Monday, January 10, 2011

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 few 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. 14 Notre Dame at Marquette: The Fighting Irish have an impressive seven top-50 wins, while Marquette is continuing to suffer close losses.

Jacksonville at Belmont: The top two teams in the Atlantic Sun will battle it out. Belmont has a win over Tennessee; Jacksonville beat Florida.


Wisconsin at No. 18 Michigan State: Wisconsin isn’t getting much respect around the country, while Michigan State is still getting too much.

Florida at Tennessee: Tennessee lost its first game without Bruce Pearl on the sideline; Florida has looked impressive since its loss to Jacksonville.

North Carolina State at Boston College: Another ACC battle between two teams that no one has really figured out yet. Will anyone separate itself?


No. 2 Ohio State at Michigan: Ohio State had trouble putting away Iowa and Minnesota, while Michigan nearly beat Kansas on Sunday.

Nebraska at No. 9 Missouri: Nebraska escaped against Iowa State Saturday, but a win here would really say something. Missouri needs to bounce back.

No. 4 Syracuse at St. John’s: St. John’s ended its hot streak with a loss to Notre Dame; Syracuse is still undefeated after its first road game.

Louisville at No. 7 Villanova: Louisville has bounced back well from its loss to Kentucky, while Villanova continues to roll along with wins.

No. 5 Pittsburgh at No. 13 Georgetown: A big-time battle in the Big East. Pittsburgh is the co-favorite and Georgetown has lost three of its last four.

Bucknell at American: The Patriot is still wide-open after only one league game, but Bucknell and American had the best non-conference campaigns.

Georgia at No. 22 Vanderbilt: Saturday brought different fortunes to these two: Georgia knocked off Kentucky at home, while Vandy lost to South Carolina.

Oklahoma State at No. 16 Texas A&M: Oklahoma State put itself on the map with a blowout win over Kansas State; A&M is vastly underrated.

Wichita State at Creighton: After Missouri State’s win over Wichita Sunday night, the loser of this game will suddenly be a full two games behind MSU.

No. 1 Duke at Florida State: Duke struggled to take down Maryland on Sunday; now the Devils go on the road to face defensive-minded FSU.

No. 3 Kansas at Iowa State: The Jayhawks needed overtime to defeat a cold-shooting Michigan team; Iowa St. has to bounce back from its loss to Nebraska.

Colorado at No. 17 Kansas State: Colorado finally played to its potential on Saturday with a win over Missouri. KSU continues to struggle overall.

No. 25 UNLV at No. 6 San Diego State: Two of the Mountain West’s best. San Diego State is undefeated – UNLV and its perimeter players will test them.

Colorado State at New Mexico: New Mexico was expected to fight for an at-large berth, but Colorado State could break into the top four with a win.


No. 11 Purdue at Minnesota: Purdue continues to rack up wins against lesser teams – Minnesota is tough to beat at home, though. Should be good.

Old Dominion at Drexel: Drexel has lost three of its last five, but will look to bounce back against the CAA favorites. Expect a tight one.

Virginia Tech at North Carolina: In the preseason, these two were expected to finish behind Duke in the standings – will either prove themselves here?

Utah State at Boise State: A battle between the two teams at the top of the WAC. Utah State was the preseason favorite, but no one saw Boise coming.

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