The area's weekend headliner matchup has the winning, but head-scratching Georgetown Hoyas playing at Kansas on Saturday. They're however not the only local hoopsters in action...
George Washington (9-1) vs. UMBC (3-8) - Saturday, 2:30 p.m.
The hottest team in the area has been cooling their heels since knocking off Boston University 70-60 on December 11, the Colonials fourth straight win. GW is 5-0 at the Smith Center, winning by an average of 21.8 points per game. Leading scorer Maurice Creek (15.7) shooting 58.3 percent (14 of 24) from beyond the 3-point arc in those games certainly helps. The Colonials lead the Atlantic 10 in 3-point percentage thanks to Creek (46.5 percent) and Nemanja Mikic (47.5).
The Colonials have played three straight games sans guard Patricio Garino (finger). Original projections had the sophomore possibly returning for this game, though Garino would have another week to rest should he continue sitting. George Washington closes 2013 with road games at Hofstra (Dec. 28) and Kansas State (Dec. 31).
Freshman guard Rodney Elliott averages 14.1 points for the Retrievers, who have lost three straight and six of seven.
George Mason (5-4) vs. No. 17 Iowa State (8-0) - Sunday, 5:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Perhaps a trip to Hawaii for the Diamond Head Classic can help the Patriots return to a calmer place. George Mason has lost two straight (Oklahoma, South Florida) and four of five overall. In that stretch, they also lost injured forward Jonathan Arledge for the season and Anali Okoloji to at least a one-game suspension. Now come the Cyclones, who lead the nation in points (90.9) and assists per game. George Mason, led offensively by the backcourt of Sherrod Wright (16.3 ppg) and Bryon Allen (11.9), plays either Oregon State or Akron on Monday with a third game finale on Wednesday.
American (3-6) at San Francisco (6-5) - Sunday, 5:00 p.m.
The Eagles west coast swing opened with a 59-44 loss at St. Mary's on Tuesday despite 13 points apiece from point guard Darius Gardner and forward Kyle Kager. Swingman Jesse Reed, Gardner and guard John Schoof all average over 11 points per game, but the Eagles rank 343rd nationally with 60.9 points.