The NFL playoff match ups have been set. Bowl season is in full swing with the National Title game coming up in about a week. NHL is getting to around the half way mark as the playoff races begin. The National Basketball Association has come back from the lockout and  is hoping to repair its broken image. Hot Stove Baseball, of course, is the talk of sports shows still. Thus, this is the time of year that I typically start following NCAA Men’s Hoops.

That makes sense, doesn’t it? Well, conference play has either just started or is about to start around the nation and the games are going to start being important. Want to be ready for that March Madness Tournament Sheet come march? Well now is the time to start learning about the teams around the nation who will participate. I have found there is a direct correlation between how many teams I watch over the course of the NCAA regular season and how well I do when it comes tournament time. (whether that is a positive or negative correlation – i will let you figure out on your own).

The Big East is possibly the best conference in the country – at least for one more year. The conference boasts 6 ranked teams at the moment as well as the number 1 team in the nation – Syracuse. So it should come as no surprise that my first must see game this week is a Big East game.

#8 Connecticut @ Seton Hall:  Jan 3, 2012 7 pm EST. Don’t sleep on the Pirates this year. Despite being blown out by Syracuse, the Pirates have played well this year thus far. They are 12-2 with wins over West Virginia, Wake Forest, and VCU. Their stars are Fuquan Edwin (sophomore), Jordan Theodore (senior) and Herb Pope (senior). If all three are on their game, the Pirates could surprise here. Pope has been struggling the last couple of games and needs to stay out of foul trouble. If he can get back to early season form with double digit rebounds and points the Pirates will compete here. U-Conn has one more game without their head coach though it hasn’t seemed to hurt them yet. 6-11 Frosh Andre Drummond led the attack over St. John’s (11 rebounds, 16 points) this past weekend and it is a safe bet that if he plays like this again, the Huskies will over power the Pirates.

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