October 11, 2006

Five To Watch

Nothing would help the Big South build on its growing reputation than a few victories in these five high-profile games.

Nov. 14: Winthrop vs. Iona at Charlotte Bobcats Arena (Charlotte, N.C.)

Should Craig Bradshaw, Torrell Martin and the Eagles take down an Iona team depleted by graduation in the first round of the Preseason NIT, a second-round meeting with North Carolina -- presuming the Heels get past Sacred Heart -- would come to fruition.

Nov. 24: High Point vs. Maryland at the Comcast Center (College Park, Md.)

Arizona Reid and the Panthers get a rare shot against an ACC team -- and a hungry one. The Ekene Ibekwe-led Terrapins are dead-set on snapping a two-year NCAA tournament drought.

Dec. 17: Charleston Southern vs. Southern California at the Galen Center (Los Angeles, Calif.)

The Buccaneers, tabbed for fourth in the Big South preseason poll, travel to USC's brand-spanking-new Galen Center for a date with a Trojans side featuring NBA prospects Gabe Pruitt and Nick Young.

Dec. 21: Coastal Carolina vs. Florida State at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center (Tallahassee, Fla.)

Reigning Big South Player of the Year Jack Leasure will lead the Buzz Peterson-coached Chanticleers into Tallahassee, where Coastal Carolina -- picked to finish second behind Winthrop in the Big South -- will have their hands full with Florida State's Al Horford.

Jan. 2: Liberty vs. Florida at the O'Connell Center (Gainesville, Fla.)

What an end to a whale of a week for Randy Dunton's Flames. Just days before meeting the defending national champions on their home turf, Liberty travels to the BYU Holiday Classic in Provo to face the host school (Dec. 28), Seton Hall (Dec. 29) and Mid-Continent Conference frontrunner Oral Roberts (Dec. 30).

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