The NBA may be locked out and potentially not coming back anytime soon, but hoops junkies can be comforted knowing college basketball is right around the corner. The premier event of the week is a game between North Carolina and Michigan State on Friday, as Tar Heels wing Harrison Barnes looks to have a monster sophomore season. Locally, let's take a look at what's happening this week:
Army Black Knights vs. Air Force Falcons -- Friday, Nov. 11, 7:30 p.m. MT
The Falcons kick off the season with the All-Military Classic against Army. Air Force will be led by 6'6 swing man Michael Lyons, who led the team in scoring last year by averaging 13.1 points per game. Junior center Taylor Broekhuis is expected to provide inside toughness for the Falcons. The 6'10 big man averaged 7.5 points per game and 3.4 rebounds per game last season.
Fort Lewis College Skyhawks vs. Colorado Buffaloes -- Friday, Nov. 11, 8:00 p.m. MT
The Buffs get an in-state start to their season when they face the Division II Fort Lewis College Skyhawks on Veterans' Day. Will this team be able to overcome the losses of Alec Burks and Corey Higgins? Shannon Sharpe, Carlon Brown and a freshman class should have an easy start to the season.
Portland St. Vikings vs. Denver Pioneers -- Friday, Nov. 11, 7:30 p.m. MT
The Pioneers kick off their last season in the Sun Belt Conference before a move to the WAC in 2012 with a road contest against the Portland St. Vikings. The Pioneers return leading scorer (12.9 points) Brian Stafford with the Brothers Hallam, Chase and Travis.
Montana Grizzlies vs. Colorado St. Rams -- Friday, Nov. 11, 7:00 p.m. MT
With Andy Ogide and Travis Franklin gone, the Rams lost 28 points per game. Wes Eikmeier and Greg Smith are the leading scorers on the team after averaging 8.3 points each last season.
New Mexico St. Aggies vs. N. Colorado Bears -- Saturday, Nov. 12, 7:05 p.m. MT
The Bears, who won the Big Sky's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament, are entering the post- Devon Beitzel era. Can they repeat? The road to there starts on Saturday.