Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bear Market

Here is an early developing story line to watch out of the mighty A-Sun: the Mercer Bears are 2-0 with road wins at SEC brethren Alabama and Auburn. Now, we're not talking about Tennessee and Florida here, but this merits watching. Even more intriguing is the fact that Mercer was considered an Atlantic Sun bottom-dweller coming into the season. The Bears get Georgia Tech in Macon on Saturday and are at Dayton next week, so the stiff tests and opportunities for big wins will continue. And, it's a good thing that they like this road game stuff, because they play SEVEN roadies in a row from Dec 17 to Jan 11.

The Sun Belt split its games last night, as Arkansas State took care of Murray State (the OVC favorite) in Jonesboro, 55-47, while New Orleans was thrashed by 17 on the road at Nicholls State. That brings the Belt's non-conference tally to 10-13.

Last Night's GOI
-- at Arkansas State 55, Murray State 47. John Brady gets his first DI win at ASU.
--Mercer 78, at Auburn 74. See above.
--Michigan State 70, at IPFW 59. Sparty survives his road trip into non-BCS country.

Tonight's GOI
--Southern Illinois vs Duke. Devils will face some fierce half-court D.
--UCLA vs Michigan. A good barometer for Beilein Year 2 at Michigan.
--Tulsa at Oklahoma State. In-state rivalry alert! Always worth tracking.
--North Texas at Sam Houston. Battle of two Texas clubs that have been solid in recent seasons.
--Iowa at The Citadel. A Big Six team on the road against true little guy.
--McNeese State at UL-Monroe. Belt must win these type of games. Must.
--FIU at Washington. Tough deal for the Panthers here, but Huskies have already lost to Portland.
--Troy vs Centenary. Another one that the Belt must have to move up the conference charts.
Puerto Rico Shootout
--Four games, including Southern Cal vs Seton Hall and Missouri vs Xavier.