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Weekend Preview: Light slate with two heavyweight battles

Dec 27, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT

St Francis v Syracuse Getty Images

GAME OF THE WEEKEND: No. 8 Villanova at No. 2 Syracuse, Sat. 2:00 p.m. (all times eastern)

Raphielle Johnson wrote about this game extensively here.

THE OTHER GAME OF THE WEEKEND: No. 6 Louisville at No. 18 Kentucky, Sat. 4:00 p.m.

I wrote 600 words on this game right here.

FOUR MORE TO KEEP AN EYE ON:

  • Wake Forest at Xavier, Sat. 5:00 p.m.: The Skip Prosser Classic. Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com wrote a really touching preview for this game.
  • Providence at No. 23 UMass, Sat. 6:00 p.m.: Chaz Williams and Bryce Cotton are two of the nation’s most entertaining guards to watch. Both the Friars and the Minutemen love uptempo basketball. Both of them score plenty of points. The Friars are coming off of a disappointing non-conference, not because of results but because of the loss of Kris Dunn (shoulder), Brandon Austin and Rodney Bullock (suspensions). UMass lost their last time out to Florida State.
  • No. 25 Missouri at N.C. State, Sat. 8:00 pm.: Wanna talk about teams with something to prove? Missouri’s best win at this point in the season is over UCLA at home. They lost to Illinois in the Braggin’ Rights game and haven’t done much else of note. The Wolfpack are in a similar situation. They’ve beaten Tennessee, but their resume isn’t all that impressive. T.J. Warren and Jordan Clarkson are two of the best players you haven’t seen yet.
  • Alabama at UCLA, Sat. 10:00 p.m.: Talk about a contrast of styles. Alabama likes to muck-it-up defensively while UCLA is going to try to get out and run as much as humanly possible. Who wins out?

WHO’S ON UPSET ALERT?

  • UC-Irvine at Arizona State, Sat. 2:00 p.m.: Jahii Carson is always must-see TV, but the Sun Devils can struggle on nights when he’s not playing his best. Irvine already has a win at Washington this season and they have a must-watch player in their own right in Mamadou N’Diaye, who stands 7-foot-6.
  • UIC at Illinois, Sat. 2:00 p.m.: Kelsey Barlow is having a huge season for UIC, averaging 16.6 points, 5.2 boards and 4.5 assists. Illinois will have to slow down the former Boilermaker is they want to avoid getting upset.

THREE MORE THINGS TO WATCH FOR:

1) Two of the nation’s best mid-major teams, Belmont and Indiana State, will square off at 1:05  on Saturday afternoon in Terre Haute.

2) BYU will head to LMU on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. to kick off WCC play. Anthony Ireland will be fun to watch facing BYU’s uptempo offense.

3) Notre Dame’s first game without Jerian Grant will take place on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. when they host Billy Baron and Canisius.

  1. shockertalk - Dec 27, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Davidson’s 6’7″ 230lb power forward, who is the Southern Conference Preseason Player of the Year, played his first game back from injury when Davidson took North Carolina to overtime.

    “Dangerous Davidson” is back, and their contest vs The Wichita State University Shockers is staying “under the radar”. And, despite my warning, it will stay there because it is not being broadcast!

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