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UMass Blog: Week Guide I - College hoop kicks off Friday



College hoops moves to the forefront on Friday.

LEADING OFF
The start of another year is just four days away at Friday boasts 125 games including two played on Aircraft Carriers and one on an Air Force Base.
It figures to be a unique year as some classic Big East rivals play conference games against each other for the final time, while other league's welcome the start of new rivalries.

GAMES OF THE DAY:
FRIDAY: Kentucky vs. Maryland, 8:30 p.m. Barclays Center
- This will be the nation's first look at the new wave of Wildcat stars.
Marquette vs. Ohio State, 7 p.m. - Carrier Classic off Charleston, S.C. - Marquette always seems to overacheive. This is an early chance to prove something.
Syracuse vs. San Diego State, 8 p.m., Battle of the Midway off San Diego
- The best game of opening night as both teams figure to be in the national picture all year.

Michigan State vs. Connecticut, 5:30 p.m. Armed Forces Classic at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany - New Husky coach Kevin Ollie will start his career against one of the game's legends in a unique location.

SATURDAY: Delaware at La Salle, 3 p.m. - This is a sneaky good game between a pair of teams that should be better than expected in their leagues.
SUNDAY: Marshall at Villanova, 1 p.m. - The Thundering HErd should contend in CUSA and Villanova is trying to bounce back in the Big East.

UMASS PATH TO POSTSEASON

This will begin next week when RPI Forecast begins projecting results

Using projected results (W,L, or ?) based on Jeff Sagarin's predictor from RPI forcast.com, I'll look at what UMass needs to do to reach postseason.
By postseason I mean any tournament happening after the conference tournaments are over - NCAA, NIT, CBI, CIT - I'm guessing a UMass team with a winning record gets a bid to one of those.
UMass has 29 games on its schedule and at least one A-10 Tournament game (I'm aware that two A-10 teams won't make the tournament, but if this execise is going to be relevant, UMass has to be good enough to make the A-10 Tournament). So a winning record means at least 16 wins.
Currently: 0-0
BEST POTENTIAL RECORD HEADING INTO A-10 TOURNAMENT: 29-0
WORST POTENTIAL RECORD HEADING INTO A-10 TOURNAMENT: 0-29
Date - Opponent - (Expected according to Jeff Sagarin's Predictor. A ? is anything game where UMass is given a 40-60 percent chance of winning)

Nov. 13 vs. Harvard, 10 a.m.
Puerto Rico Tip-Off

Nov. 15 vs. Providence Bayamon, Puerto Rico 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 16 NC State or Penn State Bayamon, Puerto Rico 5/7:30 p.m.
Nov. 18 TBA Bayamon, Puerto Rico TBA
Nov. 28 at Siena, 7 p.m.
Dec. 1 vs. Miami (Fla.), 2 p.m.
Dec. 4 at Northeastern, 7 p.m.
Dec. 15 vs. Elon, TBA
Dec. 19 vs. Ohio, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 22 vs. East Carolina, 2 p.m.
Dec. 29 at Northern Illinois, 4 p.m.
Jan. 2 at Miami (Ohio), 7 p.m.
Jan. 5 vs. Eastern Michigan, 2 p.m.
Jan. 10 at Saint Louis, 9 p.m.
Jan. 13 at Fordham, 1 p.m.
Jan. 17 vs. Duquesne, 7 p.m.
Jan. 19 vs. George Washington, 4 p.m.
Jan. 27 vs. Richmond, TBA
Jan. 30 at La Salle, 7 p.m.
Feb. 2 at Charlotte, 2 p.m.
Feb. 6 vs. Rhode Island, 7 p.m.
Feb. 9 vs. Saint Joseph’s, 2 p.m.
Feb. 14 at VCU, 9 p.m.
Feb. 16 vs. Temple, 6 p.m.
Feb. 20 at St. Bonaventure, 7 p.m.
Feb. 23 vs. Dayton, 1 p.m.
March 2 at Xavier, 2 p.m.
March 7 vs. Butler, 7 p.m.
March 9 at Rhode Island, 2 p.m.

Prognosis:

* * *
Question I don't know the answer to: How good will Saint Louis be without Rick Majerus?
Fearless predictions: Lehigh, which is veteran and battle-tested at least puts a scare into Baylor Friday night.
Buzzer beaters: Nice to see Boston University and Northeastern playing each other as nonconference foes. At least one traditional Massachusetts rivalry is still happening.

...7 days 24 hours of basketball...

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