Men's Basketball Games of the Weekend 1/6 - 1/8

Michigan at Indiana Men's Basketball

Men’s Basketball Games of the Weekend 1/6 – 1/8


Even though the schedule says the games to watch for are Friday through Sunday, here is a heads up. Friday is a very light night on both the men’s and women’s side, without many games to watch period. So take a look at Saturday and Sunday, because there are solid games both days in plenty of conferences from the Atlantic Sun to the Pac 12.


No. 9 MISSOURI at KANSAS STATE (1:30 p.m. Saturday at Fred Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas)

It’s still early, but the nation’s hottest shooting team has the chance to go up by two games in Big 12 Conference action. Missouri, which comes into this game shooting 52.2 percent from the field and scoring a second-best 86.2 points per game, ran its record to 14-0 when it routed Oklahoma 87-49 in the conference opener. Kim English just missed a double-double with 23 points and nine rebounds in the game, bettering his scoring average to 15.9. Missouri has tough tests next with Iowa State and Texas, so this is not a game to take lightly. Kansas State (11-2, 0-1) dropped its Big 12 opener when it fell 67-49 to Kansas and broke its six-game winning streak. Kansas State has 40.5 rebounds per game, good for 12th in the nation, and is led by Rodney McGruder’s 12.7 points per game.


EVANSVILLE at ILLINOIS STATE (2:05 p.m. Saturday at Redbird Arena in Normal, Illinois)

Six teams have identical 2-1 records atop the Missouri Valley Conference, and that figure should be whittled down at day’s end as one of these teams will fall out of first with a loss. Evansville (7-6) just lost to Wichita State 57-55 despite 31 points and five rebounds by standout Colt Ryan. Four of Evansville’s losses are by less than five points, suggesting the team may be a bit tougher than its record indicates. Illinois State (10-4), often forgotten in its own home state thanks to the presence of Illinois and other Division I programs, isn’t having a forgettable season by any means. John Wilkins scored 15 points in the team’s 68-60 win over Missouri State, the team’s fifth win in six contests.


GEORGIA SOUTHERN at DAVIDSON (3 p.m. Saturday at Belk Arena in Davidson, North Carolina)

Georgia Southern may be three games under .500 when it comes to the overall record, but both schools have identical unbeaten conference records, and that is what makes this Southern Conference matchup special. Georgia Southern (5-8, 3-0) has a 57th-best 47 percent shooting mark and has a two-game winning streak; in its recent 69-63 win over Elon, Eric Ferguson came away with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Georgia Southern beat Chattanooga, Appalachian State and Elon in its three league matchups. Davidson (9-4, 3-0) also has a two-game winning streak against Penn and UC-Greensboro. Nik Cochran’s 22 points and six assists were key in the Greensboro win. Whichever team wins this game has sole possession of first place in the South Division.


WICHITA STATE at SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (3:05 p.m. Saturday at SIU Arena in Carbondale, Illinois)

Much like the Davidson-Georgia Southern game in the Southern Conference, this Missouri Valley Conference game pits teams against each other that have divergent records but identical MVC marks. Wichita State (11-3, 2-1) saw Garrett Stutz light up the board for 29 points, 10 rebounds and four assists in a 67-66 squeaker against Evansville. The Shockers are 9-1 following a 2-2 start to the season. Wichita State is ranked in the top 50 offensively in all the major categories. Southern Illinois (5-9, 2-1) broke a four-game losing streak with wins over Illinois State and Bradley, as Mamadou Seck had 15 points, 11 boards and six assists in the Bradley victory. Six teams are tied at 2-1 in the MVC, and that will be thinned out following Saturday.


No. 16 MARQUETTE at No. 1 SYRACUSE (4 p.m. Saturday at Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York)

Another weekend, another showdown in the Big East Conference. Marquette (12-3, 1-1) is reeling slightly following a 10-0 start, and the last game wasn’t kind either as the Golden Eagles lost 73-70 to Georgetown despite 18 points by Darius Johnson-Odom. Despite Marquette’s .500 record in league play, the team is still tied for eighth in the Big East with Louisville, DePaul and Notre Dame. Syracuse (16-0, 3-0) can take sole possession of first place in the league if co-leader Georgetown loses to West Virginia on Saturday. The Orange had 16 points from Brandon Triche and 11 assists by Scoop Jardine in an 87-73 win over Providence. Syracuse has also beaten DePaul and Seton Hall during league play. Syracuse’s schedule is back-loaded with games against tougher Big East teams like Georgetown, Connecticut and Louisville, but don’t count the Golden Eagles out when it comes to pulling the upset.


DENVER at SOUTH ALABAMA (4:30 p.m. Saturday at Mitchell Center in Mobile, Alabama)

These two teams are at opposite ends of the Sun Belt Conference, both geographically and record-wise. Overall, the teams are a lot closer, which makes this matchup a bit more appealing. Denver (12-3, 2-1) is great at sharing the ball and shooting it, with top 50 marks in both, but the Pioneers are lousy at rebounding and that could be the team’s Achilles heel. Denver has won six of its last seven games, including a 53-50 win over Arkansas State as Chase Hallam led the way with 15 points and three assists. South Alabama (8-5, 0-2) dropped its first two league games against Middle Tennessee and North Texas, the latter game a 78-73 loss in overtime. Freddie Goldstein’s 21 points led the way for the Jaguars, who have the nation’s eighth-best rebounding mark (41.2).


MIAMI at No. 21 VIRGINIA (6 p.m. Saturday at John Paul Jones Center in Charlottesville, Virginia)

Thanks to Duke’s loss to Temple on Wednesday, Virginia is the only Atlantic Coast Conference team to survive the non-league slate with just one loss. This is the ACC opener for both schools, and they sport records above .500. Miami (9-4) picked up 30 points and 12 rebounds from Kenny Kadji in a 99-89 win over UNC-Greensboro. Despite mediocre offensive stats – their best ranking is 88th in the nation in scoring – the Hurricanes have a four-game winning streak but now have tough back-to-back games against Virginia and North Carolina. The Cavaliers (13-1) are average in every category except shooting, where their 52.1 percent ranks just outside the top 50. Virginia hasn’t lost since a 57-55 loss to TCU in the third game of the season, giving the Cavaliers 10 wins in a row. Sammy Zeglinski scored 17 points in Virginia’s 57-52 win over LSU.


GREEN BAY at MILWAUKEE (8 p.m. Saturday at US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

Another Horizon League game with implications toward the conference, this in-state matchup has Green Bay (6-8, 2-2) and its low-scoring offense going up against Milwaukee. The Phoenix picked up 21 points and 11 rebounds from Alec Brown in a 90-87 loss to Valparaiso, the team’s fourth loss in the last six games. Milwaukee (10-6, 3-1) got off to an 8-1 start before dropping five of its last seven games, including back-to-back losses against Butler and Western Michigan. Seven teams are bunched at the top within one game of each other, and a Milwaukee win would thin the ranks at the top a bit. If Green Bay wins, the standings become muddier.


No. 17 WISCONSIN at No. 18 MICHIGAN (1:30 p.m. Sunday at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan)

Fresh off the heels of a 3-point shot that wasn’t good, Wisconsin takes on the other Michigan school in a nationally-televised Big Ten Conference showdown. Wisconsin (12-4, 1-2) started out Big Ten play by beating Nebraska before losing to Iowa and Michigan State. The other two losses were to North Carolina and Marquette, which are both ranked. Jordan Taylor lit up the scoreboard for 28 points in Wisconsin’s loss to MSU, but Wisconsin’s offense is otherwise middle of the road. Michigan (12-3, 2-1) saw its seven-game winning streak come to an end with a 73-71 loss at the hands of Indiana, behind 19 points from Tim Hardaway Jr. There is plenty of time left in this Big Ten season, so a loss here won’t dull any team’s title hopes.


MARYLAND at NORTH CAROLINA STATE (6 p.m. Sunday at RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina)

The ACC gets underway for these schools on Sunday in what should be an entertaining contest. Maryland (10-3) rides a seven-game winning streak into this contest, with Sean Mosley’s 19 points leading the way in a 70-62 win over Cornell. The Terrapins’ losses were against Alabama, Iona and Illinois. North Carolina State (11-4) has a seventh-best 17.8 assists per game and rides a five-game winning streak into action. Scott Wood’s 14 points were instrumental in a 78-44 win over Delaware State. Vanderbilt, Indiana, Stanford and Syracuse have beaten the Wolfpack this season. Six ACC teams have double-digit wins, including these two, so it should be a competitive conference.


CALIFORNIA at OREGON (7:30 p.m. Sunday at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Oregon)

The Golden Bears and Ducks are among four teams tied for second place behind league-leading Colorado. California (12-4, 2-1) is coming off a 92-85 loss to Oregon State, marking just the second time in eight games the Bears lost. Other teams to beat California include Missouri, San Diego State and UNLV. California is pulling for a victory since a win puts it in a strong position entering the next game against Colorado. Oregon (11-4, 2-1) got 30 points and seven rebounds from Devoe Joseph in a 78-67 win over Stanford. The Ducks are 6-2 in their last eight games and hope to be among the teams competing at the end of the season for the title.