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ON THE DIAMOND: THE WEEKEND AHEAD
April 13, 2006

SCS.comTemperatures are warming up all across the country, so it's no surprise the action on the college diamond is heating up as well. Ironically enough, this weekend's biggest showdown will take place in the Sunshine State. Miami and Florida State are set to do battle in Tallahassee over the Easter weekend, and that isn't the only huge ACC battle we'll see over the holiday. Red-hot Clemson will visit Georgia Tech in another big conference battle, while Alabama will travel to LSU in the SEC. Also keep an eye on Baylor's trip to Texas and Southern Cal's visit to Arizona State.

SERIES OF THE WEEKEND

Miami at (5) Florida State

Two in-state rivals get together in Tallahassee this weekend, the Seminoles looking to stay hot while the Hurricanes are hoping to halt a recent slide. FSU is now 12-3 in league play and leading the Atlantic Division standings, while UM has slipped to 9-6 since losing six of their last eight. Once running away with the Coastal Division, the 'Canes now find themselves in a tie with North Carolina, while Georgia Tech and Virginia are each just a game behind. It's still early in the season, but another series loss could have people questioning how good this Miami team really is.

OTHER MUST-SEE SERIES

(3) Clemson at (10) Georgia Tech

There are few teams in the country as hot as the Tigers. CU has won six straight and 15 of their last 17, including weekend sweeps of NC State, Miami, and Maryland and a pair of victories over in-state rival South Carolina. GT, meanwhile, is hovering around the .500 mark in ACC play but is still very much in the race. Can the Tigers continue their dominance, or will Tech step up and grab a quality series win?

(8) Alabama at LSU

One of the few teams as hot at Clemson is Alabama. The Tide has won 10 of their last 12, including series victories over both Mississippi State and South Carolina. UA is now 9-3 in conference play and more than two full games ahead of the nearest competition in the SEC West. The Tigers, meanwhile, finally got things on track last weekend with a series win at Tennessee. Though they're still just 4-8 in league play, a second straight quality weekend for LSU could get Smoke's squad ready to make a run.

Baylor at (9) Texas

Just as many projected before the season began, Texas appears to be the favorite in the Big XII this spring. The 'Horns have sprinted out to a 9-2 start to league play, but Nebraska and Baylor haven't given up hope just yet. The Bears are one of just four conference teams above .500 in league play. BU has some momentum after taking all three from Oklahoma State last weekend, but how many can they pull out on the road against a top ten team?

Southern Cal at (14) Arizona State

Very quietly, the Trojans have jumped to the top of the Pac-10 standings with a 7-2 start to conference play. They are followed by second-place Arizona State, currently 4-2 and the only other team in the Pac-10 above .500 in league games. The Sun Devils, along with Oregon State, were picked to finish near the top of the standings, and with the Beavers sure to make a run soon, will USC extend its league lead this weekend or will ASU take the series and possibly the league lead?

OTHER SERIES OF INTEREST

(1) Rice at Memphis
  Top-ranked Owls visit surprisingly-good Tigers, 6-3 in CUSA play.

Mississippi at (6) South Carolina
  Rebs have won 7 of 9, while once-number one USC has dropped 4 of 5.

Kentucky at (11) Arkansas
  Quality matchup between two of the SEC's top six teams.

(12) Mississippi State at Auburn
  State struggling but must take advantage of SEC's only sub-.500 team.

(13) NC State at Maryland
  Pack sitting pretty at 10-5 in ACC play; should fare well against Terps.

Stanford at (15) Oregon State
  Card's slow start could be reversed with success against Pac-10 fave.

Georgia at Vanderbilt
  Dawgs hoping for 2nd straight good week; Vandy just a game out of first.

Missouri at Oklahoma
  Matchup of squads trying to stay in the hunt in the Big XII, NCAA races.

Houston at Southern Miss
  Both are chasing Rice, but each figures to be in the race all season long.

Florida at Tennessee
  A matchup of underachievers, these two are just 7-16 in SEC play.

Creighton at Southern Illinois
  A matchup of the only two 20-plus win teams in the Missouri Valley.

Fresno State at Louisiana Tech
  Dawgs are looking to extend WAC lead over second-place LA Tech.

Wichita State at Missouri State
  Shockers have been horrendous, while MO State is 5-1 in MVC action.

St. John's at Notre Dame
  Both 8-1, these two look to be the favorites in the Big East this spring.

U.S.A.
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