Stacked Saturday: A Primer

Today’s slate of games is waaay too much to cover in a few 140 character tweets. Starting 30 minutes ago with Louisville at Marquette tipping at 11AM and ending with three 11PM West Coast tip offs, this Saturday has just about everything for the casual and die-hard college basketball fan.

The casual fan might lean towards the more televised match ups between the biggest name schools. Fair enough, there are plenty of those today. At noon, Cincinnati travels to the Carrier Dome to take on undefeated #4 Syracuse. The two teams are a combined 33-1 on the season, although Syracuse is a bit more tested. The Bearcats came up short in their first real test (72-61 @Villanova), they want to prove their worth today. This game will be on ESPN3 and probably SNY in the NY/NJ area.

An hour after the tip of Syracuse – Cincinnati, two ranked Big 12 teams collide. #12 Missouri travels to College Station to take of #13 Texas A/M. Missouri dropped their opener @ Colorado, but rebounded against Nebraska (77-69). The Aggies are fresh off a POUNDING of Oklahoma State (71-48). At the same time, Maryland will be playing in Philadelphia against the #7 ranked Villanova Wildcats on CBS. Maryland is in search of their first signature win – this one would be huge.

An hour later on the Big Ten Network, #16 Illinois has the tough task of playing at the Kohl Center. The #21 ranked Badgers are 164-16 at the Kohl Center under Bo Ryan. Talk about a home court advantage. I expect Bo Ryan’s team to be focused after losing uncharacteristically against Michigan State. The Badgers were 35-1 when tied or leading with 4 minutes to play — they lost.

The above are the four games the casual fan will not want to miss. But what about the more obscure games that the more astute fan is drooling over?

#22 ranked UCF is playing at Southern Miss (5PM). The Knights can’t afford to drop too many C-USA games if they want to hold on to an at-large bid. This is no knock of the Golden Eagles, who post a 13-3 (2-1) record and a very talented Gary Flowers.

At noon on ESPN, Vanderbilt and Tennessee go head to head in the SEC. Tennessee already has 6 losses and an 0-2 start in the SEC. Its safe to say that the Vols are hungry for a win.

Oklahoma State continues their road trip against the upstart Colorado Buffalo, who are off to a 2-0 start in the Big 12, including an upset of Missouri. This game tips at 1:30 on ESPN3.

There are two bubble battles in the weak ACC: NC State @ Florida State (4PM ESPN3) and Boston College @ Miami (6PM ESPNU). Florida State is looking to build off their signature upset of #1 Duke and Boston College wants to keep their 3-0 ACC record flawless.

There are always threats of upsets on these huge Saturdays (last Saturday had many upsets), here are my top 3:

1) Penn State @ #2 Ohio State – 530 PM BTN – Why not? Penn State has upset two ranked Big Ten teams in a row, and Ohio State has struggled to put away its last few opponents.

2) #6 San Diego State @ New Mexico – 6PM MWN – The Pit. The Pit. The Pit. Throw out the embarrassing loss to Wyoming, this is undefeated San Diego State on your home court.

3) #23 Temple @ Duquesne – Noon – Duquesne is one of the most underrated teams in the nation. I don’t think they mind that title as long as they are overlooked for at least one more day.

CBS Scoreboard

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