Games to keep an eye on
Check out some of the best matchups in the coming days
10 p.m. ET Friday
No. 10 Washington at No. 1 UCLA
The new No. 1 team in the country wastes no time getting back into the fire as the Bruins play host to No. 10 Washington on Friday night. Washington swept UCLA in Seattle on Sept. 17, 26-24, 25-12, 25-20.
However, UCLA is 7-0 at home this season. The last time the Bruins went undefeated at home was 1999 when they went 11-0. Also, the Bruins are a perfect 10-0 on Fridays this season. History suggests the match may be decided early.
The Bruins are 34-5 against the Huskies when winning the opening set, but 7-14 when dropping the first.
1:30 p.m. ET Saturday
Baldwin-Wallace at No. 2 Mount Union
No. 2 Mount Union hosts Baldwin-Wallace in a key Ohio Athletic Conference matchup Saturday at 1:30 pm at Mount Union Stadium in Alliance, Ohio.
A Mount Union win would clinch the Purple Raiders their 20th consecutive and 23rd overall OAC title and an automatic bid to the Division III tournament. Mount Union posted its second shut out of the season with a 42-0 victory against Otterbein last week. Backup quarterback Matt Piloto came in for an injured Neal Seaman and tossed three touchdown passes while running back Jeremy Murray who returned from an injury a week ago had 122 yards rushing with a touchdown. The defense forced four turnovers and held Otterbein to 15 yards rushing an 140 total yards.
Baldwin-Wallace won its fourth consecutive game with a 29-17 win against Muskingum. Quarterback Ryan O'Rourke tossed two touchdown passes, running back Tyler Lohr had 86 yards rushing and the defense had five sacks and forced four turnovers led by Sonny Hazelwood with 8.0 tackles, 2.5 sacks and forced a fumble.
This is the 50th meeting between the teams with Mount Union holding a 27-21-1 lead in the series that dates back to a 10-0 Mount Union win in 1896. The Raiders have won 16 consecutive meetings dating back to a 23-10 Baldwin-Wallace win in 1994 in Alliance.
1 p.m. ET Saturday
American International at Massachusetts-Lowell
The defending Division II Field Hockey national champions start its quest for back-to-back titles when Massachusetts-Lowell hosts American International on Saturday in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
AIC went 12-8 overall this season and were seeded fifth in the Northeast-10 Championship, recording a 3-2 overtime win at fourth-seeded Bentley before falling to top-seeded Merrimack in the conference semifinals.
UMass-Lowell went 17-3 this season on its way to capturing the 2011 Northeast-10 Championship with a 3-2 win against Merrimack. The Warriors are the top-seeded in the North Region and received a first round bye.
UMass-Lowell won the regular season matchup between the two teams 4-0.
9 p.m. ET Friday
No. 6 Penn State at No. 15 Minnesota
The Nittany Lions upset then-No. 1 Nebraska last weekend, and the four-time defending national champs will try to continue their climb to the top on Friday night.
However, they’ll face a Minnesota team that also got an upset win on Saturday night. In fact, Minnesota’s 3-0 win against then-No. 3 Illinois marked its first victory in history against a top-three ranked opponent.
9 p.m. ET Saturday
UNLV at No. 1 New Mexico
New Mexico took the top spot in the NSCAA Coaches' Poll for the first time this season, but still sits sixth in the RPI. The Lobos are the last remaining unbeaten team, sitting at 15-0-2. But have not faced as many ranked opponents as others in stronger conferences. New Mexico looks to finish its unbeaten regular season on Saturday against UNLV.
If the Lobos remain that way, they will become just the second team in university history to finish an entire regular season undefeated. In 1927, New Mexico football finished out its regular season with a perfect 8-0-2 record. UNLV enters Saturday's tilt with a 3-13-0 record.
5 p.m. ET Saturday
No. 18 West Alabama at No. 1 Delta State
Thanks to West Alabama's victory against then-No. 5 North Alabama a week ago, Saturday's matchup between the Tigers and No. 1 Delta State has become a de facto Gulf South Conference championship game.
The Statesmen and Tigers are meeting for the 55th time in series history, but none have been bigger than Saturday's clash. The game marks the first time since 1971 that West Alabama has had a shot at the GSC title, while the Statesmen are in search of their fourth title in five years.
The Tigers will have to stop Delta State QB Micah Davis, who has averaged 300.3 yards of total offense to rank 10th in the country. For West Alabama, running back Matt Willis is 10th in the nation in rushing yards per game with 126.2.
8 p.m. ET Friday
No. 23 Michigan at No. 2 Nebraska
The Huskers attempt to rebound after losing their No. 1 ranking to UCLA. It will not be easy however, as they take on a Michigan team dying for -- and due for -- some conference success.
For the first time since Sept. 30, the Wolverines recorded a sweep of an opponent with a 3-0 win against Indiana on Saturday. Still, UM is 4-8 in the Big Ten this season. The Huskers lost their most recent conference match, falling to Penn State 3-1 on Saturday.
2 p.m. ET Saturday
No. 1 North Dakota State at No. 16 Indiana State
North Dakota State is the new No. 1 team in the nation following a 27-19 win against then-No. 2 Northern Iowa last week.
But the slate doesn't get easier this Saturday when the Bison travel to No. 16 Indiana State and face the nation's leading rusher, Shakir Bell, who has averaged 156.0 yards per game. NDSU has won the three matchups in the series and comes in with a red-hot quarterback.
Brock Jensen has started all eight games and is 131-of-174 passing with 10 touchdowns and just one interception as well as 1,483 yards. The Bison also feature the nation's second-ranked scoring defense, allowing only 12.5 points per game.
The 2011 SCAC Women's Soccer Tournament hosted by Birmingham-Southern is set to begin Friday as the fourth-seeded Lynx of Rhodes will take on Hendrix. The winner of that game will meet the top overall seed Trinity (Texas) on Saturday.
Host Birmingham-Southern, the second overall seed, will face the winner of the Centre and Sewanee game in a battle of the third and sixth seeded teams.
All information and photos compiled from respective athletic department websites.