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Top of the Arc - December 1, 2008

Dec. 1, 8:30 a.m.: Here is a look at the top story lines from a very busy basketball weekend:

1)Georgetown Dominance: The final score of the Georgetown-Maryland game reflected the gap that separates both programs these days. The Hoyas looked like a team ready to challenge to sneak into the top tier of the nation’s strongest conference. Maryland looked like an offensively challenged squad that could struggle mightily the next few months. Wednesday’s game is critical for a Terrapins team now looking to avoid a three-game losing skid.

2) Louisville Falls: Western Kentucky pulled off the shocker of the non-conference season last night. The Hilltoppers had their strongest team last season, not this season. First-year Coach Ken McDonald used to be an undergrad student who would sneak in to watch Rick Pitino run practice at Providence. Western Kentucky held Louisville to 26.8 percent shooting and clamped down on Samardo Samuels.

3) Zags a Final Four Contender: Gonzaga has plenty of depth and can play defense, which means the Bulldogs have enough to make a serious run at the Final Four. The Bulldogs have an arduous non-conference schedule that includes Connecticut, Memphis and one more game against Tennessee. Players say this year’s team is different from the ones in years past that flamed out in the tournament because of toughness. Time will tell, but the signs are good.

4) Siena’s Lost Weekend: Siena is expected to be one of the strongest mid-major programs this seasons. The Saints return five starters from the team that won an NCAA tournament game last season. But Siena struggled on a national stage this weekend, losing all three of its games in the Old Spice Classis. The Saints made only 12 of 28 free throws in yesterday’s loss to Oklahoma State.

5) Demon Deacons Shine: Wake Forest earned an impressive victory for itself and for the ACC by beating Baylor last night. The Demon Deacons used an 18-1 run to take control of the game. Freshman Al-Farouq Aminu had 13 points and 12 rebounds. Wake Forest had 62 rebounds, 24 more than a Baylor team that shot 32 percent from the floor. While young, Wake Forest is looking like a team that will battle Duke for second place in the ACC.

By Eric Prisbell  |  December 1, 2008; 8:30 AM ET
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