VT vs. KSU and other November classics

Updated: November 1, 2010, 11:50 AM ET
By Joe Lunardi

You can't earn an NCAA tournament invitation in November, but you can certainly make it a whole lot easier by striking when opportunities present themselves. Here are 16 sweet matchups -- Sweet 16, get it? -- that figure to matter most come selection and seeding time in March:

Rhode Island Rams at Pittsburgh Panthers
(Nov. 8, ESPNU, 2K Sports Classic)

URI keeps winning 20-plus games and missing the NCAA tournament. It's been three straight seasons of the former, in fact, and 11 years of the later. The Rams would likely avoid the wrong kind of repeat if they upset projected No. 1 seed Pitt in the nation's very first tipoff.

St. John's Red Storm at Saint Mary's Gaels
(Nov. 16, ESPN)

The second course of ESPN's Tip-Off Marathon, this will be our first chance in years to see Steve Lavin on the network without makeup. More importantly, we'll see the new-look Red Storm in a tough building against a Gaels' squad fresh off a Sweet 16 appearance.