Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday Lay-up Lines

The third week in November is exciting for more than just football fans. Outside of the month of March, Feast Week is the best week in college basketball. With the number of preseason tournaments that take place during this week, not only will there be college basketball on TV for 15 hours a day, but there will be some incredible match-ups. I've mentioned this before, but these games are more important that just winning a pre-season tournament. A lot of times, they are the deciding factors when trying to determine who is a 2 seed and who is a 3 seed, or, more importantly, who gets in to the dance and who is doomed for an NIT berth. The action starts at 3 pm tomorrow with the most well-known of the pre-season tourneys - the Maui Invitational.

Maui Invitational:

  • 3:00 PM: St. Joseph's (1-1) vs. Texas (2-0) - Ahmad Nivins is averaging 21 and 12.5, but he hasn't faced a front line as big as Texas yet. 
  • 5:30 PM: Indiana (2-0) vs. Notre Dame (2-0) - The Hoosiers are 2-0 and freshman Tom Pritchard is averaging a double-double, but Tom Crean and Pritchard will get their first real test with Luke Harangody and the Irish.
  • 9:30 PM: UNC (3-0) @ Chaminade (0-0) - I bet Virginia thought it would be a cake walk too.
  • 12:00 AM: Oregon (2-1) vs. Alabama (1-1) - Both teams have already been upset in this young season. Alabama's loss to Mercer doesn't look so bad right now. Oregon's loss to Oakland does.
The CBE Classic semi-finals are also being played on Monday night in Kansas City.
  • 7:30 PM: Florida (3-0) vs. Syracuse (3-0): The first real test for either team. With most of the SEC struggling, this tournament is a chance for Florida to prove themselves the favorite in the conference.
  • 10:00 PM: Kansas (2-0) vs. Washington (2-1): Our first chance to really see what Cole Aldrich is made of as he will be going toe-to-toe with Pac-10 player of the year candidate Jon Brockman.
The Virgin Islands Paradise Jam finishes up with the finals tonight. 
  • 6:00 PM: Miami FL (2-1) vs. San Diego (2-2): The Hurricanes lost to UConn in the semi's, but Jack McClinton broke out of his shooting slump. San Diego, who lost to Wisconsin, is expected to compete with Gonzaga and St. Mary's for the WCC crown, but has already lost two games this season. 
  • 8:30 PM: UConn (4-0) vs. Wisconsin (4-0): Both UConn and Wisconsin struggled in their opening round games, but won handily in the semi's. Interesting match-up between two very different styles of play, especially offensively. Bo Ryan runs a precise system, whereas Jim Calhoun wants his guys to push the ball and basically just let their talent lead them.
The rest of Monday's action:
  • 8:00 PM: Florida Atlantic (3-1) @ Davidson (3-1)
  • 8:00 PM: Winston-Salem (0-2) @ Wake Forest (2-0)
  • 10:00 PM: UNLV (4-0) @ UTEP (2-0): UTEP may turn into the team that can give Memphis a run for the C-USA crown, especially if Randy Culpepper (25.5 ppg) can turn into a reliable #2 scoring option beside Stefon Jackson.

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