Highlighted Games for Wednesday, Jan 9th

MINNESOTA AT ILLINOIS (Big Ten). This is a game between two teams that currently look like protected seeds. Illinois is at home, and they’ve been tested more than Minnesota has, but Minney is still a very good team. They’ve only played two true road games, though, so I’m not ready to anoint them a true top ten team (even though they’re currently ranked #8th) until they do something on the road.

-BOISE STATE AT WYOMING (Mountain West). This is a game between teams that have looked like solid NCAA teams, but who both still have quite a bit of room to improve their profile. Wyoming is unbeaten, but many voters still aren’t believing in them. It will be interesting to see how this game goes tonight.

-UNLV AT NEW MEXICO (Mountain West). Both these teams are in the rankings and are looking to build up their resumes, and to jockey for position on the MWC standings.

-DAYTON AT VCU (Atlantic Ten). VCU continues to roll through the season. Dayton has played well, but they need a win like this on their profile if they really want to solidify themselves as an at-large team.

-RUTGERS AT SAINT JOHN’S (Big East). Rutgers is looking solid all of a sudden, and Saint John’s just won a big game at Cincinnati. Rutgers is just 1-3 on the road and could use some more road wins.

-IOWA STATE AT KANSAS (Big Twelve). Kansas appears to be a #1 seed caliber team. Iowa State is in search of statement wins. They may be overmatched today, though.

-NEBRASKA AT MICHIGAN (Big Ten). Michigan has looked as good as anyone in the country and shouldn’t be challenged at home tonight.

-SYRACUSE AT PROVIDENCE (Big East). Providence has had a so-so year, but they do only have one loss at home so far, so it’s not going to be a cakewalk for the Orange.

-LOUISVILLE AT SETON HALL (Big East). Seton Hall hasn’t been overwhelming, but they are unbeaten at home, and it could be a tough test for the Cardinals.

-BUTLER AT SAINT JOSEPH’S (Atlantic Ten). The preseason Atlantic Ten favorite is hosting the midseason Atlantic Ten favorite. Saint Joe’s really needs a strong showing in conference if they want to even be considered, and a win tonight would really help.

-GEORGIA AT FLORIDA (SEC). Florida is a solid team that should end up as a protected Seed. Georgia has been good at times, but shouldn’t be much of a match for the Gators tonight.

-LA SALLE AT CHARLOTTE (Atlantic Ten). These are two teams with bloated records, but they both lack notable wins. Both have a chance to dance, but they need to do more to prove themselves.

-SOUTH CAROLINA AT MISSISSIPPI STATE. South Carolina is 10-3, but the record has been bloated up against weak teams, and this is just their second true road game of the year.

-SOUTHERN MISS AT RICE (Conference USA). At 11-4, Southern Miss may be the only CUSA team with a shot at landing close to the bubble outside of Memphis, and they’ll pretty much have to win out to do it.

-OLE MISS AT TENNESSEE (SEC). Ole Miss has a quiet 11-2 record, but there is a reason it’s quiet. They have not really been tested and still need a strong showing in conference to be considered.

-FLORIDA STATE AT MARYLAND (ACC). Maryland has won 13 straight, but for the most part was untested. Saying this is a pivotal game is probably overstating it because they will have other chances in conference, but it’s definitely the kind of game they need to win far more often than not if they’re a tournament team.

-UTEP AT TULANE (Conference USA). Tulane begins conference play at 12-3. Chances are nothing will come of it, but they’re worth keeping an eye on for now.

-VILLANOVA AT SOUTH FLORIDA (Big East). Both these teams have decent records, but still have a lot of work to do just to get within reach of the bubble.

-EASTERN KENTUCKY AT MURRAY STATE (Ohio Valley). Very interesting game tonight between two OVC teams with bloated records. The margin for error is basically zero for either team in regards for an at-large, but with Eastern KY, Belmont and Murray all having solid records, it should be a fun three horse race to watch, and the winner MAY be inside the bubble.

-GEORGIA TECH AT NC STATE (ACC). NC State has fallen off the radar somewhat, but they still have just two losses and should be a real force in conference play.

-EAST CAROLINA AT MEMPHIS (Conference USA). Memphis has avoided bad losses, but they’re seriously lacking in quality wins so their margin for error is small.

-SOUTHERN ILLINOIS AT WICHITA STATE (Missouri Valley). I wouldn’t be surprised to see Wichita end up as a protected seed along with Creighton.

-TCU AT OKLAHOMA STATE (Big Twelve). Welcome to the Big Twelve TCU!!! Chances are they’ll be missing CUSA after tonight.

-LSU AT AUBURN (SEC). LSU has a decent record at 9-2, but has amassed it against weak teams. They still have a lot of work to do.

-VIRGINIA AT WAKE FOREST (ACC). Virginia is coming off a nice win against North Carolina, but has some bad losses on their resume as well. They can’t afford to drop this one on the road.

-SAN DIEGO STATE AT FRESNO STATE (Mountain West). This is one of the more winnable road games SDSU has left, so they need to take care of business.

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