The Weekend Primer, Plus Another Shot of Vodka…

First I’d like to announce that for the third time this week, I’ve won the Irish Lottery. I know–hard to believe my luck–but semi-clean living has paid dividends with karma. And I need to pass some of it on to a hard-luck friend in Nigeria.

***

Cap’n Matt looked awfully good last night. So did the entire Nor’Easter team. It was obvious the CAA Huskies were not completely overmatched on the court. Chase Allen looks like he’s the real deal, and Nor’Easter still hasn’t gotten much from Eugene Spates or Manny Adako. That is a reason for the rest of the CAA to take note. So is the fact that the four guys who played 20 or more minutes last night for Bill Coen were all underclassmen: three sophomores and a freshman.

***

This weekend signals, really, the end of the difficult nonconference string. While late November was chock full of intriguing matchups and opportunities for important vicotries (in the March perspective), most CAA teams have scheduled an “easier” game as their players get into exam-taking mode.

But we all know there’s no such thing as “easy.” This time of year, especially, is when you see very odd results. I remember two seasons ago Old Dominion beating a ranked DePaul team about 246-33, and then falling behind Richmond, two days later, 17-0 and 24-3.

Weird things happen when you combine basketball with academics, the holidays, coaching adjustments, and freezing weather. Okay, I made that last part up, but you get the picture. Nothing should surprise you and this weekend is the poster child for this phenomenon.

So, expect to see, but don’t count on:

The Tribe, with its ridiculously boring new logo that took too long and cost too much money for the result, to drill North Florida.

Georgia State to drop Winston Salem State.

Drexel will beat Toledo far more easily than anyone thinks, and the score will be about 57-51.

Old Dominion will hammer UMES.

VCU will just beat Richmond in a game very similar to the W&M game.

The dub will overwhelm Coastal Carolina, but merely whelm them on defense in winning by 14 in a game in the 80s.

Delaware play at Ohio University and should get killed. Ohio is 4-2 and has lost two games by two points each (Temple and Holy Cross). Could be some Friday Emotion for me but I like Monte Ross’ gang. I have no idea why, other than Ohio doesn’t exactly play much defense, which will help the Hens. I’ll call Delaware, in my homer pick of the weekend, to win about 86-82.

Niagara has been up and down this year, but Towson has been down-up-down, and that’s one too many downs.

And of course Mason travels to the middle western portion of the country to take on a good Kent State team. “Good” is the key, as Mason seems to play as “good” as it needs to in order to win. (Or, when they lose interest, they lose badly.) I like Mason to play up, even though they are on the road. Mason wins rather handily, actually. By maybe 10.

***

You know what I like? ESPNU. I can make it home from one game and flip that station on and catch the second half of a game I want to see. Arizona vs. Duke and Tennessee vs. Indiana can have ESPN. I love seeing Nor’Easter and Georgia State and anyone else in the CAA this early.

These are games I want to see. I love seeing other mids play. I don’t get to see much CAA in person prior to the holidays, and I rarely get to see teams from other conferences. And I try to reserve comment on a team unless I’ve seen them play (or I make it clear I haven’t seen them). It’s just a staple that commentary based solely on news reports and what other folks tell you is dangerous. I want to see it and provide an educated opinion.

ESPNU has been my ticket this year. Kudos to the conference office for pursuing this outlet. (Side note: this is reason #3,482 why Verizon beats Comcast.)

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~ by mglitos on December 7, 2007.

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