Maryland went into their game at Duke on Saturday with the ability to move ahead of the Blue Devils in the loss column with two games in hand. Well, the Blue Devils made sure to beat those thoughts out of the Terrapins on Mike Krzyzewski's 1,000th game as Duke head coach, jumping out to a 22-8 lead on their way to the 77-56 victory. Jon Scheyer led all scorers with 22 points but he's essentially a known quantity for Duke at this point. The surprising (and somewhat dominant) performance came from the tallest man on the roster.
With the bubble looking rather pedestrian at this early stage no team can afford to pass up opportunities to bolster their tournament resumes. And with the top six teams in Conference USA playing each other on Wednesday night they'll all have a chance to do just that. Two of the games (Houston/UTEP and Marshall/Tulsa) feature home teams who haven't lost at home while the third (UAB/Memphis) features a team that has yet to lose on the road.
Wednesday sets up to be an intriguing day in college basketball given some of the matchups. Connecticut and North Carolina set out to stop the bleeding with conference home games and the Huskies will be without head coach Jim Calhoun against St. John's. George Blaney, who has plenty of head coaching experience, will take over until Coach Calhoun returns and the Huskies need a win going into their game against Texas on Saturday. But the Red Storm can be a dangerous foe given their depth and willingness to compete for forty minutes.
Game of the Night: No. 14 Tennessee at Memphis (4:00 PM, ESPN2)
The final day of the decade also offers conference openers in both the Big Ten and Pac-10 with the best matchup being Ohio State visiting Madison to take on Wisconsin. Bo Ryan's club has been dominant during his tenure at the school in Big Ten home games, boasting a record of 61-5 in those games. Trevon Hughes is arguably playing the best basketball of any point guard in the conference and with the Buckeyes still without Evan Turner points could be even tougher to come by.
With Memphis in flux following the departure of John Calipari, this might be the year someone like Tulsa, Houston, or UTEP breaks through. The other contenders better act quickly as Memphis has locked up a monster recruiting class next year..