College basketball weekly preview: Week eight
Another week of college basketball is in the books and it was one of the better weeks in terms of top opponents facing one another. In case you forgot those games, you can read about them here.
Also, don’t forget to take a look at the top 25 rankings from last week and compare it to the new one that will be released!
As you can see, there have been a lot of changes in the top 25 rankings due to those top games against each other. Top teams like North Carolina State took down Auburn, Duke over Texas Tech, Marquette over Buffalo, Arizona State over Kansas and Kentucky over North Carolina.
Unfortunately, we don’t get to see many top teams face each other this week, but we still get to enjoy some ranked opponents who do have games against interesting opponents, so let’s take a look.
We’ll probably not see a big change in the standings, but I do wonder how teams that aren’t ranked will fare against their opponents. Could we see one of them pull off the upset?
What I forgot to mention last week was another tournament classic that took place. That tournament was the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic, which featured teams like Washington State, New Mexico State, San Diego, Drake, Rider, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Northern Colorado and Cal. State Northridge.
We still have the final rounds of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic to wrap up this week on Monday and Tuesday featured below.
Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 24th and Dec. 25th
Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic
Wednesday – Friday, Dec. 26th – Dec. 28th
There are no games of interest during these days, as most student-athletes went home for Christmas. The few games that are played are smaller schools that have no impact on the top 25 or the tourney.
Saturday, Dec. 29th
Mississippi State (12-1) versus BYU (8-6)
This game is all about watching Mississippi State continue to rise in the rankings. With the recent losses by Buffalo, North Carolina and Texas Tech, the top 15 is left wide open. Though Mississippi State has been struggling lately, they have still managed to win eight straight games. A game with a struggling BYU team could bring them closer and closer to the top ten. As you can see in the rankings, Mississippi State has made it into the top 15 and will likely remain there as long as they continue to win.
North Carolina (8-3) versus Davidson (9-3)
North Carolina just took their third loss of the season against Kentucky. They could use a win against some big opponents. Unfortunately, Davidson isn’t the big opponent the Tar Heels need to help them stay in the top 25, but it is a must win for North Carolina. They only have one impressive win over Gonzaga this season. It would be nice to actually see them win over a top team.
For Davidson, it’s all about proving they can win games over the bigger opponents like North Carolina, despite their struggles to win. Davidson has been well known since the days of two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry played there, but they have never been the same since. A win against UNC will prove they are still one of the tougher teams not in the power five conferences.
Kentucky (9-2) versus Louisville (9-3)
I’ll be honest, I doubted Kentucky in their win over North Carolina, but they have continued to prove why they belong in the top 25. However, they have other game this week in which they have to prove themselves. This is the big in-state ACC-SEC rivalry game that we get to see yearly. The two teams are looking to continue to get better.
For Kentucky, it’s about continuing to climb to the top of the list. Louisville is looking to become part of it, as they prove their losses against three teams who are currently ranked in the top 25 were just bad nights. So who will win in this battle of the state of Kentucky?
Xavier (8-5) versus DePaul (8-3)
Two teams who are still looking to find themselves at the early part of the season. I would think both of these teams will have a chance to be part of the tourney, but this game is still important as they are both also looking to start off strong in the Big East division.
Butler (9-3) versus Florida (7-4)
Speaking of Big East, Butler is another one of those teams who are favored to be in the tourney. But they are looking for more at this point of the season. Butler is one of the team’s on the bubble to get into the top 25, as they have already beaten Florida once earlier this season.
That’s why this game means a lot more for the Gators. Remember when I first started with the rankings, Florida was in the mix as a top 15 team. However, they have taken a huge fall, as you can see from their record. This game would be a bit of revenge from the Gators as they try to get a big win to help turn their season around.
St. John’s (12-0) versus Seton Hall (9-3)
Another couple of Big East teams looking to make the jump into the top 25. I did have St. John’s ranked one week, but had to remove them for other teams like Marquette. Despite being 12-0, St. John’s hasn’t played anybody that impressive yet. That’s why they are one of the undefeated teams who are not ranked. If they manage to get a win against Seton Hall, they may be in the decision for a top 25 spot.
Seton Hall is on the bubble as well. Their win over Kentucky looks even more impressive after the Wildcats took down the Tar Heels. Can they knock off St. John’s from the list of undefeated teams? Let’s find out Saturday night!
Sunday, Dec. 30th
There are a hand full of games on Sunday, but like Wednesday through Friday, these games against weaker teams in the college basketball. So expect another weekly preview to help you get through your day around the final week from the NFL season.
So let’s see where we end up this week. Will we see another new team in the rankings, or will it be much of the same? Comment on which games you think are important and who might be on upset alert!