Monday, February 22, 2010

Are the Cavaliers in Florida State's class?

Although Virginia has done a lot of terrific things this season, its resume lacks a signature win, the kind of we-didn't-see-that-coming triumph that would show what this team is capable of against elite competition. Here's their chance.

Monday's games

No. 10 Florida State (23-4, 9-3 ACC) at Virginia (20-6, 8-3 ACC), 7 p.m. (Comcast)
Both teams come in on five-game winning streaks. Virginia is 1-3 versus ranked teams this season, with the victory coming over a North Carolina team that had lost four in a row and was ranked only because the latest ESPN/USA Today poll hadn't come out yet. Defense and rebounding are always keys, especially against the rugged Seminoles. Those are also givens, though - for us the focus will be on what Virginia does when it has the ball. The Seminoles rolled to a 68-50 victory when these teams met last month in Tallahassee, but the Cavs led 34-32 before suffering an offensive meltdown throughout most of the second half. That was back in the days when if teams could make things hard on Monica Wright, the rest of the Cavaliers tended to become confused and ineffective. The Cavaliers supporting players seem much more settled in their roles these days and this time may be able to make the Seminoles pay for devoting too much attention to the great Wright.

South Carolina State (8-17, 3-10 MEAC) at Norfolk State (4-18, 0-12 MEAC), 4 p.m.
It was almost a year to the day (Feb. 21, 2009) that NSU snapped a 26-game losing streak by whipping South Carolina State 75-52 at Echols Arena. Now the Spartans will try to use the Lady Bulldogs to a 16-game MEAC losing streak. South Carolina State prevailed on a buzzer-beater 74-73 when these teams met in Orangeburg last month.

Hampton (14-11, 9-4 MEAC) at Florida A&M (13-12, 8-5 MEAC), 6 p.m.
Saturday's loss at Bethune-Cookman dropped the Lady Pirates one-half game behind Morgan State in the battle for second place in the MEAC behind North Carolina A&T. Here's why being No. 2 is important - the expanded WNIT is offering automatic bids to the top team in each conference that isn't invited to the NCAA tournament. The goal of course is to win the MEAC. But it would be nice to know you're guaranteed a postseason spot if A&T wins, too.

Coastal Carolina (14-10, 5-7 Big South) at Radford (5-18, 4-8 Big South), 7 p.m.
Although Saturday was dubbed Senior Day, tonight will actually mark Highlander star Kymesha Alston's last game at the Dedmon Center. Here's hoping she goes out with a bang - and that she and her teammates can end this seven-game losing streak.

Charleston Southern (15-10, 7-5 Big South) at Liberty (19-5, 9-2 Big South), 7 p.m.
The Lady Flames have won 26 straight in this series but almost certainly won't be taking things for granted. Not after having to sweat out Saturday's 57-55 decision over Coastal Carolina, a team they had beaten 32 straight times.

No comments:

Post a Comment