Jan 8, 2014, 4:18 PM EDT
GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 18 Kansas at Oklahoma, 7:00 p.m.
The Jayhawks are coming off of an ugly loss against a San Diego State team that was big, burly and pounded Kansas in the paint. The Jayhawks will have a decided advantage in the paint against Oklahoma, but will that help? The Sooners can spread the floor and essentially play with four guards with Cameron Clark at the power forward spot. The Sooners are good enough to beat anyone in the Big 12 on the right night.
THE OTHER GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 23 Illinois at No. 4 Wisconsin, 9:00 p.m.
The only game of the night between two ranked teams. Illinois has a talented back court in Tracy Abrams and Rayvonte Rice, but the Badgers guards are a nightmare defensively. Wisconsin did not look great in their win over Iowa at home on Sunday, so this will be a good chance for us to get a feel on whether or not Illinois is truly a team that can compete atop the Big Ten.
WHO’S GETTING UPSET?: Harvard at UConn, 7:00 p.m.
I don’t even know if this should qualify as an upset. Even with Kenyatta Smith still injured, Harvard might actually be a better basketball team that UConn. The key, as always, is going to be slowing down Shabazz Napier, but the Crimson have routinely proven to be a solid defensive team. On the flipside, I’m not sure how the Huskies will deal with Wesley Saunders. This game is all the more important for Harvard because it’s the last chance they’ll have to beat a marquee team in the non-conference. They need to win it if they really want a chance to earn an at-large bid should they miss out on the Ivy title.
MID-MAJOR MATCHUP OF THE NIGHT: Boise State at No. 13 San Diego State, 11:00 p.m.
I don’t think this actually qualifies as mid-major, but I still wanted to highlight it. Boise State is a perimeter oriented team built around a slew of talented wings and three-point shooting. San Diego State has a big, talented front line that can matchup with anyone in the country. What wins out? SDSU’s defense or BSU’s offense?
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR:
1) No. 11 Oklahoma State is coming off of a loss at Kansas State. They’ll look to bounce back against Texas in Gallagher-Iba Arena.
2) No. 14 Kentucky has been out of the news since knocking off Louisville in Rupp ten days ago. They’ll host Mississippi State to kick off SEC play tonight.
3) No. 19 UMass kicks off Atlantic 10 play with a visit from St. Joseph’s.
4) No. 6 Wichita State puts their undefeated record on the line as Illinois State pays a visit. Tip is at 8:00 p.m.
5) Pac-12 play kicked off last weekend and Utah put together a couple of impressive performances against the Oregon schools at home. What can they do on the road? They head to Washington tonight.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 8 Villanova at Seton Hall, 7:00 p.m.
- South Carolina at No. 10 Florida, 7:00 p.m.
- No. 15 Colorado at Washington State, 9:00 p.m.
- Georgia at No. 21 Missouri, 8:00 p.m.
- Wake Forest at Virginia, 7:00 p.m.
- Georgetown at Providence, 7:00 p.m.
- Minnesota at Penn State, 7:00 p.m.
- Miami at North Carolina, 9:00 p.m.
- New Mexico at Wyoming, 9:00 p.m.
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