Could there be a changing of the guard in the West Coast Conference? While that may be a tough question to ask given the sustained run of success that Gonzaga (18-4, 8-2) has enjoyed over the years, winning the last eleven WCC regular season titles, Saint Mary's (22-2, 11-0) would establish a three-game lead with four conference games remaining with a win in Spokane. Led by seniors Matthew Dellavedova (15.5 ppg, 6.4 apg) and Rob Jones (14.8 ppg, 10.7 rpg), the Gaels have already swept BYU and handed Gonzaga an 83-62 loss back on January 12th.
With the announcement that starting center Fab Melo would miss Saturday's game due to an unresolved academic issue, the chances that top-ranked Syracuse would remain undefeated took a hit. But few would have thought that the Orange would have few (if any) answers in the paint as a result of his absence, and that's exactly what happened at Purcell Pavilion. Jack Cooley scored 17 points and grabbed ten rebounds and Notre Dame led by as many as 18 points on their way to the 67-58 win, the eighth in school history over a top-ranked opponent.
There weren't many opportunities to watch ranked teams play each other (there was just one, which is discussed below), but Saturday's slate provided many teams the chance to improve their resumes. Florida State and Northwestern took full advantage of their opportunities as they both knocked off Top 10 opponents at home, albeit in different ways.
Greg Mengelt previews and predicts three of Sunday's top games.
VIRIGINIA (8-1) AT OREGON (6-2)
As part of our
5-Year Ranking series,
here's how the Pac-12 teams stack up according to conference wins. With the
exception of Oregon St, every team in the league has had at least two .500
seasons or better in the last five years. The league adds Utah, who was a
mid-level MWC team, and Colorado, who was in the bottom rung of the Big 12.
Friday marks the first big day of the college basketball season with more than 100 games on the schedule. Sure most of the games look to be of the "opening sacrifice" variety, but a closer look reveals some intriguing matchups. It only makes sense to begin with the game that needs little introduction, the Carrier Classic game matching preseason national title favorite North Carolina and Michigan State. The game will be played on the USS Carl Vinson in San Diego, which will likely cue a few "I'm on a boat" jokes.
We'll track coaching changes as they occur. If there's any missing on here, or if you have contract info to add (including salaries), please mention it in the comments section.
Latest 8/20: UIC tabs Wisconsin assistant to replace Collins
Was: Jeff Lebo
Is: Tony Barbee (UTEP)
Was: Al Skinner
Is: Steve Donahue (Cornell)
Was: Oliver Purnell
Is: Brad Brownell (Wright State)