Over the years, I have attended many press conferences, and along the way heard a few memorable quotes. One I won’t soon forget, especially at this time of the year, came from Robert McCollum, who at the time was head coach at South Florida. The Bulls came to Providence for a December game, and although it there wasn’t any snow, it was very cold out. Asked about the weather difference from their home, he simply said, “This is basketball weather. It’s why we play indoors.”
I’ve uttered that same phrase many times over the years. Back when I used to cover about 100 games a year, I often marveled at how lucky I was along the way as far as weather goes. All it would take is one snowstorm to screw up a game or two, either via postponement to a less convenient time (other games scheduled at the same time) or where it would be impractical to even try to cover the game.
While not as directly as baseball or football, weather does impact basketball. As a big snowstorm hits much of the east coast right now, over a dozen games have been postponed, at least one other game has also been moved out as a result (Virginia-Wake Forest scheduled for Monday will now be played Tuesday so that the Cavaliers don’t play on back-to-back days), and more were moved up a day or in time of day in hopes of beating the storm.
One story coming out of last night was Duquesne being stuck on the Pennsylvania Turnpike overnight on their way home from George Mason. The Dukes had scored an 86-75 win over the Patriots, the 300th of head coach Jim Ferry’s career, then tried to get home before conditions on the road stopped them about 80 miles shy of Pittsburgh. They are all safe, with the warm bus helping, and the official Twitter for the basketball team shared a picture of the players with middle school kids from Iowa who were also caught on the Turnpike during the storm.
Another story is that Georgetown has a promotion going related to how much snow falls in the area. The amount will affect ticket prices for games against Creighton (Tuesday night, January 26) and Providence (January 30).
As we enjoy the many college basketball games on tap, first and foremost, we hope everyone affected by the storm emerges safely.
The American Athletic Conference announced that SMU will play at Temple on Sunday at noon on ESPN2. The game was supposed to be played on Saturday, but on Thursday the conference office announced it would move to Sunday, along with a women’s matchup of Houston at Temple.
Rhode Island’s game at George Washington was moved up into an afternoon tip, and the host Colonials rode a double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds) from Tyler Cavanaugh to a 62-58 win.
Wright State pulled into a tie atop the Horizon League by knocking off previously undefeated Valparaiso 73-62, getting 21 points from Joe Thomasson that included going 14-16 at the free throw line. Also, Stony Brook remained undefeated in America East play by scoring the final seven points to beat Albany 69-63.
The aforementioned snowstorm hitting some of the east coast has impacted some of the games, but there are plenty on tap today.
- The ACC is headlined by Duke trying to snap a three-game losing streak in Raleigh against NC State, Louisville at Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh at Florida State.
- The Big 12 matchups feature Oklahoma at Baylor, West Virginia at Texas Tech and Texas at Kansas early on.
- The Big East lost Providence-Villanova to Sunday, but still has Seton Hall at Xavier and Butler at Creighton.
- The big showdown of the day is in the Big Ten, where Michigan State hosts Maryland. Earlier in the day, Indiana hosts Northwestern.
- In the Mountain West, Boise State travels to Wyoming for a tough matchup, while San Diego State hosts Utah State.
- Pac-12 play features UCLA at Oregon and Arizona at California, while Arizona at Stanford is a nice matchup to close the night.
- The SEC features LSU at Alabama, an in-state rivalry as Mississippi State hosts Ole Miss, as well as Kentucky hosting Vanderbilt.
- In a non-conference game that used to be a conference game, UConn hosts Georgetown.