College Basketball weekly preview: Week 12

Another week of college basketball has passed us by. This past week was the biggest of them all when it comes to the top 25. If you missed last week’s schedule, you can find it here. You might also want to see where each team was ranked in last week’s power rankings ahead of the new rankings that will be released Monday morning!

uk all-stars warming up” by Phil Denton is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Let’s find out how the top 25 changed after several top teams lost. Nearly half the top 25 suffered losses, including three of the top five according to my power rankings.

Those results might surprise you, but let’s look at the schedule this week and see if these teams can manage to rebound from tough losses. Let’s also see how it might affect the rankings and the tournament picture as we continue to get closer.

 

Monday, Jan. 21st

Maryland versus Michigan State

This is one of the biggest games of the season for both teams, as they both continue to dominant their conference. For Maryland, it’s about proving they are a real threat in the Big Ten.

Michigan State is trying to prove they belong in the top five. A few big wins over some stiff conference opponents might help them get there if they haven’t made it already!

Virginia Tech versus North Carolina

Virginia Tech has managed to have a decent season thus far, but their rough schedule has just started. We saw them take a loss to the previously undefeated Virginia team. Now they have the tough task of North Carolina, who has managed to remain ranked despite having four losses on the season.

Kansas versus Iowa State

This is going to be a tough week for the Jay Hawks. They look to revenge their worst loss of the season against Iowa State a few weeks ago. They also have another top 25 match up this week as well. Let’s also not forget they got upset by West Virginia on Saturday afternoon.

Iowa State’s big win over Kansas landed them a spot in the top 25 for the following week, until they managed to lose two games and get knocked out again. They did give Texas Tech their second loss of the season this past week, but was that enough to land them a spot in the top 25? Whether or not they get ranked, watch out for the Cyclones this week!

 

Tuesday, Jan. 22nd

Texas Tech versus Kansas State

Like you might have read above, Texas Tech suffered their second loss of the season to Iowa State and another loss to Baylor on Saturday, but they still look to rebound against a red hot Kansas State team who’s looking to be in the top 25 as well.

Kansas State has rebounded nicely from their early season struggles. They look to prove they are a force in the Big XII.

Minnesota versus Michigan

Minnesota is looking to continue proving they deserve to be ranked if they haven’t been already.  A win over the previously undefeated Michigan Wolverines would definitely be a nice way to prove themselves.

But Michigan won’t take their loss against Wisconsin lightly. They will be ready to take down Minnesota and prove they are the No. 1 in the nation.

Villanova versus Butler

The defending National Champions have fought and clawed their way back into to the top 25, but they need to prove they can still be an elite team and a threat when it comes tournament time. In case you forget, Villanova has won two of the last three National Championships and have been well coached over that time. Butler has also been well coached and are looking to make some noise as we get closer to the madness.

Mississippi State versus Kentucky

These are two teams going in different directions, as we have seen over the past few weeks. Mississippi State has lost three games in the last two weeks and are still trying to prove they are one of the better teams in the SEC. This week will be a good test for them as they face the best SEC team over the past 10 years in Kentucky.

Kentucky might be the best SEC team over the last decade, but they don’t have any National Championship to prove it within that time, which makes them vulnerable. Who will come out on top?

 

Wednesday, Jan. 23rd 

Wednesday doesn’t have many games really worth watching, unless you think Marquette and Houston might get upset again. They are both playing conference games that could be worth watching.

Marquette is playing a really confusing DePaul team who has been on and off all season.  Houston is playing an East Carolina team who has a lot of questions to be answered, but that’s what this game might bring.

 

Thursday, Jan. 24th

There isn’t much happening here either, besides Michigan State and Iowa. Michigan State looks to take down two conference opponents in the same week as they show they belong in the top five. Iowa is still out to prove they belong in the discussion as one of the better teams in the Big Ten after having on and off weeks all season long. This game can be a sneaky one for the Spartans if they get to ahead of themselves, because Iowa is more than capable of beating them.

 

Friday, Jan. 25th

Much like Thursday, Friday doesn’t have much going on either. It will be a rematch of the Michigan-Indiana game that saw Indiana get crushed and started their decline this season. Indiana is currently on a four game losing streak, which started with Michigan. What better way to right the ship then with a big win over the Wolverines? It is very possible. Michigan showed us all last Saturday they can be beaten, as Wisconsin handed them their first loss of the season. So can Indiana turn their season around?

 

Saturday, Jan. 26th

Iowa State versus Mississippi

Iowa State has a plan to be in the top 25 again. The best way to do it is by winning against the top opponents, which they have been known for doing this season. If they manage to beat Kansas for the second time this season, that might be enough to get them higher. A win against a non-conference ranked team looks even more impressive.

Mississippi looks to continue proving they can run with the best in the SEC, like Tennessee and Kentucky, especially after getting embarrassed by conference rival LSU last week.

Kansas versus Kentucky

Two of the top teams over the past five years. The two teams have met in the tournament several times, where Kansas has gotten the last laugh. Kentucky is still out to prove that no matter how much talent they have, they are willing to play as hard as they can to prove this could be their year. But Kansas is also set out to prove themselves worthy of a top spot. At this point of the season, both teams are looking to get back in the top 10 after recent struggles have pushed them out.

Syracuse versus Virginia Tech

Syracuse is one of those teams who have surprised us this season. They’ve been able to beat some of the top teams like Ohio State earlier in the season and the No. 1 Duke team last week. But can they beat another top 25 ACC team this week and earn themselves a spot to be in the top 25 as well? Or will Virginia Tech continue to prove they are still one of the top teams in the ACC despite having not played Duke or North Carolina yet? I guess we’ll have to see how they do Monday against North Carolina.

Auburn versus Mississippi State

Both of these teams are on the edge of dropping from the top 25 if they haven’t already. Auburn is definitely further away from having to face that issue, but it still doesn’t look good for either team. With LSU and Mississippi starting to look good, the pressure is now even higher.

 

Sunday, Jan. 27th

Seton Hall versus Villanova

Villanova has started to turn their season around. They made it back into the top 25 last week, but they are still looking to get even higher up as they have a strong week. But Seton Hall looks to add another big win to their season and hopefully get a look at the top 25, so let’s see how this game plays out!

Iowa versus Minnesota

With this being another week of Iowa and Minnesota out to prove they are worthy of a space in the top 25, this is the best game to end the week on. It could be a make or break game for both teams as they try to remain in the top 25. If Iowa were to lose both their games this week, they may very well be out, but let’s see how they do this week and if they end up holding their spot.

 

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!

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