Today's Specials: Finals Week means light slate
Well, this week won't be too eventful on the hardwood. Monday gets things kicked off with Georgetown and Virginia Tech looking to break out of slumps.
|Markel Starks is averaging only 6.3 points in his last three games. That has to change for Georgetown. (US Presswire)|
Oh, Finals Week. The worst part about everyone’s fall semester -- and the worst week of the college basketball season. There are only 68 games from Monday through Friday, with very few noteworthy contests on the docket. Time to catch your breath after an eventful first few weeks.
Note: All times are Eastern, and the rankings are according to the AP Poll.
Best game: Bryant at Navy (7 p.m.). Yep, this is the best game of the day. Bryant, which went just 2-28 last season, has won five of its last six -- including a two-point victory at Boston College. Meanwhile, Navy has also surpassed last season’s victory total, sitting at 5-6 heading into the week. Bryant relies heavily on the duo of Dyami Starks and Alex Francis, while Navy counters with freshman guard Tilman Dunbar and a slew of role players.
Second-best game: Seattle at Eastern Washington (9:05 p.m.). Interestingly, Seattle has played only four Division I games this season, which has to be among the fewest in the country after one month. Eastern Washington has a couple of decent victories, over USC-Upstate and Cal State Fullerton. Expect plenty of uptempo basketball in this one -- Seattle ranks first in pace while Eastern Washington is plodding along at No. 26. Saint Joseph’s transfer Justin Crosgile has been productive for Eastern Washington.
Another one to watch: Southeastern Louisiana at Louisiana-Monroe (8 p.m.). Both teams are looking to get their first Division I victory of the season, as Southeastern Louisiana does have a victory over Louisiana College. The Lions were expected to contend for the Southland title, with Brandon Fortenberry returning from injury. However, his scoring numbers are way down, and Roosevelt Johnson hasn’t been the double-double threat that he was last season. Louisiana-Monroe is paced by Amos Olatayo.
Guaranteed win: Georgetown has been dominant defensively over the last three games, holding each opponent to 41 or fewer points. However, the Hoyas haven’t exactly been lighting it up on the offensive end. They should be able to break out of their slump against Longwood (7 p.m.), which has allowed triple digits twice this season. Guard Markel Starks has to be more consistent when it comes to scoring the ball.
Potential upset: With so few games on the slate tonight, there are really no possible upsets. Most of the games likely won’t be close, and the tight ones are between similarly-matched squads. Maybe Tuesday will bring some potential surprises.
Three things to keep an eye on:
- Virginia Tech suffered its first loss of the season over the weekend, when West Virginia’s Juwan Staten hit a last-second layup. The Hokies should bounce back against Mississippi Valley State (7 p.m.).
- Detroit is still expected to contend in the Horizon, but a 2-4 start against Division I teams doesn’t inspire confidence. The Titans should be fine against winless Alabama State (7:30 p.m.).
- We don’t usually get into games that involve non-DI opponents, but there are only seven games on the schedule. Southern could move to 3-5 with a win over William Carey (8 p.m.).
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Michigan, Marquette, California, LSU and VCU are also in the 34th annual field