Welcome everybody, to the second installment of "Games of the Week". Last week's games proved to be some good ones as three of the five were decided by 6 points or less. The two that weren't decided by such close margins were UTEP MBB beating Texas Tech by 11, and UTEP FB losing by 28 in the New Mexico Bowl. Also, the only outcome of the five that was predicted wrong was that of the New Mexico Bowl. This week is filled with many more good games, and it was difficult to narrow it down to five, but here it is.
5.) MBB: Central Florida (10-0) @ UMASS (7-3) December 22nd 7:00 p.m. et
The Knights continue to roll at 10-0, finally cracking the AP top 25 (24) . They are coming off a big win at home over the University of Miami 84-78, with sophomore Marcus Jordan really beginning to come into his own. UMASS began the season at 7-0 before dropping its last three contests to Boston College, Maine, and Seton Hall. They'll be looking to right the ship, and not drop another OOC game on their home court. This is another big test for Conference USA as the A-10 is considered to be a better league. A win here for the conference may go a long way come selection time.
OUTLOOK: Central Florida moves to 11-0, drops the Minutemen, 77-68.
4.) CFB: Sheraton Hawaii Bowl No. 24 Hawaii (10-3) vs. Tulsa (9-3) December 24th 8:00 p.m. et
Hawaii dropped two early contest at home against USC September 2nd, then on the road at Colorado September 18th. Since then, the Warriors have won 9 of 10 losing only at then no. 4 Boise St. The Warriors light it up through the air, and on the scoreboard. Look for more of the same. Tulsa has won six contests in a row, including at Notre Dame which is a tough place to play. They can also put up points, but give up quite a few at the same time.
OUTLOOK: Hawaii is too tough of a place to play, especially in a bowl game. Warriors take it, 38-30.
3.) CFB: Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl Southern Mississippi (8-4) vs. Louisville (6-6) December 21st 8:00 p.m. et
Southern Miss has a high powered offense that can definitely put up points in a hurry. They come into the game winning 3 of 4 with a loss to Tulsa 56-50 in the season finale. They average 37.6 points a game which is good for 15th in the country. Louisville beat Rutgers to end the season 6-6, and make its way into bowl eligibility. The Cardinals didn't get into any kind of rhythm all season, but did have a win over Big East champ Connecticut 26-0 midway through the season. They only give up 18.7 points a game, which is also good for 15th in the nation.
OUTLOOK: The Big East D isn't much, Southern Miss overpowers Louisville, 34-24.
2.) MBB: UTEP (9-2) @ No. 23 Brigham Young (10-1) December 23rd 9:00 p.m. et
UTEP improved to 9-2 on Monday night, but it was undoubtedly their most sluggish performance of the season. The Miners never got into an offensive flow, and missed way to many layups and free throws. Hopefully it was only because they were looking ahead to this game right here. BYU is coming off an 86-79 loss to UCLA and will play Weber St tonight before taking on the Miners Thursday (look for them to really take that loss out on Weber). BYU is very tough on their home court. They're 6-0 and winning by an average of 30 points a game, but the Miners should put up a better fight than others have so far.
OUTLOOK: I hate to do it, and I TRULY hope I'm wrong...BYU is too much at home, outlast the Miners, 85-79.
1.) MBB: No. 9 Georgetown (10-1) @ No. 17 Memphis (9-1) December 23rd 8:00 p.m. et
Can anyone say huge? I just went off on a rant yesterday about the Big East, and this is one of their better teams. This game is big for Memphis, Conference USA, and mid-majors in general. Georgetown's only loss was at Temple, who is solid this year, while Memphis' only loss was against no. 4 Kansas. Both teams have won some good games, and both have also survived some close ones. This one should be more of the same.
OUTLOOK: Another one I wish I'd predict differently, but I actually think highly of Georgetown, and Memphis has been living too much on the edge. Hoyas in a close one, 88-84.
CBB: Virginia Commonwealth (7-3) @ Alabama Birmingham (8-2) December 21st 8:00 p.m. et
UAB's only two losses are at Arizona St by 3, and at Georgia by 2. VCU has beat UCLA and played Tennesse very tough.
OUTLOOK: UAB stays perfect at home, 76-71.
CBB: Tulsa (5-5) @ Wichita St. (8-2) December 21st 8:05 p.m. et
Tulsa is in a rebuilding year, but isn't a bad team by any means, beating Missouri St and Stanford, and playing UNLV tough. WSU is the class of the MVC and has only lost to UCONN and SDSU.
OUTLOOK: Too much shock, especially on the home floor. WSU takes it 83-70.