Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rivalry Week provides a test on who’s ready to dance

It is way too early to start penciling in top seeds, as rest assured, the conference tournaments will knock out at least two of the schools you would have filled in. However, what we can start to observe is who is playing well enough RIGHT NOW to be capable of winning six consecutive games and rivalry week will prove to be a great litmus test to assess who is. Early in the week we got a chance to see the mettle of #4 Pittsburgh as they went into a hostile backyard and came out with a tough, shorthanded, victory against rival West Virginia. Now the rest of the top five must follow suit, with Wednesday being the pivotal day as despite the fact that they’re not playing on grass any time Texas and Oklahoma get together much more is on the line and nothing would make the unranked Sooners season than knocking the #3 Longhorns out of a potential top seed. All of the sudden North Carolina is significant again, but it will take a good showing at #5 Duke to convince me that their #21 ranking was not just a gift in order to put more chips in the center of the table for Wednesday’s game. That being said it’s still the best rivalry in NCAA Hoops regardless of what follows the number sign. As far as the Big East goes it’s just another day in the trenches as all you can hope for is to stay above the water mark on the road and win the close ones at home this year as every contains potential upsets. This weeks’ skirmishes include The Ville (15) looking to get a huge statement win at South Bend against the #7 Irish. We get a couple of days to catch our breath then the (pre)madness starts again as we will see if #1Ohio state is all that and a bag of chips’ when they travel to #14 Wisconsin, which is not like going into any of the afore mentioned venues but it will be the toughest test they’ll get on the road in the B-10 this season, at least until the conference tournament. As if they didn’t do enough by winning in Morgantown, Pittsburgh can really make a good case for a top seed with a win in Philly this weekend against #10 Villanova and complete a week comprising of bookend tough road matchups. (18)KU and (24)Vandy will be a great one to watch and the upset special is #6 San Diego State (still strange for me to say that) catching a 40 minute flight to sin city to take on UNLV who needs a signature win to put on their resume. If you were looking to spend some time with the family now that both football seasons are on hiatus sorry to disappoint you because you won’t want to miss these. Who do you think will emerge this weekend with mo’ going into tournament season? How many will be upset? Let us know here and in any of the quick links.

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