Dayton went into Thursday night's game at Richmond knowing that they needed a tough win, especially on the road, to improve their resume in regards to a possible at-large bid. Having dropped six games by four points or less (five of which came on the road) they needed to find some way in which to reverse that luck. All they were able to do is add another line to the list, losing 60-56 at Robins Center despite out-rebounding the Spiders 44-25 on the night. The issues for Dayton have been two-fold and Thursday night was simply the most recent example.
On a night that saw some of the nation's best teams go on the road and pick up victories it was appropriate that one of the less experienced teams fell in front of a raucous crowd. North Carolina started off slowly and paid dearly at Clemson, falling by the final score of 83-64. Trevor Booker led the way with 21 points while Demontez Stitt (20 points) and Tanner Smith (14 points, six rebounds, five steals) helped make life difficult for North Carolina. Dexter Strickland scored seventeen off the bench but he was the only player to score in double figures for the Tar Heels.
Wednesday night doesn't lack for appealing matchups on the hardwood, with one of the best rivalries in the Big East last decade sharing the stage with key games in the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 ad Mountain West. Connecticut, who can use a "big" win this season, hosts a resurgent Pittsburgh squad that is one of two Big East teams still undefeated in conference play. Ashton Gibbs has stepped up in recent weeks and the return of Gilbert Brown and Jermaine Dixon has given Jamie Dixon's team more depth on the perimeter.
CollegeHoops.net Player of the Week: Ashton Gibbs, G, Pittsburgh
College basketball on the first Monday of the new year provides nearly sixty games to whet the appetite with key contests in the Big East and WAC grabbing the headlines. Pittsburgh, fresh off of their win at Syracuse on Saturday, takes on Cincinnati in the Queen City in a matchup of teams undefeated in conference play. The return of Jermaine Dixon and Gilbert Brown has added much-needed experience and depth of Jamie Dixon's rotation, something they were in need of in order to navigate the Big East.
CollegeHoops.net Co-Players of the Week: Mike Gerrity, USC and Devin Ebanks, West Virginia