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COLLEGE HOOPS: THE WEEK AHEAD
January 2, 2006

SCS.comIt's 2006 now, and by the time this week is over, basically every team in America will have at least one conference game under its belt. Many conferences have gotten their league action underway already, and this past weekend saw a pair of upsets out west in the Pac-10. After each won last Thursday, both UCLA and Washington went down on Saturday, losing to California and Arizona, respectively. Another west coast upset saw WAC favorite Nevada lose on the road at St. Mary's. The uspets have already started, and with more and more conferences opening league play this week, look for more of the same in the days to come.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...

A look back at last weekend's highlights: Friday was a good night for the SEC as Vanderbilt won on the road at Dayton, Kentucky battled back for a home victory against Ohio, and Mississippi State came from behind to knock off George Mason ... The biggest game of the evening saw NC State hammer George Washington ... Also on Friday, Old Dominion held off Virginia Tech, Iowa won at St. Louis, Wichita State defeated Bradley in overtime, Missouri State topped Indiana State, and and Wisconsin-Milwaukee picked up an impressive four-point win on the road at Montana ... Just as expected, the best two games of the day on Saturday went right down to the wire: Ohio State came from 15 points down late in the second half to beat LSU, and Arizona went on the road and after two overtimes, knocked off the Washington Huskies ... Texas A&M stayed unbeaten with an impressive win over Northwestern State, while Cal picked up its second big win of the week, this one an upset over UCLA ... Louisville and Oklahoma got things back on track, that pair picking up victories over Miami and Alabama respectively ... Pittsburgh legitimized their undefeated record even more on Saturday with a win over Wisconsin ... Two mid-major upsets of interest: St. Mary's knocked off Nevada and Illinois State defeated Creighton ... Other games on Saturday saw Seton Hall knock off Iona, Villanova win at Temple, and Gonzaga top St. Joseph's ... The action of most importance on Sunday saw Texas Tech hold off in-state rival UTEP for a one-point victory.

MUST-SEE THIS WEEK

Texas at Memphis
Monday 1:30 PM CDT

Fresh off a win over Gonzaga, Tigers stay home to take on Texas, still reeling from huge losses to Duke and Tennessee.

Bucknell at Duke
Monday 3:30 PM CDT

Bison dropped one on the road last week but could more than make up for it against arguably the nation's best team.

Virginia at Western Kentucky
Monday 7:00 PM CDT

Cavs have not fared well against quality competition or on the road, which could spell trouble against the talented 'Toppers.

Creighton at Bradley
Monday 7:05 PM CDT

Each is 1-1 in MVC play, though the Jays appear to be a more serious contender for both the conference title and a NCAA berth.

Missouri State at Drake
Monday 7:05 PM CDT

Another matchup of 1-1 MVC squads, and again the road team is expected to be nearer the top of the standings come season's end.

Virginia Commonwealth at UAB
Monday 7:30 PM CDT

Rams are a favorite out of the Colonial and have won six straight. Blazers are quietly 8-3 after slamming Oklahoma State last week.

Wichita State at Southern Illinois
Monday 8:00 PM CDT

Shockers are lone MVC team sitting at 2-0 but must pay a visit to the team that has been the best in the conference this decade.

Vanderbilt at Georgia Tech
Tuesday 4:00 PM CDT

Forget the academics; school's out, and these two will hit the hardwood. Commodores are the favorite over young Yellow Jackets, just 6-4.

Michigan at Indiana
Tuesday 5:00 PM CDT

Wolverines have quietly jumped out to a 9-1 start. Hoosiers, a Big Ten favorite, return home for the first time since December 3.

Connecticut at Marquette
Tuesday 7:00 PM CDT

Huskies are unbeaten but have not had a true test in about six weeks. Eagles are 10-3, but a win here would be a major upset.

Iona at Fresno State
Tuesday 9:00 PM CDT

After winning seven straight to start the season, the Gaels have dropped two in a row. FSU is 7-3 and a winner in three consecutive games.

Texas A&M at Pacific
Tuesday 9:00 PM CDT

Aggies are the Big XII's lone unbeaten and are coming off a nice win over Northwestern State. Tigers, however, are likely their toughest test to date.

Xavier at St. Joseph's
Wednesday 5:00 PM CDT

Hawks are just 5-4 but put up a big fight at Gonzaga last Saturday. Musketeers have lost just twice by a combined five points.

George Washington at Temple
Wednesday 5:00 PM CDT

Colonials were stomped at NC State last week, and Temple didn't fare much better at home against Villanova. Both need a quality win to get A-10 play started.

Florida State at Clemson
Wednesday 6:00 PM CDT

Seminoles have very quietly sprinted out to an 9-1 start, their lone loss at rival Florida. Tigers have lost two straight since starting 9-0.

Notre Dame at Pittsburgh
Wednesday 6:00 PM CDT

Panthers proved they're not listening to the critics last week with wins over South Carolina and Wisconsin. Irish are 9-2 and winners of seven straight.

South Alabama at Tennessee
Wednesday 6:00 PM CDT

Jaguars have lost just twice this season but must face a team that looks as if it's ready to make a run in the SEC East.

UTEP at Syracuse
Wednesday 6:00 PM CDT

Miners are on of the country's better mid-majors, while Syracuse is sitting at 11-2 but has done little to impress anyone thus far.

Villanova at Louisville
Thursday 6:00 PM CDT

Perhaps the best contest of the week. The Cardinals have been dominant at home, but a test against the top five-ranked 'Cats will be their toughest yet.

Virginia Commonwealth at George Mason
Thursday 6:00 PM CDT

Good matchup between two teams that have hopes of being at or near the top of the Colonial standings come March.

Southern Illinois at Indiana State
Thursday 6:05 PM CDT

What can you say? It's another matchup of squads who expect to be at or near the top of the MVC standings this spring.

Iowa at Wisconsin
Thursday 7:00 PM CDT

Badgers are coming off loss at Pitt but get to open the Big Ten schedule at home against Hawkeyes who have not lost since December 9.

Michigan State at Illinois
Thursday 8:00 PM CDT

Perhaps the best two teams in the Big Ten this season get together to open their respective conference schedules. Another game of the week candidate.

Northern Iowa at Wichita State
Thursday 8:05 PM CDT

Did we mention that the MVC has a number of talented teams? Here are two more that meet head to head this week.

UCLA at Arizona
Thursday 9:30 PM CDT

Bruins were upset at Cal last weekend, while the 'Cats did some upsetting of their own at Washington. Both are Pac-10 front-runners this season.

Nevada at Hawaii
Thursday 11:00 PM CDT

Wolfpack will begin to lose some national respect if they drop this game after losing at St. Mary's last week. Warriors have already beaten Michigan State earlier this season.
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