckeyes are unbeaten, too?
Early Christmas? … No question, Tennessee will be a heavy favorite at Temple (Saturday). The host Owls – expected to compete for an Atlantic-10 title – haven’t played up to par. Then again, it’s the Holidays and should we underestimate Dionte Christmas on his home floor?
Bubbalicious … San Diego State vs. St. Mary’s (Saturday) – Neither of these at-large hopefuls have a marquis non-conference win; so a head-to-head could count for something.
What could have been … Before the season, Southern Illinois at Nevada (Sunday) looked like a great non-conference tilt with possible NCAA implications. But neither the Salukis or Wolfpack should be thinking at-large at this point.
Redemption in the Desert … Arizona hosts Gonzaga (Sunday) and no traditional NCAA power is more in need of a key win than the Wildcats. They’ve already lost at home to UAB and Texas A&M. Meanwhile, Gonzaga rolls on and could actually be in the running for a No. 1 seed if it completes a hefty non-conference schedule unblemished.