Feb 8, 2013, 8:45 AM EST
Game of the Weekend: No. 1 Indiana at No. 10 Ohio State (Sun. 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS)
Oh hey, look at that. The best game of the weekend is in the Big Ten. Who saw that coming?
Last Saturday, the Hoosiers beat Michigan in a thriller at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, but they turned around and lost to Illinois on Thursday on the road in Champagne. Ohio State, on the other hand, is coming off of an overtime loss to the Wolverines on Tuesday that just may have been the game of the year to this point in the season, dropping them a game behind Indiana, Michigan and Michigan State in the Big Ten race.
It will be interesting to see how these two teams matchup with each other. Does Aaron Craft guard the bigger, more athletic Victor Oladipo? Is Oladipo going to get matched up with Deshaun Thomas? Is this the kind of game where Indiana’s zone can be effective? How in the world will the Buckeyes keep Cody Zeller in check in transition?
The fascinating thing about the Big Ten this year is that all of the top five teams are so different. In college basketball, styles win the fight, and there is so much contrast between the way that the teams at the top of the Big Ten play that makes all of these games so intriguing to watch. At some point, the analysis stops and you simply have to sit back and watch the shot. This is one of those games.
Five more games you need to watch:
- No. 11 Louisville at No. 25 Notre Dame (9:00 p.m. ET, ESPN): On paper, this looks like a great matchup for the Irish. They have plenty of shooters, they have a talented pair of veteran guards in the back court, they have a bruiser in the middle in Jack Cooley and they pass the ball extremely well. But the Cardinals seem to be getting back in stride after a three-game losing streak earlier this year. Anyone else excited to see Dickie V call a game featuring Russ Smith?
- No. 15 New Mexico at UNLV (9:00 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network): This is the last chance for the Rebels. A loss at Fresno State dropped UNLV to 4-4, a full three games behind the Lobos in the Mountain West standings. Losing on Saturday puts them four back, an insurmountable deficit given the strength of this year’s MWC. UNLV is a flawed team, and while I’m not completely sold on New Mexico yet, they haven’t done anything to make anyone believe they are the favorite to win the league.
- Memphis at Southern Miss (4:00 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network): The Tigers got huge news on Thursday when they received word that Conference USA had overturned the Flagrant 2 call on Shaq Goodwin and ruled it a Flagrant 1, meaning that he wouldn’t be automatically suspended by the league for Saturday’s game. Because this is a huge game. USM lost this week, meaning that it is no longer a battle of the undefeateds in CUSA, but a loss to the Tigers on Saturday drops the Golden Eagles two games out of first place.
- No. 23 Pitt at No. 17 Cincinnati (6:00 p.m. ET, ESPN): You will never see a more prototypically Big East basketball game than this year’s Pitt team taking on this year’s Cincinnati team. Both play a slower pace. Both have really good guard play. Both have a big, physical, athletic front court that’s more raw talent than it is skill. The key to beating the Bearcats? Stifling Sean Kilpatrick and Cashmere Wright. Tray Woodall and James Robinson will have their work cut out for them.
- Iowa State at No. 13 Kansas State (6:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2): It’s time for the Wildcats to exact some revenge. Back in January, the Cyclones knocked off the Wildcats at home. Fred Hoiberg has his team playing well. They are versatile, they are athletic, their front court is a matchup nightmare and they love to fire away from three. They’re a fun team to watch. But Bramlage Coliseum isn’t a fun place to play.
And what about the mid-majors?:
- Sacred Heart at Bryant (Sun. 4:00 p.m. ET)
- Oral Roberts at Stephen F. Austin (7:00 p.m. ET)
- Tennessee State at Murray State (8:00 p.m. ET)
- Stony Brook at Hartford (7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
- Illinois State at No. 16 Creighton (10:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
Dec 21, 2013, 10:10 PM EST
There is no questioning No. 3 Ohio State’s ability on the defensive end of the floor. Aaron Craft and Shannon Scott may be the two best on-ball defenders in the country, and Sam Thompson isn’t too far behind them. The Buckeyes have played a fairly weak schedule, but it’s not a mistake or a statistical…
Dec 21, 2013, 8:46 PM EST
VCU got back on track on Saturday afternoon with an 82-52 win over in-state rival Virginia Tech. This was never a game. VCU used a 31-0 run to open up a 37-8 lead and threw it into cruise controls. Shaka Smart’s squad forced 27 turnovers, but the big news was the play of Melvin Johnson.…
Dec 21, 2013, 8:12 PM EST
Tracy Abrams answered a Jabari Brown three by drawing a foul and hitting two free throws with 4.6 seconds left as Illinois claimed Braggin’ Rights over No. 23 Missouri with a 65-64 win in St. Louis on Saturday evening. Abrams finished with 22 points and Rayvonte Rice chipped in with 14 for the Illini, who…
Dec 21, 2013, 7:52 PM EST
North Carolina sophomore wing J.P. Tokoto has shown signs of improvement this season, raising both his scoring (9.6 ppg entering Saturday) and rebounding (4.8 rpg) averages from a season ago. Part of that has come with an increased number of opportunities, as Reggie Bullock’s now a Los Angeles Clipper and P.J. Hairston’s no longer a…
Dec 21, 2013, 6:55 PM EST
Even though No. 5 Michigan State has a number of players dealing with injuries during the early part of this season, it didn’t stop them from earning a big 92-78 road win over Texas on Saturday. Despite battling plantar fasciitis, senior forward Adreian Payne played one of the best games of this college basketball season…
Dec 21, 2013, 6:54 PM EST
In the late stages of Michigan State’s 92-78 win over Texas on Saturday afternoon, Denzel Valentine set up Branden Dawson for one of the year’s best highlights. Valentine tossed an alley-oop off the glass for Dawson, who finished the pass the way that you would expect one of the nation’s best athletes to finish it.
Dec 21, 2013, 6:01 PM EST
Marcus Foster and Thomas Gibson both scored 14 points for Kansas State as the Wildcats knocked off No. 21 Gonzaga 72-62 in Manhattan, KS, on Saturday afternoon. Bruce Weber’s club held Kevin Pangos to 4-for-11 shooting on the night, as he finished with just 12 points and six assists. Sam Dower went down with a…
Dec 21, 2013, 6:01 PM EST
Given how much production James Madison lost from last season’s NCAA tournament team and the fact that Andre Nation won’t be available until the Dukes begin CAA play, it comes as no surprise that they’ve struggled offensively this season. Charles Cooke (15.6 ppg, 4.0 rgp, 2.1 apg), Ron Curry (11.9, 4.5, 2.7) and Andre Semenov…
Dec 21, 2013, 4:50 PM EST
Marcus Foster has been one of the nation’s most underrated freshmen this season, starring for a Kansas State team that has remained well off the national radar. Well, not anymore. Foster is on fire as Kansas State as the Wildcats are currently beating No. 21 Gonzaga. We’ll see if that lead holds, but for now,…
Dec 21, 2013, 4:45 PM EST
Florida State dictated tempo and slowed down unbeaten No. 22 UMass and senior point guard Chaz Williams as the Seminoles held on for a 60-55 victory in the Orange Bowl Classic. Despite a controversial ending that featured a missed foul call on a Cady Lalanne dunk that would have cut UMass’ deficit to a point…
Dec 21, 2013, 3:00 PM EST
Later in the season we’ll all surely have a laugh about how Kansas was once the No. 18 team in the country. This Jayhawks team is far too talented for that ranking and showed how good they can be during a monster second-half surge in its 86-64 win over Georgetown on Saturday afternoon. The Jayhawks…
Dec 21, 2013, 2:47 PM EST
After getting hit in the back of the head by Georgetown’s Nate Lubick, Perry Ellis looked wobbly while shooting a free throw that hit the bottom of the backboard a good three feet to the left of the rim. He pointed to his head after the miss, leaving the game with 18 minutes left in…
Dec 21, 2013, 2:41 PM EST
Julius Randle finished with 29 points and 10 boards and Willie Cauley-Stein chipped in with 16 points and seven boards as No. 19 Kentucky withstood an early three-point barrage to knock off Belmont 93-80. The Bruins were scorching from beyond the arc in the first half, taking a lead that stretched to as much as…
Dec 21, 2013, 2:13 PM EST
Kansas freshman center Joel Embiid put down a ridiculous tip slam during the second half of Kansas’ home game against Georgetown. The Jayhawks are comfortably ahead of the Hoyas late in the second half, and this tip slam is just icing on the cake to a nice non-conference home win for the Jayhawks. Follow @phillipshoops
Dec 21, 2013, 12:30 PM EST
After weeks of speculation, Florida officially announced that transfer center Damontre Harris is officially no longer with the team, according to Kevin Brockway of the The Gainsville Sun. Florida announces C Damontre Harris officially no longer with team.— Kevin Brockway (@gatorhoops) December 21, 2013 Harris transferred to the Gators from South Carolina after averaging 6.8 points, 5.5…
Dec 21, 2013, 12:00 PM EST
Arizona State will get an immediate boost to its rotation as Michigan State transfer Brandan Kearney is eligible to play for the Sun Devils on Saturday against Texas Tech after sitting out a year due to NCAA transfer rules. Kearney averaged 2.3 points in 16.9 minutes last season as a sophomore at Michigan State, but…
Dec 21, 2013, 11:20 AM EST
Junior point guard Mike Powell has opted to transfer out of Rhode Island, according to a release from the University. The Chicago native lost his starting job to Texas Tech transfer Biggie Minnis after starting seven of the first nine games this season as Powell was struggling to produce. Powell averaged 2.6 points in 15…
Dec 21, 2013, 10:30 AM EST
If you like dunks, surely you remember high school phenom Seventh Woods’ mixtape from his freshman season last year. Well, the springy sophomore is at it again, this time with an absurd dunk over a defender at the Chik-Fil-A Classic. While the dunk by Woods is obviously fantastic, it might be the reaction of the…
Dec 21, 2013, 9:40 AM EST
GAME OF THE DAY: No. 5 Michigan State at Texas (4 p.m., CBS) A banged-up Spartans team travels to Austin for its first true road game of the season on Saturday as Rick Barnes and Texas hope to continue to surpass preseason expectations. Texas has a big chance at home to capitalize on an already…
Dec 21, 2013, 12:54 AM EST
GAME OF THE NIGHT: Minnesota 92, Nebraska-Omaha 79 — Friday nights in college hoops tend to be quiet, but Minnesota and Omaha put on a show at The Barn tonight with the Gophers holding on for the win. Deandre Mathieu led all scorers with 27 points for Minnesota. IMPORTANT OUTCOMES 1) SMU went on the…
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