Games to Watch: December 20th-26th – Christmas Week

This week is off to an interesting start, Jacksonville just beat #19 Florida in OT. There aren’t any games to watch tonight, but there are a few good match ups during this slow week.

Tuesday, December 21st:
UNLV @ #11 Kansas State – 9PM ESPN2 – After a 9-0 start, UNLV has lost 2 of their last 3 games. One against Louisville, and one against UC Santa Barbara. Kansas State is an opportunity for UNLV’s third OOC scalp.
USC @ #18 Tennessee – 7PM ESPN3 – How will the Vols respond to dropping two games in a row against mid-majors Oakland and Charlotte?

Wednesday, December 22nd:
Dayton @ Seton Hall – 7PM ESPN3 – Will Seton Hall survive without Hazell and possibly Herb Pope? Their post season destiny might depend on it.
Drexel @ #5 Syracuse – 7PM ESPN3 – Drexel upset Louisville a week ago. Is another Big East upset in store?
#3 Kansas @ California – 11PM – The Jayhawks travel to play the unimpressive (6-4) CAL Bears. Kansas had trouble with Pac-10 opponent USC, what about CAL?
#10 Missouri vs. #21 Illinois – 9PM ESPN2 – The Missouri-Illinois collegiate rivalry lives on. Illinois is fresh off their loss to U-Illinois Chicago, how will they rebound from a horrible loss?
#22 Texas @ #12 Michigan State – 7PM ESPN2 – Texas just beat UNC in a CBS thriller, another huge matchup for both teams.
Xavier @ Gonzaga – 11PM ESPN2 – Gonzaga finally got that huge OOC win against Baylor, will they follow up with a victory over a solid mid-major in Xavier?

Thursday, December 23rd:
#9 Georgetown @ #17 Memphis – 8PM ESPN2 – Big time match up. The Hoyas have certainly challenged themselves away from home (Temple, Old Dominion, Missouri).
UTEP @ #23 BYU – 9PM – Solid mid-major match up. BYU was just handed their first loss of the season against UCLA, UTEP needs this win to have any chance at an at-large.
Belmont @ #19 Tennessee – 730PM ESPN3 – Oddly enough, these two teams have already played this season. Belmont lost by 9; their only other loss (8-2) is to Vanderbilt.
Oakland @ #2 Ohio State – 8PM – Oakland continues to challenge themselves. Should be a great individual matchup between Benson and Sullinger.

Friday & Saturday, December 24th-25th:
Christmas Break

Sunday, December 26th:
Richmond @ Seton Hall – Noon ESPN3 – One of only two games on the day after Christmas. The Spiders travel to take on Hazell-less Seton Hall.

Games to Watch: December 13th-19th – Finals Week

A slow week of games due to finals week. A bunch of nice contests of Saturday, but nothing like last Saturday. This is also the last big weekend of non-conference games, as the following weekend is Christmas, followed by most teams starting their conference schedules.

Monday, December 13th:
No Games of Note.

Tuesday, December 14th:
Oakland @ #7 Tennessee – 7PM – Oakland just played Illinois close, and nearly beat Michigan State. Can they play another top team down to the wire? The Volunteers are fresh off their dominant performance against the formerly #3 ranked Pitt Panthers.

Wednesday, December 15th:
No Games of Note.

Thursday, December 16th:
No Games of Note.

Friday, December 17th:
Oregon @ Virginia – Oregon looks like they are going to have another rough season. The Cavaliers look to extend their impressive three game winning streak (Minnesota, Virginia Tech, Radford).

Saturday, December 18th:
UCF vs Miami – 1PM – The undefeated Knights of Central Florida are looking for their second win against a major instate opponent. They defeated the ranked Florida Gators earlier in the season, will they do it again against Miami?
Arkansas @ Texas A & M – 2PM ESPN2 – Arkansas has a tough task ahead of them as they travel to College Station. The Aggies have beaten Temple and most recently Washington.
Cleveland State @ West Virginia – 2PM ESPN3 – Ex-Rutgers coach Gary Waters has coached his team to a 12-0 start. WVU will be their biggest test yet, this should be interesting.
South Carolina @ #2 Ohio State – 2PM CBS – One of two games on CBS at 2PM. South Carolina lost to Michigan State by 9 earlier in the season, but I believe the Buckeyes are on another level when compared to Sparty.
Stanford @ Butler – 2PM CBS – Stanford travels to Indiana to play a tested Butler team. The Cardinal beat Virginia handedly (although that was when they were reeling) but has lost to Murray State and Tulsa since then. I’d go with Butler.
#6 Kansas State @ #24 Florida – 3:30PM – Yet another big game on KSU’s OOC schedule. They travel to Gainesville to play a Gator team that defeated a decent Kent State team last Thursday.
#25 Texas vs North Carolina – 4PM CBS – Big time matchup on CBS. The teams will play on a “neutral” court in North Carolina. It wasn’t too long ago that Texas was disgraced in an uninspiring performance against USC. Big time rebound chance.
Gonzaga vs #9 Baylor – 4:30PM ESPN2 – Another challenging matchup in Gonzaga’s OOC. Gonzaga is 1-5 against KenPom Top 50. They could really use this win if they have any chance at an at-large bid.
Richmond vs Georgia Tech – 5PM – This will be a tough game for the Yellow Jackets. They haven’t beaten anyone, and haven’t looked that good besides their close loss to Syracuse in Atlantic City.
#18 BYU vs UCLA – 5:30PM – UCLA will have their hands full with undefeated BYU. The Cougars are looking for their second win against a Pac-10 opponent in a row; they beat Arizona by 18 this past Saturday.
Wichita State vs LSU – 8PM – The jury is still out on Wichita State. They won’t have much of a chance at an at-large unless they win their remaining OOC games (LSU & Tulsa) and even then their chance is slim.
Virginia Tech vs. Mississippi State – 8PM – The Hokies just handled Penn State rather easily this past Sunday. If they want to salvage their dreams of dancing, this win is a must.
Wake Forest @ Xavier – 8PM CBS CS – Wake Forest is really bad. They have lost to 3 sub-200 KenPom teams (Stetson, Winthrop and UNC-Wilmington).

Sunday, December 19th:
Stony Brook @ #23 Notre Dame – 4:30PM ESPNU – This game probably won’t be close, but its just a shout-out to hometown hero Bryan Dougher and the Seawolves who are really struggling without Tommy Brenton.

Games to Watch: December 6th – December 12th

Very nice list of games this week. Saturday is a huge day in the absence of college football. If anyone has any additional games or comments, feel free to let me know!

Monday:
No Games of Note.

Tuesday, December 7th:
#15 Memphis vs #4 Kansas – 7PM ESPN – Opening game of the Jimmy V Classic. Memphis is undefeated in the early goings, but they haven’t played anyone outside of Miami (FL). Kansas is fresh off a controversial finish against UCLA.
#6 Michigan State vs #7 Syracuse – 9PM ESPN – Second game of the Jimmy V Classic. Syracuse just played another close game against the NCState Wolfpack. In the words of Jim Beiheim, “we could easily be 5-3, thats reality.” The Spartans have been tested early, they are 1-2 in their three big games.

Wednesday, December 8th:
Vanderbilt @ #8 Missouri – 9PM ESPNU – Vanderbilt has a somewhat surprising start, their only loss being to WVU. They’ve beaten UNC, Nebraska and a decent Belmont team. Missouri has played one of the best games of the young season, an OT thrilling loss to Georgetown.
Notre Dame vs #11 Kentucky – 930PM ESPN – Big time match-up in the Big East / SEC Challenge. Notre Dame is undefeated, with three solid wins. They travel to Louisville to take on a Kentucky team that is looking to rebound from their loss to North Carolina.
#19 San Diego State @ California – 1030PM – The CAL Bears will have their hands full with the West Coast powerhouse Aztecs. SDState is one of the best teams in the West right now.
Providence @ Boston College – 7PM – Two schools very close in proximity. Both schools are also off to good starts.
Seton Hall vs Arkansas – 7PM ESPN2 – Another SEC / BE Challenge game. The Hazell-less Pirates take on the untested Arkansas Razorbacks.

Thursday, December 9th:
#14 Georgetown @ Temple – 9PM ESPN2 – When these two teams met last season, there must have been a lid on the baskets, as the game was in the 40s. Temple has struggled a bit early, but just knocked off Maryland in their own building. Georgetown is also playing great basketball, this one should be a half court clinic.
Butler @ Xavier – 9PM ESPN – Two big name mid-majors. Both schools are also a bit down this year. Tu Holloway IS Xavier, while Butler has a solid overall team that really tested Duke at the Meadowlands.

Friday, December 10th:
No Games of Note.

Saturday, December 11th:
#17 Tennessee @ #3 Pittsburgh – 3:15PM ESPN – Biggest matchup in the BE / SEC challenge. Pittsburgh doesn’t really blow anyone away, but boy are they consistent.
Indiana @ #11 Kentucky – 5:15PM ESPN – Two storied programs. Indiana is somewhat untested, this game should really be a gauge as to how improved they are. Kentucky will be fresh off a loss/win against Notre Dame.
#22 Washington @ Texas A & M – 4:30PM ESPN2 –
Gonzaga @ Notre Dame – Gonzaga is 4-3, but 4 of those games are against very good opponents, they are 1-3 in those games. Is this team truly overrated?
#23 UNLV @ Louisville – 12PM ESPNU – Should be a shootout in Louisville. A rematch of the UNLV upset from last season.
Arizona @ #25 BYU – 6PM – A huge matchup out West. Both teams are off to good starts (15-1 combined).
Wisconsin @ Marquette – 2:30PM ESPN2 – Battle of the upper Midwest between the Big 10 and Big East. Wisconsin is 2-2 against quality opponents, whereas Marquette is 0-2.
VCU @ Richmond – 7PM – Battle of Virginia? VCU was off to a hot start before their loss to USF. Richmond has a solid resume besides their loss at Iona.
Dayton @ Old Dominion – 7PM – Both teams seem to be struggling. ODU just lost to Delaware, and Dayton was throttled by Cincinnati and then lost to ETSU.
Missouri State @ Oklahoma State – 8PM – Don’t overlook this one. Oklahoma State hasn’t exactly impressed, and Missouri State played Tennessee very well.

Sunday, December 12th:
Penn State @ Virginia Tech – 1PM – Both teams are desperate for a solid OOC victory, only one will prevail…
#12 Villanova @ La Salle – 2PM ESPNU – Battle of Philly. La Salle played 3 good Big 12 teams very well. Villanova didn’t exactly dominate St. Joes and is reeling from the expulsion of Pinkston and some injuries. Watch out Wildcats!