I have decided to start a new weekly feature called "Games of the Week". In it I'll countdown the top 5 games of the week around UTEP and Conference USA. I figure its a good way to keep track of the very impactful games around the conference. Without further ado, the "Games of the Week".
5.) MBB: East Carolina (7-3) @ Coastal Carolina (8-2) December 18th 12:30 p.m. et
ECU is coming off a loss to Old Dominion (8-2) 81-68, while Coastal Carolina is coming off a big overtime win at LSU (6-3) 78-69. ECU was not projected to be one of the better teams in C-USA, but is off to a hot start having lost only to North Carolina State and Charlotte (both on neutral floors), and ODU. Coastal Carolina currently has the best record in the Big South conference and has wins over LSU and Charlotte, while playing tough in losses to Georgetown and College of Charleston. This game is big for both schools. CCU looks to continue its six game win streak, while ECU needs to get back on the winning track to avoid its 4th loss early in the season.
OUTLOOK: Coastal Carolina extends its streak to seven in front of the home crowd, 76-68.
4.) MBB: Tulane (5-2) @ Virginia Commonwealth (6-3) December 18th 2:00 p.m. et
Tulane is 5-2 on the season, and doesn't really have a signature win. They also played Georgetown tough before falling by 16 69-53. The are coming off a win over lowly Louisiana Lafayette, and play New Orleans today before meeting the Rams on Saturday. VCU is 6-3 out of the Colonial Athletic Conference which is expected to be tough this year. The Rams have wins over Wake Forest, UCLA, and William and Mary, while they have lost by 5 to no. 7 Tennessee, and by 1 in overtime at South Florida. VCU has definitely shown that they are talented, and have not lost thus far on their home court. For the Green Wave its an opportunity to pick up a good road win over a team in a conference "better" than ours.
OUTLOOK: VCU is just too much to handle and stays perfect at home, 81-68.
3.) MBB: Texas Tech (5-5) @ UTEP (6-2) December 18th 10:00 p.m. et
Its a big home game for the Miners. They have already lost one home game to Pacific who is sliding right now, and really cannot afford to lose another home game this early in the season. The Miners are coming off their demolition of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and will play Louisiana Monroe tomorrow before their matchup with Tech on Saturday. The Red Raiders are struggling a bit this year at 5-5. They have lost close ones against TCU, USF, and UNT, but have also been blown out by previously ranked Washington and by St Mary's. Anytime you've got an opportunity to play against a power conference school its big. We've got them on our home court this time. A MUST WIN.
OUTLOOK: UTEP makes statement in win over Big 12 foe, 78-62.
2.) MBB: Central Florida (8-0) vs. Miami (FL) (7-2) December 18th 1:00 p.m. et
The Knights are riding high right now on the wings of one M. Jordan. That's Marcus Jordan, son of all time great Michael Jordan. UCF has already knocked off South Florida and no. 24 Florida so they will be looking to complete the Florida sweep this Saturday. The U picked up a couple big wins over Ole Miss and West Virginia on the 30th of November and 4th of December. They now look to knock off an in-state opponent who is on the verge of cracking the top 25. This should be a great one, and it will be played on a neutral court.
OUTLOOK: MJ puts up 23 as UCF completes the Florida Sweep, 79-75.
1.) CFB: Brigham Young University (6-6) vs. UTEP (6-6) December 18th 2:00 p.m. et
As we all know this is the New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque. The Miners snuck into this one when a trade was worked out, while BYU won 4 of 5 to end the season and become bowl eligible. BYU is playing at the top of their game right now behind freshman QB Jake Heaps and junior RB JJ Di Luigi, while the Miners sort of fizzled out through all the injuries to end the season on a 1-5 skid. Needless to say, this is the biggest game in recent memory for the Miners. Sure playing Texas, Arkansas, and knocking off Houston last year were great, but this game has far bigger implications as it could solidify Mike Price's job here at UTEP or hammer the nail in the coffin.
OUTLOOK: TV, BUCK, and Kris Adams finish it off in style knocking off BYU with Warren kick , 30-28.