This week is full of tantalizing match ups! Monday through Sunday is jam packed with top tier talent squaring off. From Florida to Arizona St we have to all you need to know about the top teams in the country and their match ups.
Monday, December 4th
Wisconsin at Penn St
To kick off our week of exciting college basketball we have the Wisconsin Badgers vs the Penn State Nittany Lions. I know these teams are both unranked and there fore people might not see the value in this game. To be honest both these teams have a shot to make it to March Madness that being said you want to know as much as you can about these teams before then. The Badgers are fresh off a 25 point win vs Ohio St. They are lead by Junior forward Ethan Happ who’s averaging just over 16 points a game. Penn St is also coming in off a win, They defeated Iowa in Iowa 77-73, Tony Carr the Sophomore guard leads Penn St in Scoring averaging just north of 20 points per game. This should be a great matchup and 2 teams to keep in mind come March.
FSU at #6 Florida
The Gators will be home and taking on their in state rivals the Florida St Seminoles. Florida has been great this year so far, last week they took on #1 Duke and fell 3 points short of knocking off the Blue Devils. Regardless of result Florida showed that it is one of the top teams in the country. They will be playing 6-0 Florida St who’s going to give everything they have for a chance to win. They have 5 players averaging over double digits, that bodes well for them, they might just have a hot to upset the Gators if they can spread out the scoring and really test this Florida Defense.
Tuesday, December 5th
#4 Villanova vs #15 Gonzaga
The #4 Villanova Wildcats are taking on #15 Gonzaga in the mecca of basketball, Madison Square Garden. The neutral site adds a real playoff type atmosphere to this game, Villanova who won the National Championship 2 years ago is looking for a chance to bolster its resume with a win over ranked Gonzaga. Gonzaga who lost in the Finals last year to North Carolina is all bout redeption this year. There first step on that journey would be a chance to knock off Villanova and send a message to the college basketball world that the Zags are here to stay.
#18 Virginia at #19 West Virginia
In state match ups in college are always fantastic, rivalries run deep in college especially college basketball. West Virginia led by senior guard Jevon Carter who’s averaging 19 points 5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game. West Virginia is known for their full court press while Virginia is known for their excellent defense and slow tempo’d half court style. This game has all the makings of an instant classic, 2 good coaches, contrasting styles, rivalry and an amazing atmosphere. I am beyond excited to watch this one
#9 Texas A&M vs Arizona
The Texas A&M Aggies have been a pleasant surprise this college basketball season already chalking up wins against 2 ranked teams, West Virigina and USC. They are lead by their outstanding trio of juniors, DJ Hogg, Tyler Davis, and Admon Gilder. The Aggies will have another tough test against those peaky Arizona Wildcats. Arizona is still trying to shake off a touch loss in the NCAA tournament last year, after winning their first 3 games they dropped 3 straight games including a 25 point loss to Purdue. Arizona will straighten everything out and that turn around could start tonight with this game against #9 Texas A&M.
Syracuse vs UConn
When the Orange and Huskies play its always a great game, this game will be played at MSG and that place will be rocking. Jim Boeheim is used to coaching in atmospheres like this and so is Kevin Ollie. These two coaches are two of the best in the sport and their teams are on the up and coming. Syracuse and stand out guard Tyus Battle are coming off a 16 point loss to #2 Kansas, that was a tough one to lose but now they can take all that frustration and focus it on UConn. UConn relies very heavily on their backcourt of juniors, Terry Larrier and Jalen Adams. This plays well in UConns favor as the Orange are famous or their 2-3 zone. Veteran guards usually have success against the zone, so this is going to be an extremely interesting match up.
Wednesday, December 6th
URI at #24 Alabama
Alabama has come on this year as a rather unknown but the addition of freshman guard Collin Sexton has completely changed the direction of this team. Sexton has been on a tear this year averaging 22 points 4 rebounds and 4 assists. He also almost defeated a Minnesota team 5 on 3. Alabama looks to continue on this upward path by picking up a W against an always tough URI team. The Rhode Island Rams have been on elf those teams that you can always count on for an upset in the NCAA tournament. they will have their second test of the season tonight with Alabama. They have already defeated a difficult Seton Hall team back on November 23rd. This game should really provide a benchmark for where these teams are at.
Thursday, December 7th
Iowa at Iowa St
Ahh another instate rivalry game! Iowa St’s football team had their fair sare of upsets this year and I think that will trickle over to the basketball team. Rival Iowa comes into town looking to put their “little brother” back in its place. Iowas St is one of the top environments in all of college basketball and i guarantee it will be ricking tonight. Iowa comes into this one after losing 4 of its last 5, if they are going to turn their season around it starts and ends with sophomore guard Tyler Cook who’s averaging over 15 points and 7 boards a game.
Friday, December 8th
St Johns vs #20 Arizona St
St. Johns will travel clear across the country to take on the Arizona St Sun Devils inside the Staples Center. St Johns is 7-1 on the year with victories against teams such as Missouri, UCF and Nebraska. They are lead by Shamorie Ponds who is averaging just shy of 20 points per contest. St Johns will need everything to go their way if they want to beat senior guard Tra Holder and the Sun Devils.
Oklahoma vs #14 USC
Oklahoma is a traditiallny good basketball school producing stars such as Blake Griffen and Buddy Hield. They are on a bit of a down year but regardless the pedigree is still there. This is a big game for the USC Trojans who are looking to add more quality wins to their resume. The Trijans were off to a fantastic start winning their first 4 games but they have stumbled as of late losing to Texas A&M by 16 and SMU but 17. USC will look to get back on track by taking care of an overmatched Oklahoma Sooners team.
Saturday, December 9th
Indiana at #17 Louisville
Indiana and Louisville should be an instant classic. Louisville is trying to move passed the whole Rick Pitino fiasco and win some basketball games. The #17 Louisville Cardinals are coming into this week following back to back soul crushing losses to Purdue and Seton Hall. They will have all they can handle with Indiana coming to town. Indiana has been disappointing this year to say the least, they have a 4-4 record and just lost by 14 to Michigan. Both teams are looking to turn around their recent misfortunes but only one can. This should be a great contest.
#6 Florida vs #11 Cincinnati
Gators and Bobcats, sounds like an epic battle just based off nicknames alone. The Florida Gators are off to a red hot start only dropping one game thus far and that was to by 3 points to #1 Duke. Cincinnati on the other hands came into this season not knowing what to expect and they rattled off 7 straight wins until they came up 13 points short to an underrated Xavier team. The Bobcats will look to get back on the winning track but it won’t be easy against the Gators who are looking to keep pace with the other top teams in the country.
#24 Alabama at Arizona
Alabama lead by stand out freshman guard Collin Sexton will be traveling to Arizona to take on the underperforming Wildcats. Arizona was expected to be one of the top teams in the country this year but have done nothing but disappoint. Alabama on the other hand is the complete opposite, they were expected to be competitive but to actually be ranked is quite the achievement. This is a long season but if you let a slump last too long it may become detrimental to a season. Alabama looks to keep wining while Arizona looks to right their wrong and start their own winning streak.
Sunday, December 10th
#20 Arizona St at #2 Kansas
Arizona St will travel to Kansas to take on the Jayhawks. Kansas has been one of the best teams in the country seemingly every year under Bill Self and they’re dominating yet again. already picking up big wins over Kentucky and Syracuse. Kansas has its eyes set on a NCAA title so they better not overlook this pesky Sun Devils team. I don’t expect them too and if they were on the road this game maybe tougher. Its going to take a heroic effort by Arizona St to go into Kansas and come out with a W