Who’s on upset alert?: No. 25 New Mexico
The Lobos have put together a pretty impressive resume early in the season, with wins over Davidson, George Mason and UConn. Resumes can be deceiving, however. The win over Davidson was due, at least in part, to the fact that the Wildcats were ill-prepared to play at elevation in Albuquerque and that game was a 2 a.m. ET tip during Marathon Madness. The win over George Mason was even wilder, as the Lobos hit two threes in the final ten seconds to win the game.
Taken in context, New Mexico’s resume isn’t quite as impressive. On Saturday at 2:05 p.m., the Lobos will take to the road, heading to Terre Haute, IN, to play the Indiana State Sycamores, who are led by one of the nation’s best mid-major point guard in Jake Odum. Now, this is a bit of a down year for the Sycamores, but given the last of upset potential this weekend and the fact that both Kentucky and North Carolina have been run out of the gym during a road game to the Hoosier state this week, it only seemed fitting that ISU would do the same.
Who else is on upset alert?:
- Saturday, 1:00 p.m.: Illinois State at No. 5 Louisville: Illinois State fields a pretty good team this season. Their Big Three averages 48.0 points, they shoot the heck out of the ball, and they have a veteran roster that has been through the MVC battles. The Cards had better be careful here.
- Saturday, 4:00 p.m.: No. 3 Michigan at Bradley: Road games for young teams in college hoops are never easy, and Michigan is a pretty young team. Three sophomores play major minutes. Star point guard Trey Burke is only a sophomore. I’m not backing off what I said earlier this week, putting the Wolverines in the mix for best team in the country, but they better come out ready to play on Saturday.
- Saturday, 7:00 p.m.: Detroit at Pittsburgh: Detroit has as much talent as any mid-major program in the country, as they are headlined by scoring point guard Ray McCallum and the high-flying Doug Anderson. Pitt has looked much improved this year, but if they aren’t careful, the Titans can sneak in and steal a win.
- Sunday, 2:30 p.m.: George Mason vs. Maryland: At least one regional rivalry is being played at the BB&T Classic. George Mason is in their second season under Paul Hewitt as they look to land their biggest win with him at the helm, but the Patriots are going to have their work cut out for them trying to slow down future lottery pick Alex Len.
- Sunday, 7:00 p.m.: Cal St.-Fullerton at Washington: Fullerton hasn’t exactly played a murderer’s row this season, but that doesn’t change the fact that the trio of DJ Seeley, Kwame Vaughn and Sammy Yeager have been terrific. Through five games, they are averaging 53.6 points, 14.4 boards, 12.0 assists and shooting 54.7% from the floor and 48.5% from three.
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.
GAME OF THE NIGHT: Syracuse vs. No. 18 UConn, 3:30 p.m.
For the first time since the Orange departed the Big East, the two former rivals will square off. Today’s battle will take place at the Battle 4 Atlantis, as the Orange knocked off Charlotte yesterday and the Huskies dispatched Michigan. To get ready for this battle, I’d suggest ready through the conversation @NoEscalators had with himself last night.
THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 25 Texas A&M vs. No. 10 Gonzaga, 1:00 p.m.
The other semifinal in the Battle 4 Atlantis could end up being just as good, as the Aggies — who might be the second best team in the SEC — square off with a Gonzaga team that has one of the best front lines in the country. This will be a good test to figure out just how good both of these teams are.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR
1. No. 20 Wichita State vs. USC, 2:00 p.m.: The Shockers will be without Fred VanVleet for this event. It will also be a chance for us to gauge just how good this 4-0 USC team is.
2. No. 23 Xavier vs. Alabama, 12:00 p.m: The Musketeers should have no problems dispatching Alabama.
3. No. 8 Villanova vs. Stanford, 4:30 p.m.: The Wildcats are, once again, as good as any team in the country. Josh Hart might be the nation’s most underrated star.
4. No. 14 Cal vs. San Diego State, 12:00 a.m.: Tyrone Wallace and company have been awesome this season. They get their first real test of the season tonight.
5. Providence vs. Evansville, 7:00 p.m.: Evansville is one of the nation’s best mid-majors, good enough to give the likes of Wichita State and Northern Iowa a fight in the Missouri Valley. And Providence? They got a kid named Kris Dunn. Heard of him?
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 3 Michigan State vs. Boston College, 6:30 p.m.
- No. 11 Arizona vs. Santa Clara, 11:30 p.m.
- No. 17 Notre Dame vs. Monmouth, 6:30 p.m.
No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.
Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.
But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.
It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:
After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”: