It’s that time of the week where we take a look at what games are important to this week’s schedule. Last week, we saw both Michigan and Michigan State take losses to unranked conference opponents. It might have hurt both of their chances to get back into the top 10. To see where they’re ranked this week, look here.
We should also look at this week’s schedule and see what games are important for us to watch as we get closer to tournament time. All games this week are important in the sense that it’s all about the madness we are waiting to see.
Monday, Feb. 4th
Unfortunately, this article was pushed back because of the disappointment we saw in the big game this past Sunday! But now it’s time to move on. By the time you read this, you might have already found out that Louisville and Virginia Tech were in a nail-biting conference game against each other, where Louisville came out on top. Iowa State was also in a tough game against Oklahoma, as they barely hung on for a one point victory.
Tuesday, Feb. 5th
St. John’s versus Marquette
Marquette has made it into the top 10, and they plan to stay there. However, they also have one of the toughest remaining schedules. They have to face the defending champions (Villanova) twice. This game with St. John’s won’t be easy either, as they will be trying to overcome an embarrassing loss to Duke.
North Carolina versus North Carolina State
North Carolina continues to be one of the stronger teams in the ACC. They are preparing themselves for an even stronger finish with games against Virginia and Duke left. For North Carolina State, it’s about turning over from the recent struggles they’ve had. They look to finish with a higher seed in the tournament.
Florida State versus Syracuse
Florida State has climbed their way back into the top 25. The struggles of NC State has helped with that. The Seminoles can’t look too far ahead, because Syracuse is coming to add another win to their resume when it comes time to select tournament teams.
Kansas versus Kansas State
Kansas will likely be in the tourney, but they are also looking to climb higher. Maybe even back into the top five? That won’t be easy with their remaining schedule, as Kansas State wants to get back into the top 25. With a win over the Jay Hawks, K-State might be able to do so!
Wednesday, Feb. 6th
Wisconsin versus Minnesota
Wisconsin is another one of those teams who have been on a roll and are finally looking like that team we’re all used to seeing. This could be a problem for the Big Ten. Unless Minnesota has something to say about it. Both teams are looking to improve their records as we get closer to the tourney. It’s only right if these two continue to fight it out for a better record.
LSU versus Mississippi State
Both of these SEC teams are out to prove they can play with the best teams in the nation, especially the SEC’s Tennessee and Kentucky, who are both in the top five and likely going to remain in the top 10. LSU is still ranked in the top 25 despite a loss last week, but they want more. Mississippi State is no longer ranked, but a win here could help them get back in.
Thursday, Feb. 7th
Houston versus Central Florida
Houston continues to play well as we get closer to the wrapping up the season. They are looking to control their own destiny, as they finish the season with tough conference opponents looking to take them down. Central Florida is one of those teams. They are looking at getting themselves a spot in the big dance. An impressive win over Houston would be a big boost for them!
Washington versus Arizona
Washington is the best team in the Pac-12, but they aren’t even ranked in the AP rankings. Then again, the Pac-12 is the weakest conference this year, and no one is giving them any attention. Maybe a win over conference foes will help Washington get into the top 25 this week.
Friday, Feb. 8th
There are no games of importance scheduled for Friday. There aren’t any big name or bigger conference schools playing. There are some teams who will make the tournament, but they’re all smaller name teams. Maybe one of them could be the Cinderella of this year’s tournament!
Saturday, Feb. 9th
Virginia Tech versus Clemson
After losing to Louisville Monday night, Virginia Tech needs a rebound win if they want to stay in the top 25. A game like this against Clemson is one they need.
Wisconsin versus Michigan
Michigan will be looking to rebound from a terrible loss last week. They plan to climb back into the top five. A win over Rutgers earlier this week won’t be enough for that to happen, but a revenge win over Wisconsin will. Wisconsin beat Michigan for their first loss. They will be looking to get the season sweep on the Wolverines.
Mississippi State versus Kentucky
If Mississippi State manages to survive and win both of their games, they are definitely going to be ranked again. However, Kentucky is no easy task. The Bulldogs will have their hands full. Kentucky will use this game as prep for the game with Tennessee coming up soon.
LSU versus Auburn
If LSU were to lose against Mississippi State, this game becomes even more important as it would’ve been earlier. LSU has beaten Auburn once already, and they should be able to do it again. So let’s see how this plays out.
Iowa State versus TCU
Iowa State had a close call on Monday against Oklahoma, but if they want to stay ranked they have to take care of business with TCU. TCU, like every team not ranked, is looking to add another great win to their resume for the committee to look at come selection Sunday.
Michigan State versus Minnesota
Michigan State is also in rebound mode after dropping two straight games and falling from the No. 6 ranked spot. Minnesota looks to take advantage of a vulnerable Spartans team and get two straight wins over top 25 opponents.
Villanova versus Marquette
This is one of our best games to watch this week. The winner of this game will have a spot in the top 10. That’ll be Villanova’s best ranking all season. Marquette looks to take care of the defending champs and knock them down even further.
Louisville versus Florida State
It’s another tough matchup between two ACC teams who are looking to be at the top of the conference standings. Louisville struggled early in the season, but they aren’t letting that impact them now. It’s the same with Florida State, who has been battling their way back into the top 25 and don’t look to give up their spot.
Duke versus Virginia
It’s a rematch of a game between the two of them from several weeks ago that saw Duke hand Virginia their first loss of the season. This week it’s a rematch between the No. 2 and No. 3 teams in the nation. Virginia wants revenge for their loss and become the best team in the ACC. Who ya got?
Sunday, Feb. 10th
Sunday has only one game worth keeping an eye on. That is Cincinnati versus Houston. Cincinnati just made the top 25 over the past few weeks and are looking to continue proving they belong there. Houston has been on the top for most of the season, and they don’t look like they are ready to give up their spot. Let’s keep an eye on how this game goes.
Also, keep an eye on how teams do this week as we start to wrap up another month of basketball and look ahead for the madness. Will we see a new No. 1 team in the rankings, or will Tennessee continue to prove themselves worthy? How about the top ten? Will it be the same? Comment on which games you think are important and who might be on upset alert!