Why can’t they leave the tourney alone?

I’m so sick and tired of hearing about the expansion of the NCAA


Just leave it alone at 65.

I have a difficult enough time finding teams that warrant

inclusion in the top 25 these days.

It’s the greatest sporting event in the country and doesn’t

need to be tinkered with just because there’s no shortage of

coaches who want more job security.

I always hear from college basketball coaches how there are a

much higher percentage of their college football counterparts who

get to the postseason via bowl games.

However, that doesn’t mean the bowl system works. In fact,

the vast majority of the bowl games are completely irrelevant.

Just leave it alone — or else you might get


TEAM OF THE WEEK: The Georgetown Hoyas entered the week

as somewhat of a mystery but left as a legitimate top 10 club after

knocking off Butler at Madison Square Garden and then beating the

Pac-10 preseason favorite, Washington, out west. Greg Monroe was

the star against Butler with 24 points and 15 rebounds, but the

Hoyas have four guys averaging double-figures and Jason Clark has

become one of the most underrated players in the country with his


STUD (PLAYER OF WEEK): Kansas State junior guard Jacob

Pullen averaged 22 points in a pair of wins against Xavier and

UNLV. Pullen finished with 28 in the road victory at UNLV and made

seven of 10 shots from beyond the arc.

DUD: I know that Loyola Marymount is much improved from

a year ago, when the Lions were one of the worst teams in the

nation. But Notre Dame can’t be losing to LMU in South Bend —

not if the Irish want to have any shot of getting to the NCAA

tournament this season.

MID-MAJOR TEAM OF THE WEEK: This might be the easiest

pick of any category all week. Larry Hunter’s Western Carolina club

went out and knocked off Bradley, Campbell and Louisville in a

four-day span. The Catamounts, who got their first-ever win against

a Big East team with the victory against Louisville in Freedom

Hall, have now won nine straight games after being blown out by


GAME OF THE WEEK: This had to be the Crosstown Shootout

between Xavier and Cincinnati. The two programs — which

despise one another — nearly went at it a couple of times,

and after two overtimes, it was rookie head coach Chris Mack and

the Musketeers who came out on top.

WORST LOSS: Boston College losing at home to Harvard.

Not just because of the setback, but because it was the second

straight year that Al Skinner’s team couldn’t get past Harvard on

its own home floor.

WEEK TO FORGET: Vanderbilt — I had high hopes for

the Commodores heading into the season, but Kevin Stallings’ team

is struggling of late with losses to Illinois and Western Kentucky

this past week. Vandy is now 6-3, and Stallings needs to find a way

to get skilled big man A.J. Ogilvy, who is averaging a lackluster

12.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, going.

WHY I’M STARTER THAN I LOOK: I’m now 4-for-5 on the

season after picking New Mexico to pull the upset against a ranked

Texas A&M team.

WHY I’M DUMBER THAN I LOOK: I didn’t think Harvard had a

chance in you-know-what of pulling off the upset at Boston College

for the second straight year.

SLIP SLIDING: UCLA coming up short against Mississippi

State just down the road from the Bruins’ campus. Not that there

was much of a chance for Ben Howland’s team to get to the Big Dance

after its brutal start, but this pretty much solidified the fact

that the Bruins won’t be in the NCAA tournament come March.

WELCOME BACK: Cal’s Theo Robertson returned to the team

after missing six games with a foot injury. Robertson played 22

minutes and scored eight points in a win against Pacific.

ALMOST HERE: There’s a reason why UConn coach Jim

Calhoun wasn’t upset even though the Huskies came up short against

Kentucky in Madison Square Garden. UConn played one of the most

talented teams in the nation to a one-possession game without one

of its most talented players. Huskies athletic forward Ater Majok

becomes eligible this weekend and should immediately move into the

starting lineup.

TOUGH LOSS: South Florida started out 7-1 but will be

without its best player, Gus Gilchrist, for the next six weeks with

a severely sprained ankle he suffered in practice earlier in the

week. The Bulls lost to Central Michigan in their first game

without Gilchrist, who was averaging 18.8 points and 7.4 rebounds

per game.


1. North Carolina vs. Texas at Cowboys Stadium, Saturday

at 2 p.m. ET — The Longhorns will get their stiffest test of

the season.

2. Gonzaga vs. Duke in Madison Square Garden, Saturday at 4

p.m. ET — Great neutral-site matchup.

3. Florida State at Georgia Tech, Sunday at 5:30 p.m. ET

— Two of the most talented teams in the ACC.

4. Xavier at Butler, Saturday at 2 p.m. ET — The

Bulldogs got one against Ohio State and will have another chance to

get a quality victory here against the Musketeers.

5. UTEP at Mississippi, Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET — Are

the Miners for real? Tony Barbee’s team will get a chance to show

whether they are or not with a trip to play Ole Miss.