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Sully's Court: Must be conference season, Pitt's playing a road game

Posted by Joe Sullivan, Globe Staff  January 3, 2014 10:29 AM

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Games Iím looking forward to watching this weekend:

Saturday

Cincinnati at Memphis: The Bearcats have won five straight, often in ugly style, but their fans donít care about that. Winning in Memphis will be beautiful no matter how they do it.

Pittsburgh at NC State: The first official game with Pitt as an ACC team. The new conference hasnít changed Jamie Dixonís scheduling philosophy; he only plays home games in the out-of-conference season. This is the Panthersí first true road game. It should be a rude awakening.

St. Johnís at Georgetown: Itís been a long time since St. Johnís was able to contend with the Hoyas. Steve Lavin has an improved team, but itís still not good enough to win in Washington. I wonder if the St. Johnís fans will gather at The Tombs, thatís what they used to do.

Iowa State at Texas Tech: The Cyclones continue to get rave reviews; letís see how they handle a road trip to a place thatís difficult to get to.

Butler at Xavier: This could develop into a good rivalry in the new Big East.

UConn at SMU: The road in the AAC may be more difficult than I think after seeing UConn lose at Houston the other night. The Texas road trip gets more difficult here, SMU is better than Houston.

Creighton at Seton Hall: The Hall won a shocker at Providence in double OT on New Yearís Eve; theyíll be home underdogs here in beautiful downtown Newark, but an upset is possible. The Midwest Bluejays from Omaha have never seen anything like Newark. I bet theyíre staying at the Newark Airport Marriott (Bud brewery view costs extra).

Oklahoma State at Kansas State: The Cowboys are Final Four material, but this is a dangerous road trip. Upset alert.

West Virginia at TCU: I need to see if TCU is any good. I know theyíre improved.

Duke at Notre Dame: Just when you think the Irish are dead and buried they pull off a big upset at home.

Virginia at Florida State: Both of these teams could contend in the ACC; this game might tell us which one.

Loyola Marymount at Santa Clara: The Fightiní Bo Kimbles are playing really well right now, but now they have to back it up in the road. Seeing will be believing.

Colorado State at New Mexico: The Rams gave San Diego State trouble Wednesday night; Lobos should be able to defend home court, but they canít let down.

Harvard at Rice: It should be another easy win for the Amakers; need to check in just in case.

Dayton at Mississippi: An unexpected out-of-conference matchup. The Flyers will notch a nice, RPI-boosting victory unless the unhinged one, Marshall Henderson, shoots the lights out.

Indiana State at Evansville: I like games between two good Valley teams; expect it to be close.

Sunday

BU at Lehigh: The Terriers could terrorize the Patriot League.

Southern Cal at UCLA: New USC coach Andy Enfield will eventually make the Trojans competitive, but he canít do it yet. This is a chance for new UCLA coach Steve Alford to bring the hammer down on an archrival.

San Diego State at Kansas: San Diego State is the best defensive team in the country; most people donít get to see the Aztecs play because of geography. This is their chance to make a mark. Kansas is young and inconsistent and is ripe for the picking.

Oregon at Colorado: Two of the best in the Pac 12.

Iowa at Wisconsin: Iowaís been ranked most of the year, but who really believes in them outside of Iowa City? No one. Wisconsin will give the Hawkeyes a reality check.

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