Now’s the Pac-10’s chance to prove it’s not so miserable.
A pair of intriguing matchups (Washington at USC and Washington State at UCLA) Wednesday night should prove to be entertaining, close and – dare I say it? – even resemble good basketball. Maybe that’s a stretch. I’ll reserve judgment until after the final bucket.
The Huskies (8-3) have just three losses and are in kenpom.com’s top 10 thanks to their efficient defense and offense, but some aren’t sure they’re deserving of that perch. They’ve only lost to Kentucky, Michigan State and at Texas A&M. Not bad. But this is an entirely different test as Lorenzo Romar’s team hasn’t swept the L.A. trip since 2006 – and is 1-7 since then. They’ll have their hands full against a USC team with good size, an aggressive point guard and a maddening defense.
Meanwhile, their in-state rivals are trying to establish themselves as a conference darkhorse. Klay Thompson, Faisal Aden & Co. are coming off a run to the Diamond Head Classic title game, knocking off Baylor and Miss State along the way. The Cougars can score, they run and they’re actually fun to watch. UCLA has potential – nearly knocking off Kansas and handing BYU its only loss of the season – when it manages to get a decent outing from Tyler Honeycutt. If he struggles.
Georgetown at Notre Dame: The Hoyas haven’t played since torching the Memphis defense on Dec. 23. This isn’t an easy re-start. The Irish are 8-0 at home this season, winning all but two games by double digits. The defense is still shaky, but they’re one of the few teams in the Big East that features a trio (Tim Abromaitis, Ben Hansbrough and Carelton Scott) who can match the production of Georgetown’s Austin Freeman, Jason Clark and Chris Wright.
Wofford at VCU: The Rams blew a big lead in last week’s loss to UAB and don’t get any reprieves here. The Terriers are just 5-6 and have just missed pulling off upsets against Clemson, Air Force, Xavier and South Carolina. Look for VCU to push the pace, while Wofford wants to slow it down.
Georgia Southern at Auburn: The tigers may be the worst team among the BCS conferences. They’ve lost to UNC Asheville, Samford, Campbell, Jacksonville and Presbyterian, all at home. If they lose Wednesday, they should probably just cancel their season.
(All times ET)
St. Peter’s at Lehigh, 2:30 p.m.
Quinnipiac at Boston U., 7 p.m.
Northwestern St. at Canisius, 7 p.m.
Brown at Cent. Connecticut St., 7 p.m.
Monmouth, N.J. at Harvard, 7 p.m.
Towson at La Salle, 7 p.m.
Boston College at Rhode Island, 7 p.m.
Colgate at Stony Brook, 7 p.m.
Mount St. Mary’s, Md. at Vermont, 7 p.m.
St. John’s at West Virginia, 7 p.m.
Hofstra at Iona, 7:30 p.m.
Penn at Marist, 7:30 p.m.
East Carolina at Clemson, 7 p.m.
William & Mary at Longwood, 7 p.m.
Milligan at N.C. Central, 7 p.m.
Wake Forest at Richmond, 7 p.m.
Jacksonville St. at South Carolina, 7 p.m.
Tenn.-Martin at Tennessee, 7 p.m.
Duke at UNC Greensboro, 7 p.m.
Georgia Southern at Auburn, 8 p.m.
North Florida at Maryland, 8 p.m.
Tennessee St. at Middle Tennessee, 8 p.m.
Marquette at Vanderbilt, 9 p.m.
Ark.-Pine Bluff at Akron, 7 p.m.
George Mason at Dayton, 7 p.m.
Georgetown at Notre Dame, 7 p.m.
Bradley at Indiana St., 7:05 p.m.
Missouri St. at N. Iowa, 8 p.m.
S. Illinois at Drake, 8:05 p.m.
Creighton at Illinois St., 8:05 p.m.
Evansville at Wichita St., 8:05 p.m.
Texas-Arlington at Kansas, 9 p.m.
Illinois at Iowa, 9:05 p.m.
Army at Texas-Pan American, 7 p.m.
Sam Houston St. at W. New Mexico at the Don Haskins Center, El Paso, Texas, 7:30 p.m.
N. Carolina A&T at Arkansas, 8 p.m.
LSU at Rice, 8 p.m.
SE Missouri at SMU, 8 p.m.
Louisiana-Monroe at Stephen F.Austin, 8 p.m.
New Mexico at Texas Tech, 8 p.m.
Air Force at UTEP, 9:30 p.m.
N. Arizona at Montana, 3 p.m.
Lafayette at Gonzaga, 8:30 p.m.
Md.-Eastern Shore at Colorado, 9 p.m.
Weber St. at Montana St., 9:05 p.m.
Hawaii at Utah St., 9:05 p.m.
Sacramento St. at E. Washington, 10:05 p.m.
New Mexico St. at Idaho, 10:05 p.m.
N. Colorado at Portland St., 10:05 p.m.
Louisiana Tech at Boise St., 10:15 p.m.
Washington at Southern Cal, 10:30 p.m.
San Jose St. at Fresno St., 11 p.m.
Saint Mary’s, Calif. vs. Mississippi St. at Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, 11 p.m.
Washington St. at UCLA, 11 p.m.
Cable Car Classic
At Santa Clara, Calif.
Delaware at Santa Clara, 9 p.m.
American vs. Fordham, 11:15 p.m.
Dr Pepper Classic
At Chattanooga, Tenn.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi vs. Georgia St., 4:30 p.m.
Montreat at Chattanooga, 7 p.m.
Hardwood Club Holiday Tournament
At Hattiesburg, Miss.
Savannah St. vs. SE Louisiana, 5:30 p.m.
MVSU at Southern Miss., 8 p.m.
UCF Holiday Classic
At Orlando, Fla.
Furman at UCF, 7:30 p.m.
Northeastern vs. Princeton, 9:30 p.m.
VCU Christmas Tournament
At Richmond, Va.
New Hampshire vs. Cornell, 5 p.m.
Wofford at Va. Commonwealth, 7 p.m.
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