Monday, February 17, 2003

The week ahead could be altered by the major-league snowstorm pummelling the northeast as I write, but with the understanding that tonight's Pitt-Georgetown and 'Nova-Seton Hall matchups will be made up sometime later, let's otherwise assume this week's schedule stands.

Tonight then, unsurprisingly, the action's out west. Texas hosts Texas Tech in a HUGE game for the Red Raiders (after a 10-1 start, their Dancin' shoes aren't fitting the way they used to). Don't bet on the General to pull it off - but never bet against him. There's also a trio of dandy Mountain West matchups which could have a lot of impact on Selection Sunday: Wyoming's at Air Force (Cowboys still bubble?), UNLV visits Utah (UNLV still bubble? Utes are in, barring a collapse), and San Diego State is at BYU (Cougs trying to keep up with Utah at the top of the standings).

Three tasty selections are on tap Tuesday. In the Big Ten, Michigan State travels to Champaign with the Illini looking for payback (subplots abound: can the Illini stay in the thick of the conference title chase? Or will the Spartans push themselves further into it?). Georgia's at 'Bama: oh say can you see two SEC bubblers (who shouldn't have fallen this far)? Meanwhile, in the Big East, Notre Dame's got a tough road game at West Virginia, better than you think (remember, it was they who gave the Gators their first loss nearly two months ago).

Wednesday... mmm, Wednesday. Start with an appetizer of Memphis at Louisville (Calipari. Pitino. 'nuff said.). Continue with the salad course, Maryland at Duke (the ACC is far from over, folks). The leaders of the SEC West then face off as Mississippi State pays a call to Auburn to cleanse the palate. Your main course? How does Oklahoma State at Oklahoma sound, garnished with a little Dayton at Richmond (try to catch this one - the Spiders might yet be bubble, and could definitely play A-10 spoilers)? For dessert, half a sixpack of Big Ten matchups: Michigan at Purdue (for all the marbles? It just might be), Minnesota at Northwestern (think NU can't spoil your week? Just ask Purdue and Indiana), and Indiana at Iowa (Andy Katz: "The Hoosiers are in desperation mode and absolutely have to win this game.").

Wake is at GA Tech on Thursday.

I swear I'll preview the weekend before the weekend, this week. Scout's honor.

Days until Selection Sunday: 27


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