Damn you, SEC! My slide continues with a 2-3 night (15-10 overall this season), as Georgia failed to lie down and Tennessee failed to show up. Somehow, Colorado allowed Georgia to whittle an 8-point lead with 0:27.0 remaining down to two points. And somehow, Tennessee allowed Oakland guard Reggie Hamilton to score 35 points and the Golden Grizzlies shot 28-31 from the line.
Meanwhile, one of the two games I won last night came when I bet against my own alma mater. IRONY IS A CRUEL MISTRESS. Let's put this one behind us.
9:30pm ESPN: No. 4 Duke (+5.5) @ No. 2 Ohio State
Bless you, Big Ten/ACC Challenge. These early-season conference showdowns - and the intoxicating talent they put on center stage - provide all the narratives you could ever desire, but in the end it doesn't matter which side looks better in late November. The blessing is that we have an excuse to watch two teams of this caliber butt heads. Austin Rivers and Seth Curry versus Aaron Craft? Jared Sullinger versus BOTH Plumlee brothers? Yes, please. Duke has handled two Top 15 opponents easily this season, but doing so in Columbus will prove a tougher challenge. Right now the Buckeyes are the better team, but the Blue Devils will catch up before long and we could watch their progression before our very eyes tonight. I don't expect Duke to win, but more importantly, I don't expect Ohio State to be comfortable.
7:00pm ESPN2: No. 15 Michigan (+2.5) @ Virginia
Despite the Cavaliers' jerky-tough defense, the points are too tempting. Michigan moves the ball well and knocks down open shots, while Virginia hasn't beaten anybody worth mentioning (but did lose to a poor TCU team). Tim Hardaway Jr. FTW.
7:15pm ESPNU: Northwestern (-1) @ Georgia Tech
If Northwestern didn't play in the Big Ten, we'd be talking about them as the true mid-major success story (and not jumping on Portland and... gulp... Long Beach State bandwagons) of the past three seasons. Senior forward John Shurna hung 37 on LSU in a recent win, and he and swingman Drew Crawford have the Wildcats off to a 5-0 start. Especially considering that GT lost to that same LSU team by 9, the Wildcats are an easy choice, but I'll be rooting for a big game from Yellow Jackets guard Glen Rice Jr. Can we call him "2G-Money?" I'm calling him that.
9:00pm ESPN2: Miami (FL) @ Purdue (-9)
9:00pm ESPN3: Arizona (+3) @ New Mexico State
Let's get one thing straight: Arizona is no UCLA. The Wildcats have dropped two straight but I attribute that more to good opponents and early season chemistry than legitimate concerns. They will right the ship against an Aggies team that has the depth but not the horses.
Ryan ZumMallen writes about basketball and youth bass fishing in Long Beach, CA. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanzummallen.