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Feast Week: Five teams hoping to fill their resume plates

Dave2015From afternoon tip-offs to food aplenty, Feast Week is one of the best set-ups in college basketball.  The Maui Invitational features Michigan State and Kansas.  The Battle 4 Atlantis has the deepest field, with the likes of North Carolina, Gonzaga, Oregon and Seton Hall in attendance.  And that’s not factoring in solid groups gathered in Orlando, Anaheim and Las Vegas.  It’s a cornucopia of hoops, for sure.

With that as a backdrop, here are five teams hoping to build up resumes in the next seven days …

Dayton – An under-the-radar pick to potentially win the Atlantic 10, the Flyers open with Georgia in Maui. It’s a big opportunity in itself, but even bigger given the route a victory could provide (a matchup with Michigan State, for example).  With Davidson struggling out of the gate, it remains to be seen how many up games await during the A-10 season.  The Flyers would love to exit the islands with a couple of notables on their team sheet.

BYU – The Cougars have already notched a road win at Houston, so the cupboard isn’t bare –  even without the services of Yoeli Childs, suspended by the NCAA for nine games. The offsets are a home loss to better-than-you-think San Diego State and a roadie at Boise State.  Beating UCLA would give the Cougars a shot at Kansas (assuming the Jayhawks don’t lose to host Chaminade).  Even if beating KU isn’t in the cards, a 2-1 route through the winner’s bracket would be a nice feast to take home.

Alabama – To say the least, it’s been an inauspicious start for Nate Oats crew.  The Tide lost their home opener to Penn and dropped a 14-point decision at Rhode Island.  For a team expected to contend for an NCAA bid, the Battle for Atlantis provides both opportunity and peril.  The good news: this year’s field is so deep that all three games will carry weight, regardless of the bracket location.  Come Sunday, we could be either talking about Alabama’s resurgence or the hefty load they’ll have to lift during the upcoming SEC campaign.

Iowa State – Thus far, the Cyclones have taken care of business at home and dropped a competitive game to Oregon State in Corvallis.  Nothing wrong with that – but nothing to write home about, either.  Loaded with heavyweights, ISU opens its Battle 4 Atlantis slate against Michigan, another team with some question marks under new coach Juwan Howard.  How we view the Cyclones in early December will have a lot to do with how they fare this week in the Bahamas.  They’re hoping for two or three trips through the buffet line.

San Diego State – The Aztecs have dominated inferior opponents thus far and also own a victory at BYU.  How well that win holds up remains to be seen, but it’s noteworthy, nonetheless.  While this week’s Las Vegas event doesn’t own the same cache as Maui or Atlantis, SDSU has the opportunity to open against Creighton and then potentially matchup against Texas Tech.  A split would be nice.  A sweep could change the narrative about the Mountain West race.  An Aztec’s team sheet with a trio of non-conference W’s over BYU, Creighton and Texas Tech might be a tasty treat on Selection Sunday.



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