The Schuylkill 16 Week 8: Ringing in some big games

Are you ready for a rollicking day of college hoops in the region?

I'll be at today's two biggest home games: Princeton-St. Joe's at Hagan Arena and Kansas-Temple at the Liacouras Center. The tip times are 2:00 and 5:30, respectively.

There will be a liveblog of Kansas-Temple, so be sure to come back here for that. I won't be liveblogging the first game as I'll have to be out of Hawk Hill fast when it ends, but I might provide some Twitter updates.

Of course, we can't overlook Villanova's Big East opener at Marquette, which starts at 3:30 p.m. and will air on ESPN. Kansas-Temple will air on the same channel, which will make for a nice afternoon of television.

I've also heard about a big game of some kind at Rupp Arena. But I have no idea why Rick Pitino coaching against John Calipari is a big deal. I mean, really. I thought they were best friends?

Suffice to say your remote control is in for quite a workout this afternoon. Before the action starts, though, here's the latest Schuylkill 16.

Enjoy the day, and I'll talk to you this evening from North Broad Street.

1. Temple, 24 points (10 first-place votes)
- "I've been reluctant to place them ahead of 'Nova, but an upset special on Saturday and Temple gets my vote." (Rob Falcone)
- "Is Temple the biggest surprise team in the country so far this season?" (Steve Rudenstein)

I'd say they're up there, in a group with William & Mary and St. John's. But not Marquette, at least in my opinion.

- "I'll go on record with this: Temple will shut someone out this year.  Penn and Fordham better look out." (Nick Catrambone)

But I thought football season was over? Oh. Well, if it's going to be anyone...

2. Villanova, 41 points (7 first-place votes)
- "Two years in a row 'Nova has to spend New Year's in Milwaukee.  Take it from me - if you ever think about going there, don't." (Nick Catrambone)
- "Villanova finally plays a true road game outside of Philly on Saturday! I'm guessing Jim Boeheim helped make this year's schedule." (Brian O'Neill)

The Wildcats have racked up a few frequent-flier miles at all this season, but the first sentence is indeed true.

3. Penn State, 68 points
- "Penn State isn't going to win the Big Ten unless they manage to clone Taylor Battle, but in case you were wondering: Andrew Ott is alive and mediocre." (Brian Ewart)
- "Maybe it's because I'm grumpy around the holidays, but even close games in the Big 10 stink. They were neck-and-neck with Minnesota the whole way and I was bored out of my mind watching." (NicK Catrambone)

4. La Salle, 69 points

5. Rutgers, 95 points
- "Rutgers is the wrongful-death attorney of the Schulkill 16." (Brian Ewart)

Does that make the Big Ten an advocate for tort reform?

6. Drexel, 115 points
- "Drexel is in the unenviable position of knowing what it feels like to be the Lexington, Ky., YMCA." (Brian Ewart)
- "Had a talented Rhode Island team on the ropes by playing transition basketball.  Will the up-tempo offense stick around for the CAA slate?" (Rob Falcone)

7. Rider, 116 points

8. Saint Joseph's, 140 points
- "St. Joe's season so far is proof of how much Ahmad Nivins meant to this team last year. So far no one has been able to fill his big shoes." (Max Wheeling)

9. Princeton, 162 points
- "Princeton can leapfrog SJU on Saturday with a win. And I think that would hardly be an upset." (Brian O'Neill)

Anyone agree?

10. Lehigh, 166 points
- "Who's excited for the Lehigh-NJIT game Saturday?!?!?!" (Nick Catrambone)

There's one guy who is.

11. Bucknell, 185 points
- "Bucknell had a couple big upsets in recent memory, but for now they are back to being best known as Jay Wright's alma mater." (Brian Ewart)

12. Lafayette, 196 points
- "Lafayette has Penn and Columbia up next on their schedule. They might lose the Ivy League without being in it." (Brian Ewart)

Wouldn't be the first time, it has to be said.

13. Delaware, 209 points
- "How does this team with Carter and Dawson not win more games? That guard combo should be good enough to at least beat bad teams. Looking in your direction, Del. State." (Jeff Shafer)

14. Monmouth, 224 points

15. Delaware State, 244 points

16. Penn, 258 points (15 last-place votes)
- "I can't imagine a school more eager to see 2009 end than Penn, who went 2-14 since mid-February. Happy new year, indeed." (Jon Solomon)
- "RPI of 346.  I'll save you the trouble of looking - there's 347 Division I teams.  So they have that going for them!" (Nick Catrambone)
- "The way Penn played at Duke, the women Blue Devils' team probably could've beaten the Quakers." (Zach Klitzman)


- "The race is on! Division II Player of the Year candidate Stephen Dennis has 1,776 career points, Scottie Reynolds has 1,826." (Nick Catrambone.

- Big Red still undefeated against this field and only Villanova has more S-16 wins (5)." (Jeff Shafer)

They're on track for a 4-0 record against Big 5 teams, plus they have a win at Drexel. If Temple gets upset by La Salle or St. Joe's, does Cornell win anything?