Jan 30, 2014, 10:27 AM EDT
GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 13 Cincinnati at No. 12 Louisville, 7:00 p.m.
The biggest game of the season in the American will be taking place at the Yum! Center tonight. Cincinnati has been the best team in the conference all year long, jumping out to a 19-2 record and an 8-0 start in league play. But Louisville has long been considered the favorite to win the league in their only season as a member, and it looks like they have finally turned a corner this season.
Cincinnati is big and physical, surviving on their defense and rebounding to win games. The good news for Mick Cronin? Justin Jackson, the anchor for this group defensively, will play after rolling his ankle on Sunday. Louisville is getting healthy as well, as Chris Jones will be back in the lineup, although his presence may not be quite as beneficial as Jackson’s is to Cincinnati.
Whatever the case, this is not only for first place in the conference, but for a chance to mark down the best win of the season on either side. Is Cincy for real? Has Louisville really turned things around? We’ll see tonight.
MID-MAJOR MATCHUP OF THE NIGHT: Chattanooga at Davidson, 7:00 p.m.
Davidson has been the power in the SoCon over the course of the last few years, but Chattanooga looks dangerous this season. Will Wade’s team has reeled off 10 straight wins, including an 8-0 start to league play. Win at Davidson, and the Mocs will have firm control of the SoCon race.
MUST-WIN OF THE NIGHT: Providence at Marquette, 7:00 p.m.
The Friars didn’t do enough in non-conference play to truly solidify their standing as an NCAA tournament team. They also haven’t done enough on the road to be considered more than a home-cooking expert at this point in the season. Marquette? Well, they just can’t afford to lose too many more games before their name cache stops getting them the benefit of the doubt.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR:
1) They may not have Chris Walker yet, but No. 3 Florida plays at Mississippi State at 7:00 p.m.
2) Purdue will pay a visit to streaking No. 10 Michigan, who recently took over firm control of the Big Ten race by winning at Michigan State.
3) Houston heads to UConn where the Huskies will look to get revenge for the loss they suffered on New Year’s Eve.
4) It’s UCLA’s turn to stake a claim to being the second-best team in the Pac-12, but Oregon, for all their troubles this season, is one of the most talented teams in the league. Expect a lot of scoring.
5) A pair of key smaller conference league games: Louisiana Tech will play at UTEP with first place on the line, and Bryant visits Robert Morris, who is undefeated but without four rotation players.
- Mercer at East Tennessee State
- Kennesaw State at USC-Upstate
- South Alabama at Georgia State
- Samford at Furman
- Jalen Rose planning a book about the Fab Five 1
- Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan makes another statement wavering on potential retirement 0
- Cody Zeller, Indiana president speak out against recent athlete legal issues 0
- Five-star 2016 combo guard cuts list to four 0
- Xavier, Mount St. Joseph to launch the ‘Lauren Hill Tip-Off Classic’ 1
- Tai Wynyard: ‘I will be coming to UK in December’ 0
- Tom Izzo, 30 second shot clocks, and why zone presses will be more popular this year 1
- Blue Ribbon announces their preseason all-american team (3)
- 10 year old Ohio State fan worried heart surgery would make him love Michigan (1)
- Xavier, Mount St. Joseph to launch the ‘Lauren Hill Tip-Off Classic’ (1)
- Seton Hall to give scholarship basketball players $2,600 towards cost of attendance (1)
- Indiana president none too pleased with recent legal issues involving student-athletes (1)