The Daily Puppy

Monday, December 6, 2010

Michigan State-Syracuse Headlines Week's 10 Biggest College Basketball Games

A big week in college basketball looms, with a couple of monster games in the Garden as well as some other alluring matchups. With conference play for most leagues still on the horizon, there are a couple weeks for teams to make a statement out of conference.

10. Bradley at No. 1 Duke, Wednesday, 9 p.m., ESPN2


With a win against Bradley, Mike Krzyzewski would move into third place all time in wins, passing legendary Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp. With a loss against Bradley, Krzyzewski would ... actually, there's no realistic way to finish this sentence.

9. Gonzaga at Washington State, Wednesday, 11 p.m.


Though neither team is ranked, and the 'Zags, frankly, are in a bit of a tailspin, this game could have huge implications come March. Washington State has only lost once on the year, narrowly falling to Kansas State last week. This could be a crucial non-conference win, especially for the Cougars since they will have more trouble than Gonzaga winning their conference and getting an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Plus, bragging rights of extreme eastern Washington state are on the line here. That can never be overlooked.

8. Arizona vs. No. 18 Brigham Young in Salt Lake City, Saturday, 6 p.m.

BYU hasn't lost all year, though it has had some close calls, beating both South Florida and St. Mary's in the waning seconds. They are led by senior Jimmer Fredette, who is averaging over 20 a game. Meanwhile, Sean Miller is pulling it together at Arizona. The Wildcats have only one loss so far, which came at Kansas.


7. Vanderbilt at No. 15 Missouri, Wednesday, 9 p.m., ESPNU


Though unranked, Vanderbilt has only lost to West Virginia on the season with a win over North Carolina. Jeffery Taylor and John Jenkins lead the Commodores, who have a knack for playing teams close. Vandy's got the athletes to run with Mizzou, so look for this one to be another shootout in Columbia.

6. No. 9 Georgetown at Temple, Thursday, 9 p.m., ESPN2

Georgetown hasn't lost yet and this is a game that Temple really needs to win. Coming into the year with high expectations, the Owls have been shaky at best. They just beat Maryland in D.C., so perhaps this could be the week that they make some noise.

5. No. 23 Notre Dame vs. No. 17 Kentucky in Louisville, Wednesday, 9:30 p.m., ESPN

The Irish are off to their best start in almost 40 years, while Kentucky is off a fresh loss at UNC. If the 'Cats expect to break Notre Dame's streak, they're going to have to foul far less then they did Saturday in Chapel Hill. Josh Harrellson and Eloy Vargas, Kentucky's undersized center-by-committee, are fouling at a breakneck pace with nearly 12 per 40 minutes of play.

4. No. 20 UNLV at No. 24 Louisville, Saturday, noon, ESPN


The Cardinals are ranked for the first time this season and they've been surprisingly adequate. After losing the majority of their scoring from a year ago, Louisville have looked to several youngsters for help. They have also played an incredibly weak schedule after their opener with Butler. UNLV has won their last two against Louisville, winning last year by five in Vegas.

3. No. 11 Tennessee at No. 3 Pittsburgh, Saturday, 3:15 p.m., ESPN

The Vols have staked their claim as the class of the SEC, going unbeaten thus far including a win over Villanova in the NIT Final. Ashton Gibbs and Brad Wanamaker lead the Panthers, who, if you've yet to see them, look exactly like every Pitt team from the last 10 years.

2. No. 13 Memphis vs. No. 4 Kansas in New York City, Tuesday, 7 p.m., ESPN

Kansas has been incredibly efficient offensively, leading the nation in field goal percentage and assists. The Morrisses have been instrumental, but Tyshawn Taylor has been a master distributing the ball. Memphis has been solid -- the Tigers are undefeated, after all -- but they'll need a huge Wesley Witherspoon game to beat the Jayhawks.

1. No. 7 Michigan State vs. No. 6 Syracuse in New York City, Tuesday, 9 p.m., ESPN

Syracuse has had several close calls -- winning by three over William and Mary and Michigan each, four over Georgia Tech and six over N.C. State -- but they've yet to slip up. Michigan State, on the other hand, has lost twice after being ranked second preseason. Both teams have a lot to prove, though the Spartans look the most complete so far this year, despite the losses.

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