Monday, February 9, 2009

Key Games this Week

West Virginia at Pittsburgh (Monday): Rivalry in the Big East. West Virginia could use a win to cement its NCAA hopes, while Pitt tries to hold onto a top seed.

Kansas at Missouri (Monday): Another rivalry match-up. Kansas is one of the hottest teams in the country, while Missouri is rising to a top-four seed.

Michigan State at Michigan (Tuesday): Intrastate clash in the Big Ten. Michigan State is atop the conference and Michigan needs a win for its NCAA profile.

Marquette at Villanova (Tuesday): There will be plenty of excellent perimeter play in this one. Can Marquette’s Jerel McNeal slow down ‘Nova’s Scottie Reynolds?

Oklahoma State at Texas (Tuesday): Two teams heading in the wrong direction. OK State needs a marquee win badly, while Texas has lost three in a row.

Florida at Kentucky (Tuesday): Two SEC East rivals battle. Florida is looking like the best team in the conference right now; UK has lost three in a row.

Clemson at Boston College (Tuesday): Two teams who blew leads over the weekend. Clemson feel at home to Florida State, while BC was defeated at Wake Forest.

Penn State at Purdue (Wednesday): Two Big Ten teams in need of a win. Penn State dropped two in a row to fall out of the field, while Purdue also lost twice.

Syracuse at Connecticut (Wednesday): Two teams going in opposite directions. Syracuse has lost five of seven, while UConn is the best team in the country.

Xavier at Dayton (Wednesday): The two best teams in the Atlantic-10 go at it. Both teams surprisingly lost over the weekend to dull the luster slightly.

Boston University at Vermont (Wednesday): Battle for first place in the America East. BU has won eight in a row, while Vermont has won eight of nine.

Tulsa at Memphis (Wednesday): The top two teams in Conference-USA face off in a rematch of their classic battle in January when Memphis won at the buzzer.

Nicholls State at Sam Houston State (Wednesday): Battle in the Southland. Nicholls State lost over the weekend to Corpus Christi, while SHS has won seven in a row.

LSU at Mississippi State (Wednesday): SEC West supremacy is on the line. LSU has won seven straight SEC games, while MSU is one game back at 6-2.

North Carolina at Duke (Wednesday): Always one of the best games of the year. Both teams are fighting for No. 1 seeds and the ACC title. Who’s not excited?

Oklahoma at Baylor (Wednesday): Oklahoma is still chugging along, having won 11 in a row. On the other hand, Baylor has lost five in a row and needs a win.

San Diego State at Utah (Wednesday): First place in the Mountain West is on the line. Both teams have borderline profiles as at-large teams so a title is big.

Louisville at Notre Dame (Thursday): Is this even a big game anymore? Notre Dame is 11-10 against D-1 teams, while Louisville is a Final Four contender.

Illinois at Northwestern (Thursday): Illinois bounced back from its slump with a big win over Purdue, while Northwestern is coming off of a bad loss at Iowa.

UCLA at Arizona State (Thursday): The two Pac-10 favorites in the preseason go at it. UCLA has won 15 of 17, while Arizona State is still in the title hunt.

USC at Arizona (Thursday): Huge bubble battle in the Pac-10. USC has won three of four, while Arizona rejuvenated its hopes with four straight victories.

Gonzaga at Saint Mary’s (Thursday): This game would hold more importance had Patty Mills not been injured. Now, it’s probably just another WCC win for the Zags.

Villanova at West Virginia (Friday): Villanova is one of the hottest teams in the country over the past few weeks, while WVU has lost two of three to drop to 5-5.

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