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Kentucky at Alabama
The top two teams in the SEC, the leaders of the Eastern and Western divisions, get together Saturday afternoon in a battle that will have a huge say in which club earns the conference's regular season championship. Kentucky dropped their first league game of the season last week at South Carolina but is still 11-1 in SEC play and three games ahead in the East. Alabama is 10-2 in the conference and has not lost since the first week of February.
In fact, the Crimson Tide has lost just four times all season long. Coach Mark Gottfried's team has been led by the play of two juniors and a senior. Guard Earnest Shelton, in his final year on campus, is averaging nearly 17 points a contest, about nine of those coming from behind the arc. Juniors Kennedy Winston and Chuck Davis also score in double figures, Winston at over 17 points a game and Davis at more than 14 each night out. After losing two of three right around the New Year holiday, UA has come out on top in ten of their last eleven, six of those by more than 10 points.
Coach Tubby Smith's young and inexperienced squad was expected to face some tough times this season, but that has rarely been the case. UK has lost just three games this year, and they did not pick up their first SEC loss until last week on the road at South Carolina. Since a non-conference loss against Kansas in early January, the Wildcats, like the Tide, have rolled off ten of their last eleven. Junior Kelenna Azubuike is leading the team with over 14 points a game. Seniors Patrick Sparks and Chuck Hayes both average about 11 each night out, while two true freshmen, Rajon Rondo and Randolph Morris, score nearly nine each.
If the Tide can come away with a 2-0 week, the SEC race will likely come down to the final weekend when UK visits Florida and UA travels to Mississippi State. A Wildcat win in Tuscaloosa likely sews up the regular season SEC title for Tubby Smith and his squad.
The defense will be fierce in this one, but with the home crowd and a slightly better offensive club, look for the Tide to come away with a close, hard-fought victory.
The Editor Says: Alabama
THE WEEK'S OTHER TOP MATCHUPS...
Oral Roberts at UMKC
The Mid-Continent's top two teams meet on the hardwood Tuesday evening. ORU is sitting at 11-2 in league play and is followed by the Kangaroos who are 10-2 and just a half-game back in the standings. UMKC won by fourteen in Tulsa back in late January, but they'll have to slow Eagles forward Caleb Green, the Mid-Con's leading scorer.
The Editor Says: Oral Roberts
Alabama at LSU
The SCS.com Game of the Week will not mean quite as much if the Tide does not find a way to win in Baton Rouge Tuesday evening. The Tigers are perhaps the SEC's hottest team, winners of three of their last four, including victories at Mississippi State and against Florida. But the Tide steps up and stays in the SEC title chase.
The Editor Says: Alabama
Bucknell at Holy Cross
Bucknell and Holy Cross are the top two teams in the Patriot League, and they'll meet at in Worcester, MA Wednesday night. The Crusaders have lost just five times the entire season and currently hold a two-game lead over the Bison. A home victory for Holy Cross would give the team the regular season league title.
The Editor Says: Holy Cross
Central Florida at Gardner-Webb
The Atlantic Sun is perhaps the strangest conference in the country. With the exception of Campbell who is 0-18, every team in the league has between 6 and 9 conference losses. Leading the way is Gardner-Webb at 12-6. The Knights are a game back at 11-7. A Bulldog victory would guarantee no worse than a tie atop the standings.
The Editor Says: Central Florida
Portland State at Montana State
The best two teams in the Big Sky Conference will get together in Bozeman Thursday evening. The host Bobcats are two games back of Portland State, whom they lost to by 17 earlier this season. A Viking victory on the road Thursday would give the squad the Big South regular season conference championship.
The Editor Says: Portland State
Wichita State at Southern Illinois
What was a very tight Missouri Valley race now appears to have turned into a two-team affair. SIU is leading the way at 12-3, while the Shockers are a game back at 11-4. WSU won the only other meeting this season, a two-point decision in Wichita. A Southern Illinois win would give the Salukis the title.
The Editor Says: Southern Illinois
Niagara at Rider
The only two teams in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Association with more than ten wins meet in New Jersey Saturday afternoon. The Broncs dropped a disappointing game to Siena last weekend and are now one game behind Niagara. After a mid-week contest for each, this showdown will wrap up both squads' regular season schedules.
The Editor Says: Niagara
Connecticut at Pittsburgh
Though Boston College seems to have firm control of the top spot in the Big East standings, the race for second place is fierce, and two of the favorites to claim that spot meet in Pittsburgh on Saturday. UConn has won five of their last six, while the Panthers lost at Villanova last Sunday. Home court does the trick on Saturday.
The Editor Says: Pittsburgh
Arizona at Washington
The Wildcats and Huskies are far and away the top two teams in the PAC 10 this season, and heading into the week, Washington finds themselves one game behind UA. The 'Cats won the earlier battle this season by nine in Tucson. A Huskie victory would likely tie the teams atop the standings heading into the final week of the season.
The Editor Says: Washington
Louisville at Memphis
Memphis seems to have recovered from an early-season struggle that saw the Tigers drop games to the likes of Mississippi, Louisiana Tech, Providence, and TCU. UL is currently tied atop the CUSA standings. Since the final week of January, UM has won six of seven games, but that won't be enough to take down Rick Pitino's team on the Mississippi.
The Editor Says: Louisville
Oklahoma State at Kansas
The Jayhawks had a terrible two games last week and are now tied with the Cowboys atop the Big XII standings at 10-2. OSU has won six straight games, including three consecutive victories over Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech. The Cowboys have had problems on the road this season, though, so look for those to continue in Lawrence.
The Editor Says: Kansas
North Carolina at Maryland
The Tar Heels are still fighting for the ACC regular season title, but to stay at the top of the standings, they'll have to find a way to win in a place where their in-state rival Duke had major trouble. The Terps seem to have put themselves in position to grab a NCAA bid, but a victory like this would put them over the top.
The Editor Says: Maryland
BEST OF THE REST...
Notre Dame at Connecticut - Monday
Utah at New Mexico - Monday
Kansas at Oklahoma - Monday
UTEP at Hawaii - Monday
Miami at Florida State - Tuesday
Texas at Texas Tech - Tuesday
Clemson at Maryland - Tuesday
North Carolina at NC State - Tuesday
Oklahoma State at Nebraska - Tuesday
Iowa State at Texas A&M - Tuesday
Duke at Georgia Tech - Wednesday
West Virginia at Pittsburgh - Wednesday
Memphis at Charlotte - Wednesday
South Carolina at Tennessee - Wednesday
George Washington at Xavier - Wednesday
Iowa at Minnesota - Wednesday
Vanderbilt at Florida - Wednesday
Boston College at Villanova - Wednesday
Wisconsin at Michigan State - Thursday
Arizona at Washington State - Thursday
Marquette at Cincinnati - Thursday
Stanford at Oregon State - Thursday
Arizona State at Washington - Thursday
George Washington at Dayton - Saturday
Missouri at Texas - Saturday
Louisiana-Lafayette at Arkansas-Little Rock - Saturday
Cincinnati at TCU - Saturday
LSU at Auburn - Saturday
Georgia Tech at Miami - Saturday
Texas Tech at Texas A&M - Saturday
Virginia Tech at NC State - Saturday
Arizona State at Washington State - Saturday
Stanford at Oregon - Saturday
Mississippi at Mississippi State - Saturday
Akron at Kent State - Saturday
Virginia Commonwealth at UNC-Wilmington - Saturday
Nevada at Fresno State - Saturday
Miami (Ohio) at Bowling Green - Sunday
Vilanova at Georgetown - Sunday
Michigan State at Indiana - Sunday
Florida at South Carolina - Sunday
UCLA at Notre Dame - Sunday
Wisconsin at Ohio State - Sunday
Virginia at Wake Forest - Sunday
Washington at Santa Clara
UNC-Wilmington at North Carolina
William & Mary at NC State
Southern Cal at UC-Santa Barbara
Florida State at Stetson
Alabama at UAB
Arizona State at Arizona
Nebraska vs New Mexico (Houston, TX)
Washington at Texas A&M
Baylor at Arizona State
UC-Irvine at Clemson
Tulane at Pepperdine
Oral Roberts at South Alabama
Southern Cal at Stanford
Minnesota at Arkansas
Nebraska vs Rice (Houston, TX)
Tennessee at UNC-Wilmington
New Mexico at Rice
The Editor's CBB Records:
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