Mid-February used to mean rematches in college hoops.  The second half a home and home where revenge or a sweep could  be on the menu.  While a few leagues (Big East, Patriot League) can still work that schedule out most of today’s Division I conferences can’t deliver the traditional setup.  Which means more late-season discovery…and schools complaining they got hosed by the schedule-makers.  The dialogue is different–but still interesting.

SATURDAY–

11:30AM–Georgetown (15-11, 6-8 Big East) hosts Xavier (18-8, 8-5)– talk about a tight turnaround.  The Hoyas go from a 9pm tipoff Thursday to a Saturday morning showdown.  Are they being punished for joining the Big Ten or something?  In their January loss the Musketeers outscored Georgetown 16-0 over the final six minutes;  and the Hoyas led by 17 in the second half as well.

2PM–American (15-11, 11-4 Patriot League) entertains Army (13-13, 9-6) as the Eagles try to shake a stretch where they’ve dropped four of five.  AU won the January matchup by ten in a game where they shot 55% from the field and 50% from 3-point range…and the Eagles haven’t hit half of their shots in the last three games.

2PM–#14 Virginia (22-5, 13-1 ACC) plays Notre Dame (14-13, 5-9)– here’s how to schedule an ACC title:  play Duke and North Carolina once each with your game against the Tar Heels coming early to take advantage of their youth…schedule just one game against preseason top 25ers Pitt and Syracuse… and engineer it so your four home-and-homes come against schools that don’t have winning ACC records two months into the conference season.  That said– this is a very good Cavaliers team… and this is a very bad Irish team (UVa won by 15 in South Bend).

2PM–Virginia Tech (9-16, 2-11 ACC) hosts NC State (16-10, 6-7)–thank goodness the Hokies held on at home against Miami last weekend.  Otherwise they’d have three consecutive games where they played well enough to compete but not well enough to win.  The Wolfpack after two straight losses tries to get back on the NCAA Tournament bubble- and can ill afford a defeat in Blacksburg.

7PM–Howard (6-20, 4-7 MEAC) hosts Hampton (14-11, 9-3) as the Bison try to end a three game losing streak that started with a 16 point defeat at the Pirates…a game where they shot 29% from the field and were outrebounded by 13.  Hampton’s fighting for second place in the league– and has a week to rest from their overtime win over Norfolk State.

8PM–George Washington (20-6, 8-4) Atlantic 10) at #10 Saint Louis (24-2, 11-0).  Again–why is GW on the road for Washington’s Birthday?  Can’t they do anything about that?  The Colonials first meeting with the Billikens this winter will be amusing:  St Louis remains unbeaten in conference play thanks to three straight one possession/overtime affairs…almost losing at George Mason Wednesday evening (the heartbreak continues for the Patriots as they fall to 0-3 in OT this winter).

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