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

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Tonight's Games To Watch

Last night provided one of the season's best 4-hour stretches of college basketball. The Big East, SEC, Big Ten and Big 12 all had meaningful and exciting early season contests.

All mighty Kentucky was taken to the brink at home by a previously struggling Ole Miss squad. Villanova showed they are still the class of the Big East by dismantling St. John's in the second half at Madison Square Garden. Arkansas got a meaningful road win against a solid Georgia squad. Iowa State escaped with a 2-point victory over Oklahoma State. Providence toughed out an important road win over Butler. And Ohio State recorded their second solid win in as many games, holding off Minnesota in overtime.

Tonight, the early conference season grind continues. As is usually the case, but even more so this year, many teams are vying for the NCAA Tournament, with parity and conference balance at an all-time high.

Davidson (9-2) at #18 VCU (11-3) 7PM, Richmond, VA

Davidson is one of the best teams no one's talking about. In this, their first year in the Atlantic 10, they are looking like a team that could challenge for an NCAA bid. The Wildcats' only losses came at the hands of North Carolina and Virginia and they have handled everyone else with relative ease. VCU has a similar resume, though slightly better, with good wins over Northern Iowa and at Cincinnati and losses to Villanova and Virginia. This should be a fun uptempo, competitive match-up. Prediction: VCU 83, Davidson 80.

#20 Seton Hall (12-2) at Xavier (10-4) 7PM, Cincinnati, OH, CBSS

Seton Hall is suddenly relevant again, but can they remain so is the question. Believe it or not, tonight's game is as big of a test as they've had, as Xavier is as tough to beat at home as they come. Case and point, the Musketeers handled Georgetown soundly in Cincinnati to start their Big East season, but then lost at DePaul. Obviously, home games will be huge for Xavier until they figure out how to put it all together elsewhere. Prediction: Xavier 66, Seton Hall 60.

#15 Kansas (11-2) at Baylor (11-2) 9PM, Waco, TX, ESPNU

The Jayhawks are coming off double-digit wins over Kent State and UNLV. They have been inconsistent for a Bill Self team, with good wins, but two lopsided losses, one to Kentucky and one at Temple. But, now it's Big 12 time and we know how Self and Kansas tend to handle that. Baylor is still an unknown entity this season. They are coming off a loss at Oklahoma and their best win so far was an early season one at South Carolina. Prediction: Kansas 69, Baylor 65.

Other games of note...

Syracuse (10-4) at Georgia Tech (9-4) 7PM, Atlanta, GA, ESPNU 
Florida (7-6) at South Carolina (8-3) 7PM, Columbia, SC, SECN
#12 Maryland (14-1) at Illinois (10-5) 9PM, Champagne, IL, BTN
TCU (13-1) at Kansas State (7-7) 9PM, Manhattan, KS, ESPNNews

Other Top 25 Games:

NC State (11-4) at #3 Virginia (13-0) 7PM, Charlottesville, VA, ESPN2
Purdue (10-5) at #5 Wisconsin (14-1) 7PM, Madison, WI, BTN
Bradley (6-9) at #17 Wichita State (11-2) 8PM, Wichita, KS
Wyoming (13-2) at #25 Colorado State (13-1) 9PM, Fort Collins, CO
Clemson (8-5) at #4 Louisville (13-1) 9PM, Louisville, KY, ESPN3
Colorado (9-5) at #8 Utah (11-2) 9PM, Salt Lake City, UT, ESPN2
#2 Duke (13-0) at Wake Forest (8-7) 9PM, Winston Salem, NC, ESPN3

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