Monday, January 11, 2010

The Week Ahead

Last week was arguably the best and most jam-packed week of college basketball so far this season, as plenty of top-25 teams fell and teams around the country began to make statements. Despite the excitement and intensity of the past seven days, this week could be even better. There are dozens of interesting intraconference match-ups, including several top teams testing their mettle against upset-minded opponents, both at home and on the road. Teams in a variety of conferences will begin to separate themselves from each other beginning this week as we head into the final two months of the season.


No. 6 Villanova at Louisville (7:00 PM, ESPN): Two of the three remaining Big East unbeatens. Louisville has rebounded from a slow start, while Villanova is 14-1.

Oklahoma State at Oklahoma (9:00 PM, ESPN): The Bedlam rivalry is not as anticipated as it has been in recent years because OU is only 9-6, but it will still be a fun game.


Ohio State at No. 4 Purdue (7:00 PM, ESPN): Purdue lost its first game of the season this weekend, and will look to bounce back against Evan Turner and OSU.

Texas A&M at No. 11 Kansas State (7:00 PM, ESPN2): Both teams are in a deep second tier in the Big 12; they will both likely get at-large bids come March.

Maryland at Wake Forest (8:00 PM, Regional TV/ESPN FullCourt): The ACC is deep and balanced this season, and these teams are both going to be fighting on the bubble in March.

No. 3 Kentucky at Florida (9:00 PM, ESPN): Both teams have been inconsistent this season, but there is plenty of talent on each side. Could UK fall on the road?


Minnesota at No. 10 Michigan State (6:30 PM, Big Ten Network): Michigan State is 3-0 in Big Ten play, while Minnesota has won eight of its last nine games.

No. 8 West Virginia at South Florida (7:00 PM, Regional TV/ESPN FullCourt): West Virginia fell for the second time in three games on Saturday, and South Florida has been plucky at home.

Miami (Fl.) at Virginia Tech (7:00 PM): Miami has only one loss this season, but is not getting much attention. Va. Tech has won nine of its last 10 games.

No. 23 Pittsburgh at No. 13 Connecticut (7:00 PM, ESPN2): One of the better rivalries in the Big East, Pitt has been a pleasant surprise while UConn needs an impressive win.

Boston College at No. 5 Duke (7:00 PM, ESPN): Boston College has lost two of three, and four of eight, while Duke is coming off of a loss at Georgia Tech.

Cincinnati at St. John’s (7:00 PM, ESPNU): Both teams were Big East sleepers, but each team is in need of a win. Cincy has lost two straight league games, and SJU is 0-3.

No. 2 Texas at Iowa State (8:00 PM, Regional TV/ESPN FullCourt): Texas is one of the last two unbeatens remaining in the country, but Iowa State has the talent to make a run at the Longhorns.

No. 17 Wisconsin at Northwestern (8:30 PM, Big Ten Network): An interesting Big Ten battle. Wisconsin is building a quality resume, while Northwestern needs a big win.

Missouri at No. 22 Texas Tech (9:00 PM, ESPNU): Missouri is coming off of a big win over Kansas State and has won eight in a row. Tech has lost three of six.

No. 1 Kansas at Nebraska (9:00 PM, ESPN2): Kansas is coming off its first loss of the season, while Nebraska has a gaudy 12-4 record and is undefeated at home.

No. 9 North Carolina at Clemson (9:00 PM, ESPN): North Carolina has a few solid wins this season, but has been inconsistent. Clemson has the experience to pull an upset.

Vanderbilt at Alabama (9:00 PM, Regional TV/ESPN FullCourt): Vanderbilt has rebounded from a slow start by winning six in a row, while ‘Bama has won four consecutive contests.

San Diego State at UNLV (10:00 PM, CBS College Sports): Two of the best in the Mountain West. SDSU lost at Wyoming over the weekend, while UNLV won at New Mexico by 12.

Utah State at Nevada (11:00 PM, ESPN2): These two were both preseason favorites in the WAC, but are each only 10-6 this season. Both teams can still make a run, though.


Seton Hall at No. 12 Georgetown (7:00 PM, ESPN): Seton Hall has fallen short against top opponents this season, while Georgetown had a big win over UConn on Saturday.

Arizona State at Oregon (8:30 PM, Regional TV): The Pac-10 has been an abomination this season, but ASU has won six of eight, while Oregon has won six of seven.

California at Washington State (10:00 PM): California was a preseason favorite, but the Golden Bears have struggled. WSU is coming off a 25-point loss at Arizona State.

No. 19 Gonzaga at Saint Mary’s (11:00 PM, ESPN2): The two best teams in the West Coast over the past few seasons battle. Saint Mary’s has the pieces to get a win.

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