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Hoops Du Jour, With a Side of Pigskin

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So, what are you more intrigued by tonight: the basketball showdown at the American Airlines Center? Or the one up the street at Moody Coliseum? In a rare clash of national high school titans, Duncanville (Class of ’82, thank you very much) meets perennial power Oak Hill Academy at 8 p.m. at SMU. The Panthers, ranked No. 1 by most national polls, are the defending state 5A champs and have won 53 consecutive games. Oak Hill, out of Virginia, was last year’s mythical national champ and has produced the likes of Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Jerry Stackhouse.

The game would be creating a noticeable basketball buzz, if not for Mavs-Suns. I know, there are no consequential NBA games in December. But it will be an early measuring-tape game between two of the West’s top three teams. Phoenix has run-and-gunned its way to 18-7, including an 11-4 road record punctuated by a win in San Antonio Monday night. Your Mavs, meanwhile, are meandering along at 17-9.

Sorta following the Spurs’ template of slowly ramping up to an April peak, Dallas is shrugging off worries like not being able to guard three-point shooters in crunch time, seeing Dirk Nowitzki’s three-point shooting plummet to under 30 percent and consecutive top draft picks Mo Ager and Nick Fazekas sent down to the minors. Regardless of the calendar, these teams always put on an entertaining show. First one to 110 wins. Unlike the team that played in Moody last night.

SM-peeyeww, a week after beating a decent TCU team, actually lost a home game to South Carolina Upstate, which sounds more like a Mason-Dixon recession plan than a Division I basketball team. SCU, in its first season playing big-time hoops, was coming off a 16-point loss to something called Bluefield College, which Will Farrell just had to attend at some point. Even by SMU’s standards, this is a ridiculous and humiliating loss. Or is it?

Maybe it’s not shocking at all, given that coach Matt Doherty’s Mustangs also have home losses to Southern, Alabama State and Centenary. What, Doherty is supposed to get smart and load his home schedule with a bunch of creampuffs?

In totally unrelated football news: Bill Parcells is again un-retiring. To which I say, vomit. And Dennis Franchione is a candidate to coach SMU. To which I say, tried to tell ya. --Richie Whitt

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