Give Thanks for 'Feast Week'

Like it or not, TV dictates a lot of what we get in the world of sports. In some cases, it means we get gobs and gobs of Brett Favre, but let us also highlight those times when it's a far more positive outcome, like this week in the world of college hoops. The week is branded as "Feast Week" by ESPN, and it's just enough to make you want to fight off that turkey nap. ↵

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↵The big-name tournaments/events that start this -- we'll cap this at Nov. 27 -- are everywhere: The Paradise Jam, the Maui Invitational, the CBE Classic, the NIT Season Tip-Off, the Legends Classic, the Las Vegas Invitational, the Great Alaska Shootout, the Old Spice Classic, the 76 Classic, the Chicago Invitational, the South Padre Island Invitational ↵

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↵Whether some of the marquee matchups materialize is up to the heavyweights and whether they can win early round games, but we've already got one significant tilt scheduled for tonight (No. 7 Purdue vs. No. 11 Tennessee, 9:30 p.m. ET. Check your local FOX Sports affiliate for this one.) ↵

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↵In addition to that matchup, think of the possibilities: ↵

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↵NIT Season Tip-Off: Duke could face UConn at MSG on Nov. 27. Both teams are largely untested to this point in the season, but while Duke has dispatched its lesser foes with ease, you can't say the same about UConn, which has flirted with disaster. A "show-me-something" opportunity for both teams in NYC. ↵

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↵Maui Invitational: This field would've been even better probably six years ago, but Arizona and Cincinnati aren't the name brands they once were. That leaves us with two top 25 quality teams -- Gonzaga vs. Maryland -- to play for the tourney title on Nov. 25. (Full bracket here - PDF) ↵

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↵Old Spice Classic: Xavier isn't ranked because people just don't know what to expect after some of last year's departures, but they are deep, and they can defend. A win against No. 15 Michigan in the second round of the Old Spice Classic (Nov. 27) would surely vault the Muskies back into the rankings and on to the national radar once again. (Full bracket here.) ↵

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↵76 Classic: While it's easy to isolate one matchup you want to see in most fields, the 76 Classic might be the most intriguing of them all. Butler is stacked, but they have to get past a Minnesota team that won 22 games last season. If they survive that test, they'll have to face UCLA and then a title game likely to feature either West Virginia or Clemson. How do I even pick one game in that group? The potential WVU-Clemson matchup comes on Nov. 27, with the tourney title game on Nov. 29. (Full bracket here.) ↵

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↵I'm sure you're the kind of softie who has to plan "time with your family," but please make note of these games, because short of March, and the random compelling conference games, this really is the best time of the year for college hoops, even if the rest of the world is locked in football mode. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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