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Columnists | Message Board  | Monday Mailbag Archive

By Joel Welser

February 14, 2006


College Basketball: Weekly Mailbag


Each week, CHN college basketball expert Joel Welser opens up his mailbag to answer fan questions.  At the end, Joel also includes some timely college basketball tidbits.  If you'd like to ask Joel a question or if you'd like to read past editions, check out the Monday Mailbag archive.


- Check out Joel's new daily Broadcast Basketball Blog.



Iím really looking forward to Akron taking on Nevada in the Bracket Buster.  Do the Zips have a chance at pulling off the upset?


From Mike,



Thereís always a chance, but it isnít a good one.  Letís take a look at what Akron has done thus far this season.  Their only losses are on the road or a neutral court against Cal, Louisville, Clemson, Ohio and Kent State.  None of those are bad losses by any means.  There best road win is against, well Western Michigan I guess.  I believe I was at that game, despite the absence of Bubba Walther.  The point is they havenít won a big road game all season.  Itís enough to be one of the best teams in the MAC, but Nevada is a level above that.  To be fair, Akron did beat Mississippi State on a neutral court, but thatís a lot different than heading into Reno. 

It will be a fun game, and the return trip next year will be great for the Zips, but Nick Fazekas and company should get the victory.  The Wolf Pack have only lost one home game all year.  They do tend to lose in groups of two though, so watch tonightís game against Louisiana Tech.  If they lose that one, it might be looking good for the Zips on Friday.


I watched the first half of the UCLA and Washington game and was unimpressed.  This was supposed to be the top two teams from the Pac-10 who can run the ball and score.  28-24 was not a very fun or impressive first half.  Is it going to get any better for the conference?


From Larry,


How about the 26-12 UCLA/Washington half-time score on Thursday?  That one was fun, but that is what we expect from the Cougars.  I had the same thought watching the Bruins take on the Huskies.  The Pac-10 isnít having a great season, which has been well documented, yet there is some talent out there and anybody could make a run at the Staples Center.  UCLA is still the best of the bunch, but it isnít a conference the big boys will be worried about seeing in their bracket come March.

Have a question?  Ask them on the easy form at the Monday Mailbag Homepage.  Weíll post and answer as many as possible.  Please include your first name and home state and put Monday Mailbag in the email title. 

Joelís Thoughts of the Week

Davidson was expected to waltz through the Southern Conference but find themselves 7-4 and tied with Charleston for second in the South Division.  However, if they learned anything from last season, theyíll wait until March to pull things together.

The Hilltoppers deserve some more recognition than they are receiving.  Western Kentucky has only lost once since their overtime defeat at Arizona on December 21st.  In an amazingly balanced conference, Western Kentucky is the only squad that is pulling away. 

IUPUI is causing a scene in the Mid-Con.  The Jaguars are 12-1 and creating a very interesting battle with expected conference power Oral Roberts, who they slipped by 80-75 on Saturday. 

I donít care what anybody says, curling is cool.  Iím pretty close to Canada, but Iíve spent four years trying to find some curling equipment to try out my game.  In a fit of insomnia, I also gained some new found respect for the biathlon.  Two hours of skiing and shooting things should have put me right to sleep, but I guess it was just that exciting.

Check back each week for Joel Welser's Monday Mailbag. If you'd like to ask Joel a question or if you'd like to read past editions, check out the Monday Mailbag Homepage.


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