"I Know the Game Like I'm Reffing It"

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Today's Games To Watch - Saturday, Dec. 20th

After a slow week, things pick up drastically today.

The few highlights of the week so far were Wichita State's huge comeback versus Alabama, Cincinnati winning a slugfest over San Diego State, Duke handling their business against UConn, and Miami losing to Eastern Kentucky by 28.

But, back to today...

#25 VCU (7-3) at Cincinnati (7-2) 12PM, Cincinnati, OH, ESPNU
The Rams are coming off an exhilarating double OT victory over Northern Iowa last week, which was really their best win of the year. Cinci has a similar story. They're coming off a bruising overtime victory over San Diego State. This will be a battle. VCU's efficient fast paced offense and havoc defense vs. Cincinnati's football team. Prediction: VCU 60, Cincinnati 56.

#14 Ohio State (9-1) vs. #17 North Carolina (7-3) 1PM, Chicago, IL, CBS
The winner of this game should probably be taken seriously. The loser will be a TBD. This will literally be the Buckeyes' second tough game, having lost to Louisville in their other one. UNC was severely humbled in Lexington last weekend, but has some decent wins on paper. Prediction: UNC 76, Ohio State 73.

Syracuse (6-3) at #9 Villanova (10-0) 1PM, Philadelphia, PA, FOX
The young, struggling Orange travel to Philly to face an old Big East Rival that is already clicking on all cylinders. It's not a good look for the Cuse right now, who are coming off a 2-point home victory over Louisiana Tech. Nova has rolled over mediocre teams like the current Syracuse squad so far this season, no need to stop now. Prediction: Nova 73, Syracuse 63. 

Indiana (8-2) vs. Butler (8-2) 2:30PM, Indianapolis, IN, FS1
This is a nice in-state rivalry game. Butler has been solid all year, in and out of that bottom of the top 25 all year. Indiana has been on the fringe of those heights with decent wins over SMU and Pittsburgh. The Bulldogs are coming off a disappointing loss at Tennessee last weekend. Prediction: Butler 74, Indiana 71.

UCLA (8-3) vs. #1 Kentucky (11-0) 3:30PM, Chicago, IL, CBS
This one is up here simply because if you get a chance to watch the best team in the country versus a team with talent, you probably should. Other than that, this shouldn't be much of a contest. The Bruins have lost to every other good team they've played by double-digits (Oklahoma, UNC, Gonzaga). And Kentucky is the best. Prediction: Kentucky 83, UCLA 65.

Iowa (8-3) vs. #23 Northern Iowa (9-1) 7:30PM, Des Moines, IA, BTN
The Panthers must be chomping at the bit. They are 9-1, in the Top 25 with a chance to kick their in-state big brother while they're kinda down. UNI hasn't played since their heartbreaking double OT loss at VCU, so they should be ready. The Hawkeyes, on the other hand, were dismantled at home by Iowa State eight days ago and haven't really looked good this year, save a road win at North Carolina. Prediction: UNI 72, Iowa 66.

#12 Oklahoma (7-2) vs. #18 Washington (9-0) 9PM, Las Vegas, NV, ESPNU
There's a good one at the MGM Grand tonight and it ain't gonna end in a decision. The Sooners have been very impressive so far this year, besides a loss at Creighton in their second game of the season. The undefeated Huskies will see how good they really are, as this will be their toughest test to date. Both teams have been strong defensively, but OU's offense is a bit more potent. Prediction: Oklahoma 68, Washington 63.

Other games of note...

Charlotte (6-4) at Georgetown (6-3) 12PM, Washington, DC
SMU (7-3) at Michigan (5-4) 12PM, Ann Arbor, MI, ESPN2
Massachusetts (6-4) at Providence (8-3) 1PM, Providence, RI, CBSS
Purdue (8-3) vs. #21 Notre Dame (10-1) 5:15PM, Indianapolis, IN, BTN
NC State (9-2) vs West Virginia (9-1) 9:30PM, New York, NY, ESPN2
Stanford (6-2) at BYU (6-3) 11PM, Provo, UT, ESPNU
#15 Utah (7-2) at UNLV (6-2) 11:30PM, Las Vegas, NV, ESPN2

Other Top 25 games...

#3 Louisville (9-0) at Western Kentucky (5-4) 12PM, Bowling Green, KY, FS1
Lafayette (6-2) at #10 Kansas (8-1) 3PM, Lawrence, KS, ESPN3
#13 Iowa State (8-1) vs. Drake (2-8) 5PM, Des Moines, IA
Texas Southern (1-8) at #16 Michigan State (8-3) 5PM, East Lansing, MI, ESPNU
Long Beach State (4-6) at #7 Texas (9-1) 8PM, Austin, TX, LHN
Ball State (2-5) at #19 San Diego State (7-3) 10PM, San Diego, CA
Cal Poly (3-4) at #8 Gonzaga (9-1) 10PM, Seattle, WA, ROOT

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