Mountain West Conference (29-5, 13-3)
Touted as the "Game of the Year" in the Big East, either Villanova or Syracuse will take a step towards a regular season title in front of what's expected to be the largest crowd in Carrier Dome history. The Wildcats bounced back from two straight losses to beat USF earlier this week while the Orange outran a Providence squad whose defense would be complimented if described as a "speed bump". Can the Wildcats find enough open looks (that they want) against the tough Syracuse zone?
Wednesday night presents San Diego State with a huge opportunity to state their case for an NCAA Tournament bid. While Steve Fisher's team is 13-1 at home they're just 7-6 on the road without a marquee win to their credit (with a loss at Wyoming to boot). The first meeting was a nip and tuck affair with the Cougars making the key plays required to sneak out of San Diego with a 71-69 victory. Can the Aztecs put together one of their best performances of the season at the Marriott Center? It's possible but they're going to need outstanding performances from the likes of Billy White, D.J.
Random facts, tidbits, thoughts, and comments about a big day of college basketball..
#7 Michigan St at Minnesota - 12:00 CBS
When Blake Hoffarber scores 10+ points, Minnesota is 9-0. They've lost 6 in a row when he hasn't hit that mark. The inconsisent junior is coming off 2 bad games in a row (2 losses), but if he gets hot, expect a Gopher upset.
Auburn at Vanderbilt - 1:30
While there's a lot of respect for the two-time defending Ivy League champion Cornell Big Red few people expected Steve Donahue's team to pull off the upset at top-ranked Kansas. But while the Big Red didn't complete the task they did have the nation on tilt for most of the game before falling 71-66. Sherron Collins led the way with 33 points as the Jayhawks enjoyed a free throw margin of +20 in the second half (23-3) and a +14 in points scored from the charity stripe.