Highlighted Games for Saturday, Dec 15!!!


-FLORIDA AT ARIZONA. Both teams are unbeaten and highly ranked. Florida is the more tested and proven team, but Arizona is at home. Both teams will likely end up as protected seeds, and as long as you’re unbeaten and beating good teams, you’re in the discussion for a #1 seed. This is more of a litmus test to see how good each team is right now than it is a do-or-die situation, but it’s still a great game.

-BUTLER VS INDIANA. Butler already has some big wins, but none are as big as knocking off the #1 team would be. This game is part of a double header in Indianapolis, and it should have the atmosphere that resembles an NCAA Tournament game. I think we’ll see both teams in the NCAAs. This is just a matter of getting a win that looks good on the resume.

-LOUISVILLE AT MEMPHIS. A rivalry renewed that will once again be a conference rivalry when Memphis joins the Big East, but that will immediately be suspended again when Louisville leaves the Big East to join the ACC. This isn’t a game that resonates nationally, but it is a rivalry that both fanbases remember. They do not like each other, Memphis resents Louisville for getting into the Big East when they didn’t, and blames them for not keeping the rivalry going after the Cardinals left the old Conference USA. The fans in Memphis will be ready for this one. Memphis really needs a big win on their profile, and if Louisville has aspirations of a #1 seed, this is the kind of game they need to win. It should be fun.

-LA SALLE AT BUCKNELL (***At-Large Implications***). This is a good game and an important game that is probably under the radar. It’s probably early to be talking about do or die at-large implications, but when you look at the limited chances Bucknell has at big wins, you just get the sense that this is hugely important. Both teams have just one loss, both are good, both are trying to build up their NCAA Tournament profiles, and this would be a big win for whoever ends up winning it.



-KANSAS STATE VS GONZAGA. The game is in Seattle as Gonzaga’s annual “Battle in Seattle,” so it will likely be a pro-Gonzaga crowd. Both these teams have just one loss. We know how good Gonzaga is, but I’m not entirely sure how good Kansas State is. This is their toughest test, and we should learn quite a bit about them.

-IOWA AT NORTHERN IOWA. This series was in danger of coming to an end, but I’m glad it was kept alive. As programs, both are trending up. On the season, both have good records, both are NCAA contenders, and this is a big game both on and off paper. Should be fun.

-ALABAMA AT VCU. This is Bama’s second very tough out of conference road game of the year. I think Alabama needs this a little more than VCU, but both could use a big win on their profile right now.

-BELMONT AT KANSAS. Belmont is a good team who has wins at Stanford and against Middle Tennessee, and came close to winning at VCU. They’re probably in over their heads tonight, but if they were to pull this off, it does wonders for their NCAA credentials. You don’t often see Ohio Valley teams in the at-large discussion (albeit Murray State has been recently), but that’s because you don’t often see Ohio Valley teams with the kind of resume Belmont will have if they pull off the upset.

-MICHIGAN AT WEST VIRGINIA. West Virginia pulled off a huge home win last week, but at 4-4 they still have a ton of work to do. Seeing as how their former coach is in the house, the fans should be jacked to the roof for this one.

-PURDUE VS NOTRE DAME. This is the other game of the double-header in Indianapolis. Notre Dame has looked solid, whereas Purdue has been rather disappointing. Still, it’s good to see these two face each other because they do not regularly play in basketball.

-CINCINNATI AT MARSHALL. Marshall is a modest 6-4, and I think we were expecting more out of them this year than what they’ve shown, but they are 5-0 at home and I think they’re capable of being better than what their record shows, so it will be a test for the unbeaten Bearcats.

-CANISIUS AT SYRACUSE. This is probably a mismatch, but Canisius is 6-1 and this is one of those New York match-ups. I’ve been very impressed with Syracuse this year, and it will be interesting to see what Canisius can do against them.

-BYU AT WEBER STATE. Really good-in state match-up here. Weber has a nice win at Dayton and is likely to be one of the dominant teams in the Big Sky. There really isn’t anyone remaining on their schedule after this one that they won’t likely to be favored against. It’s one of the better home games they’ve had in a while so it should be a good one. BYU, on the other hand, could really use a road win like this on their profile as well.

-CREIGHTON AT CALIFORNIA. This is a good team, but this is just their second true road game and they need notable road wins if they want to end up with a really good seed in the NCAAs. Cal has a good record, but this would be their best win on the season so far if they were to pull it off.

-NEBRASKA AT OREGON. The best thing about Nebraska is their 6-2 record, but they’ve built it against weak teams. Oregon, on the other hand, has looked strong all year with just one loss on the season.

-CLEVELAND STATE AT SAINT BONAVENTURE. Both of these teams have a lot of work to do in terms of building up their profiles.

-EAST CAROLINA AT NORTH CAROLINA. East Carolina has just one loss on the year, but no big wins. We’ll see what they can do today.

-TULSA AT UALR. Tulsa is a Modest 6-3, and although UALR isn’t a huge win, they are unbeaten at home so it will be a win that’s at least worth noting.

-TEXAS A&M AT OKLAHOMA. The hardwood version of the Cotton Bowl!! Both teams have good records, but neither have any really big wins on their profile yet.

-EASTERN MICHIGAN AT ILLINOIS CHICAGO. Both these teams have good records, but nothing in the way of quality wins. Still, it’s interesting that they’re playing each other and it will be interesting to see how things shake out for them throughout the year.

-WINTHROP AT OHIO. Ohio still has a strong team, but at 7-2 they have a very small margin for error the rest of the year.

-SANTA CLARA AT PACIFIC. This is another game that’s under the radar, but worth keeping an eye on. Santa Clara is 7-2 and could be a dark horse in the WCC. Pacific will likely be a Big West frontrunner and already has some notable wins against Saint Mary’s and Xavier.

-SAN DIEGO AT SAN DIEGO STATE. Geography says this is a rivalry. As far as how good the teams are, it appears to be a big mismatch.

-DRAKE AT IOWA STATE. Still lots of question marks about Iowa State, but a win gets them to 8-3

-SMU AT RHODE ISLAND. The only reason I mention this is because a win gets SMU to 9-1.

-SOUTH DAKOTA STATE AT MONTANA. South Dakota State needs to get healthy, and they need road wins, if they want to get any one’s attention.

-SAVANNAH STATE AT MARQUETTE. Savannah State will be a force in the MEAC, but I believe they’re overmatched in this one.

-GEORGIA SOUTHERN AT VIRGINIA TECH. Virginia Tech has just one loss on the year, and that was to rival West Virginia last week.

-WESTERN CAROLINA AT GEORGETOWN. Georgetown has struggled in their last few games, but has still won. A win today gets them to 9-1.

-UNC ASHEVILLE AT OHIO STATE. The Buckeyes shouldn’t have much trouble in this one.

-LIPSCOMBE AT KENTUCKY. Kentucky will improve to 7-3 with a win.

-SFNY AT SAINT JOHN’S. A win gets the Johnnies to 8-3.

-UC DAVIS AT STANFORD. A win gets Stanford to 7-3, but are they for real??

-STETSON AT RICHMOND. A win gets the Spiders to an impressive 9-2.

-NORFOLK STATE AT NC STATE. NC State can get to 7-2, but they still haven’t been as good as many were expecting.

-FLORIDA ATLANTIC AT DAYTON. Dayton can get to 8-2 with a win.

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