Nov 18, 2013, 3:10 PM EDT
GAME OF THE NIGHT: SMU at Arkansas, 8:00 p.m. ET
Larry Brown’s SMU Mustangs have been quite intriguing early on this season, as they are sitting pretty at 2-0 with a dominating win over Rhode Island. They’ll get a real test tonight, however, as they make the trip to Fayetteville to take on Arkansas. The Razorbacks aren’t exactly expected to be great this year, but they do have a tremendous home court advantage and they play a style that is difficult to prepare for. This will be a good gauge for us: should we take SMU seriously?
WHO’S GETTING UPSET?: Southern Miss at North Dakota State, 8:00 p.m. ET
Do we consider Southern Miss a high-major program still? Even in this new, watered down Conference USA? I’ll go with yes just so that I can say that NDSU will pull off the upset when they beat them at home tonight. The Bison, led by Taylor Braun, are good.
MID-MAJOR MATCHUP OF THE DAY: Drexel vs. Elon at Rutgers, 5:00 p.m. ET
Elon is one of the better mid-major teams in the country this season, as they are the favorite to win the Big South this season. But Drexel is a scrappy, physical group that is finally healthy and gave UCLA a fight in Pauley Pavilion earlier this season.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR:
1) The Preseason NIT kicks off tonight, with the regional being held at Rutgers, Alabama, No. 6 Duke and No. 5 Arizona. That’s what Drexel and Elon will be taking part in. So not only will Jabari Parker and Aaron Gordon be in action tonight, but Ryan Harrow — the Kentucky transfer now at Georgia State — will launch his campaign to get to MSG.
2) No. 1 Michigan State will look to have a bit of a better performance against Portland tonight than they did against Columbia this weekend.
3) Canisius heads to Rutgers tonight, where we will get a chance to see Billy Baron go up against a high-major program again.
4) Miami FL has not been overly impressive early on this season. They’ll head to Charleston tonight to take on the Cougars who trailed Louisville by just three points with seven minutes left in the game in their opener.
5) Mercer just knocked off Seton Hall in double overtime at home on Saturday. They’ll head to Indiana to take on Evansville on Monday night.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- Southern at No. 16 Florida, 7:00 p.m. ET
- St. Francis NY at No. 9 Syracuse, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Sacramento State at No. 22 UCLA, 11:00 p.m. ET
- Vermont at Providence, 7:00 p.m. ET
- The Citadel at Tennessee, 7:00 p.m. ET
- Houston Baptist at Texas, 8:00 p.m. ET
- Arkansas State at Colorado, 9:00 p.m ET
- Southern Utah at Cal, 11:00 p.m. ET
- 2014 American Athletic Conference Tournament Preview: Louisville looks to win its only year in the AAC 1
- NBCSports.com National Player of the Year: Doug McDermott, Creighton 2
- 2014 ACC Tournament Preview: Will a newcomer crash the party in Greensboro? 1
- NBCSports.com National Freshman of the Year: Jabari Parker, Duke 3
- Bracketology: Delaware, Manhattan, Wofford punch tickets 1
- 2014 SEC Tournament Preview: How will Kentucky, bubble teams fair? 1
- Joel Embiid out for Big 12 tournament, ‘longshot’ for NCAA tournament first weekend 1
- NBCSports.com’s 2014 College Basketball All-Americans (12)
- Wichita State will head into the NCAA tournament 34-0 as a No. 1 seed (12)
- Assigned Reading: Dean Smith’s health continues to deteriorate (6)
- No. 1 Florida’s undefeated SEC season not just a by-product of their league (6)
- South Carolina suspends Frank Martin for regular season finale at Mississippi State (5)