A companion to our daily Three Stars of the Day, we present the top three Games of the Night.
Miami at Clemson
Having won four straight games, Miami has surged back into NCAA Tournament consideration.. and they even have a favorable schedule the rest of the way (UVA, BC, and FSU left). But their by no means a lock, as a loss tonight would drop them below .500 in ACC play. When these two teams met in South Florida, the Hurricanes barely pulled off a 75-72 win. Jack McClinton hit huge threes down the stretch in what turned out to be a crucial win. Its safe to say though in college basketball that if you can barely beat a team at home, you have little shot on the road.
UAB at UTEP
Another bubble special, UAB is currently in Lunardi's field of 65.. though not in my own. The Blazers have 5 losses to sub-100 teams, and lucked out by only facing Houston at home and not on the road. Considering they barely beat Houston at home (2 points), its safe to say the Cougars are theoretically better. Add in the fact that UAB still has Memphis remaining, and you're looking at a team that will probably finish 3rd in a weak Conference USA. Tonight's game is a must-win for UAB, but these two teams are too-close talent-wise to give a substantial edge to the road team.
West Virginia (19-8) at DePaul (10-16)
9:00 PM ESPN2
There's a lot of lopsided games tonight, so this rather blah affairs makes the list because a) it's on TV, and b) there are NCAA Tournament implications. West Virginia is on its way to the Big Dance, but their not a lock, especially with another tough road game at UCONN coming up. Lose tonight and then at UCONN, and the Mountaineers will find themselves back at .500 in conference play along with bubble teams like Syracuse & Villanova. DePaul's basically been a mess all year, barely .500 in home games. But its not like WVU is lights out on the road either, with a 2-point win over Marquette being their only impressive away result.
Prediction: West Virginia
Previous Game of the Night (Predictions, 70-44)
February 26th - Tennessee at Vanderbilt (0-3)
February 25th - Marquette at Villanova (2-1)
February 21st - South Alabama at WKU (1-2)
February 20th - UNC at NC State (3-0)
February 19th - Purdue at Indiana (2-1)
February 18th - Texas A&M at Texas (2-1)
February 16th - Stanford at Arizona (1-2)
February 14th - Wisconsin at Indiana (2-1)
February 12th - Michigan State at Purdue (2-1)
February 11th - Kansas at Texas (2-1)
February 10th - Indiana at Ohio State (2-1)
February 9th - Georgetown at Louisville (2-1)
February 7th - UCLA at Washington State (2-1)
February 6th - Duke at North Carolina (1-2)
February 5th - Florida at Tennessee (2-1)