Al takes a lickin’, but comes back kickin’ with predictions for tonight’s top 25 action.

Al after last night's games were over

Have I mentioned that I hate Wednesdays? I woke up to find that 4 out of my 5 predictions were wrong (I was out last night and didn’t watch basketball); I had to wrestle with a recalcitrant new version of InDesign for most of the day; I had to deal with someone who is neither an editor or writer trying to edit a poster I wrote; my daughter got mad at me because I insist on claiming her as a dependent on my taxes because, well, she was. Then there was the sad news about the earthquake in Haiti. On the bright side, the Lane Kiffin departure to USC has created all kinds of hilarity in the sporting world. Oh, and a friend dropped by with doughnuts and coffee.

Now I’m torn. If I watch the games I want to watch tonight while keeping an eye on the scoreboard, I won’t get a single prediction right because that’s how Wednesdays work for me. Also, UNC will lose no matter what. If I wait until tomorrow to check out the scores because Thursdays are marginally better for me, then I miss a great night of basketball. See, how much Wednesdays suck? I’d really like to petition my life to let me just go straight from Tuesday to Thursday.

Well, time for me to quit whining like an N.C. State fan when asked about ACC officiating and get down to business.

No. 1 Texas at Iowa State. Even though Texas is due for a fall and they’re playing at Iowa State, the time for the Rick Barnes-coached team to collapse is not quite upon us. Check back in a week or two.

No 3 Kansas at Nebraska. Teams in the top 10 are toppling faster than you can say “weakest year ever” and then punctuating their embarrassments with yet another loss (see Purdue and West Virginia). But I’m hanging on to my faith in Bill Self as a motivator and giving Kansas this win.

No. 5 Syracuse at Rutgers. If a virtually illegible post written by someone on the Rutgers message boards who forgot to take his lithium is to be believed, there are some internal issues at Rutgers. Meanwhile, Syracuse has managed not to lose another game after losing to Pitt and has now won two more games. I know I’m playing with fire by going with three of the top 5 teams actually winning tonight, but think Syracuse can take Rutgers–internal issues or no.

Anyone else sick of this guy?

Boston College at No. 7 Duke. Because today is Wednesday, this is the only game I’ll get right. Guaranteed. I’d like to add that I’m really sick of having Jon Scheyer shoved in my face every time I log onto espn.com. Hopefully, the Lane Kiffin news will take care of that.

Minnesota at No. 8 Michigan State. This one is really, really hard because it truly could go either way. On paper, MSU is clearly the favorite, but the Big 10 (like the ACC) is in disarray right now and no team is invulnerable. I’m picking MSU only because I want  them to win, but I won’t be surprised if this is an upset. By the way, good luck to anyone who thinks they can beat MSU in February because you won’t.

No. 9 West Virginia at South Florida. Like all alleged sportswriters, I’m a turncoat. I’ve gone from thinking that West Virginia could beat Syracuse to wondering if they’ll even finish third in the Big East. South Florida has dropped three straight, though. My fingers are crossed that WVU comes through in the clutch.

No. 13 North Carolina at No. 19 Clemson. Sorry, Jose, but I’m going to watch this game, it’s Wednesday (a double whammy because historically UNC does not play well on Wednesdays), and Clemson’s playing at home. So grab your rifle and come find me.

No. 20 Pittsburgh at No. 15 Connecticut. And I thought picking between Minnesota and MSU was going to be hard. This one is next to impossible to call. I had to resort to the coin. I’m still not sure I feel good about what the coin just told me.

No. 16 Wisconsin at Northwestern. This is an upset waiting to happen. Wisconsin gave it all to upset Purdue and I think they’ll come out flat against a pretty solid Northwestern team.

No. 17 Brigham Young at Air Force. Wow, BYU’s only lost one game. On the other hand, they’ve mostly played cupcakes and lower mid-majors. Air Force hasn’t played anyone and has lost 7 games. It’s always risky to pick a ranked mid-major to win a game, but what the hell.

The site of a possible Yellow Jacket upset

No. 18 Georgia Tech at Virginia. Georgia Tech, like Wisconsin, pulled a big upset on Saturday and is not likely to play well tonight, not that any ACC team is really playing well this season. For those reasons, I’m giving the upset to the Wahoos.

No. 21 Temple at Pennsylvania. One can only hope that Temple can beat the hapless Quakers.

No. 23 Mississippi at Georgia. Another coin toss provided me with my pick because I think these teams are evenly matched despite Mississippi’s better record.

For those of you wondering whether I’ll watch any game other than UNC-Clemson tonight, you’ll have your answers as the results roll in.