College Basketball weekly preview: Week 11
It was yet another interesting week in sports. We got to see the NFL Conference Championship games come together, as we will once again see if the New England Patriots and Tom Brady will make it to their third Super Bowl in as many years. Find out more about this in the “What you missed this weekend” article.
But speaking of what you missed this week, let’s see how the rankings look after having four more teams make their way in the top 25 this week. Last week, we saw Iowa State, Minnesota and St. John’s make it into the top 25.
But with the schedule and games of importance you might have seen last week, you can see why both Iowa State and St. John’s aren’t ranked this week. Other teams not ranked are Indiana and Ohio State, who have both picked up their fourth loss of the season.
Let’s see how all of these teams do this week with more important games coming up starting today!
Monday, Jan. 14th
Nebraska (12-4) versus Indiana (12-4)
Both of these Big Ten teams have been through a lot over the past few weeks. For Nebraska, it was about coming out on a quick start and trying to prove they were worthy of a top 25 spot, until they ran into some of the tough opponents in the conference like Maryland and Iowa. This week isn’t going to be any easier for Nebraska, as they have to face Indiana and Michigan State. If they are able to win both games, we might be able to see them ranked again.
But Indiana may have something to say about that as they look to get back into the top 25 after losing their last two games against Maryland and Michigan. Indiana, like Nebraska, will also have two conference games this week, as they want to make an impact on the weaker part of their schedule. So who will get a big win to start their chances of making it back in the top 25?
Maryland (14-3) versus Wisconsin (11-5)
Maryland might be safe for another week in the standings, as they finally made their way back into the top 25 with their fifth straight win. This is going to be another big week for Maryland, as they have the tough task of beating Wisconsin before they have to go head-to-head against Ohio State and Michigan State in the next few weeks.
Wisconsin is just looking for anything to help them get back on track. What better way to do it than by beating a hot Maryland team? Wisconsin could use a win here as motivation to get a win over the undefeated Michigan Wolverines on Saturday. Now image that, a struggling Wisconsin team beating the best team in the Big Ten. Can Wisconsin turn their season around? Or will Maryland continue to stay hot?
Florida State (13-3) versus Pittsburgh (11-5)
Florida State has had some bad luck lately, as they had to face the best two teams in the ACC, Virginia and Duke. But they are looking forward to this game against Pittsburgh. They plan to rebound from those two tough losses and continue to prove they are one of the teams who are for real in the ACC.
Duke (14-1) versus Syracuse (11-4)
Duke will be looking to continue being No. 1 with this game. They have to make sure to keep their mind focused on this game and not their big showdown on Saturday. Syracuse is more than capable of upsetting Duke. Will this happen, or will Duke remain with one loss and the No. 1 team in the nation?
Tuesday, Jan. 15th
Virginia (15-0) versus Virginia Tech (14-1)
What about this in-state conference rivalry game between two top five teams? Virginia is one of only two undefeated teams left in the college rankings (Michigan), and are looking to stay that way. This is their toughest week of the season so far, as they have big games against two top five opponents according to my rankings. How will they handle themselves?
Can Virginia Tech be the first team to knock them off? They have been playing well and have proven they have what it takes thus far.
Notre Dame (11-5) versus North Carolina (12-4)
North Carolina needs this game more than anything. They continue to fall in the rankings and have lost the interest of some of their fans. It’s hard to be a fan and want to cheer for a team when they continuously struggle to win big games. This game isn’t a big game in terms of big schools like Duke or Virginia, but it is big for the Tar Heels to stay into the top 25 despite their four losses. How will the Tar Heels react?
Wednesday, Jan. 16th
Oklahoma (13-3) versus Kansas State (12-4)
Oklahoma has gone 2-2 in their last four games, but has still managed to stay ranked in the top 25. They have been a fairly decent team this season and could get a spot in the tourney if they can continue to win big games.
Kansas State might also be one of the team’s in the tourney, but they want to be in the rankings again after falling out due to their four losses. This is another game in the right direction for Kansas State, as they may not be able to get ranked so soon, but another win over a ranked opponent helps.
Iowa State (12-4) versus Texas Tech (15-1)
Texas Tech has proven they are the best team in the Big XII, as they have yet to lose a conference game. Their only loss thus far has been to Duke. Texas Tech wants to keep it that way, but they might need to worry about Iowa State.
You see, Iowa State was 11-2 when they beat the Kansas Jayhawks and handed them their second loss. That win earned them a spot in the top 25. That was until they lost their last two games. The Cyclones could look to do the same against the Red Raiders, but this time they won’t be ranked after the win if it were to happen.
Houston (15-1) versus SMU (11-5)
Houston got their first loss of the season against Temple last week. Now that they have lost, they don’t have to stress about remaining undefeated and can just play their game. The one thing they don’t want to happen is continuous losses. This game against SMU could be a sneaky one, so watch out Cougars!
Thursday, Jan. 17th
Michigan State (14-2) versus Nebraska (12-4)
There aren’t any games of interest on Thursday, besides a top 10 Michigan State team taking on a struggling Nebraska team. This game could actually go either way if Nebraska wants it to. We have seen what both teams are capable of doing this season, but Nebraska has been struggling and needs a big win to make things right again. Michigan State wants to be in the top five. A win here definitely help them with that.
Friday, Jan. 18th
Ohio State (12-4) versus Maryland (14-3):
Friday is much like Thursday, as there are no games of importance to look for, except maybe Ohio State and Maryland. This is a game with two teams going in two different directions. Ohio State has lost three straight games and has been removed from the top 25. Maryland has overcome their early season struggles to make it back into the ranking with five straight wins. But who will win this one? Can Ohio State rebound from a bad couple of weeks, or will Maryland continue to be hot?
Saturday, Jan. 19th
Michigan (17-0) versus Wisconsin (11-5)
Michigan, like Virginia, are the only two teams left without a loss. Coming into this game, Michigan may be the only team undefeated if Virginia doesn’t take care of Virginia Tech. Michigan will have the task of taking care of a struggling Wisconsin team, who are in need of a huge win regardless of their win over Maryland earlier in the week.
Notre Dame (11-5) versus North Carolina State (14-2)
Notre Dame has the rough task of facing both North Carolina teams this week. We expect them to give each game all they’ve got. The Tar Heels proved NC State can be beaten, and Notre Dame will look to do just that as they hope to make an impact in the ACC.
TCU (12-3) versus Kansas State (12-4)
Both of these teams have been in the top 25 once. Both didn’t stay there long and will have to prove they belong there again. Kansas State will look to use their momentum to power them through this tough week of games. TCU will look to bounce back from two straight conference losses after being placed in the top 25 by the committee. Does either team have a chance to be ranked again?
Kentucky (12-3) versus Auburn (12-3)
This is the first official game where two ranked SEC teams have tipped off. You could’ve said that Mississippi was higher ranked then everyone thought, but the committee missed that one. With Kentucky and Auburn, it’s all about proving they can be one of the best teams in the SEC.
Kentucky has been there for the past several years, but this year doesn’t feel the same. Auburn should look to take advantage of that. The winner of this game will keep their chances of staying ranked, but the loser could likely see a drop in the rankings. I don’t normally give predictions, but I think this is Kentucky’s win, as Auburn will fall out of the top 25.
Virginia (15-0) versus Duke (14-1)
This isn’t a lose and you’re out situation for either of these teams. However, the loser will be out of the top five and spoil their chances at being the No. 1 team.
Both teams do have another game this week before they meet up. Things might have already changed by this point. Can we see them both pick up big wins in their first games to make this game even more meaningful?
When you look at my rankings for this week, you’ll see that I have them both ranked one and three respectively, with only the Michigan Wolverines between them.
Houston (15-1) versus South Florida (12-4):
As I told you earlier, Houston finally lost their first game. That doesn’t mean they shut things down for the season. With less than half a season left to play, a lot of their games are going to be against some of the tougher opponents in the conference, such as Central Florida, Cincinnati, Temple and South Florida. Houston may have a problem if they can’t find a way to win these two games this week.
Sunday, Jan. 20th
Sunday has no real games of importance scheduled, besides the conference championship games in the NFL between the Kansas Chiefs and New England Patriots and the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams with a chance to play in the Super Bowl. So after we all watch some more top teams fall in College Basketball, let’s see who falls in the NFL!
So let’s see where we end up this week. Will we see a new No. 1 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!