Men's Basketball Games of the Week 1/16 -1/20

Indiana at Ohio State Men's Basketball action

Men’s Basketball Games of the Week 1/16 – 1/20


If you’re a hoops junkie that wants good basketball seven days a week, here is a little advice for Friday. Schedule a date. Go see a movie. Go have a bite to eat. It’s our way of saying only five games are on the Friday schedule, none with major implications. However, look at that schedule leading up to Friday. Those four days are chock-full of major and mid-major matchups. Of course, you could always use that Friday to prepare for the weekend…


No. 17 LOUISVILLE at No. 19 MARQUETTE (3:30 p.m. Monday at Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

Our first stop of the week is the Big East, where only in this league can two highly touted teams be in the middle of the pack in their own conference. Such is the case with the Cardinals (14-4, 2-3), who just came off a 76-59 win over DePaul keyed by Russ Smith’s 25 points. Louisville needs to gain some ground on its Big East opponents to prepare for the postseason tournament, much less a good NCAA bid. Its Big East losses have come against Georgetown, Kentucky and Notre Dame, the latter in double overtime. Marquette (14-4, 3-2) has beaten St. John’s and Pittsburgh in the past two games after falling to Georgetown and Syracuse. Even the Pitt game wasn’t easy as Marquette only won 62-57 behind 18 points by Darius Johnson-Odom.


ALBANY at BOSTON UNIVERSITY (7 p.m. at Case Gym in Boston, Massachusetts)

Mid-major fans, don’t despair. There are a couple of high-visibility games in the high-major bracket, but the America East Conference is well represented on Monday. Albany (12-7, 4-1) comes into this game tied with Stony Brook for the league lead. It has won four out of five since the new year started, with the only loss coming against Stony Brook. Boston (7-11, 3-1) is only a half-game behind Albany in the league standings despite a lackluster overall record. The Terriers dropped seven in a row just before the calendar turned to 2012, but Boston has beaten Binghamton, Maine and Stony Brook for a three-game win streak since then. Darryl Partin scored 18 points in the 61-55 Stony Brook win.


No. 3 BAYLOR at No. 4 KANSAS (9:30 p.m. Monday at Phog Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas)

Big Monday is here! A nationally-televised showdown between the top two teams in the Big 12, and what a great way to kick off the week for college hoop fans in the heartland. Baylor (17-0, 4-0) is in the top 50 in almost every major offensive category, including a 16th in field goal percentage at 49 percent. After Kansas State nearly toppled the Bears, Baylor recovered for a walloping 106-65 win over Oklahoma State behind Quincy Miller’s 21 points. Kansas (14-3, 4-0) could be the team to knock Baylor from its perfect perch, having come off an 82-73 win over Iowa State that extended the team’s winning streak to seven games. Tyshawn Taylor’s 28 points and six assists were key in this game and will be needed once again to knock off a program like the Bears.


No. 11 MICHIGAN STATE at No. 14 MICHIGAN (7 p.m. Tuesday at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan)

What a nutty weekend it was for the Big Ten, and this game couldn’t have come along at a better time. Not only are temporary bragging rights on the line for the state – keep in mind these teams do meet again – but both are licking their wounds following an upset-marred weekend. Michigan State (15-3, 4-1) got 17 points from Keith Appling and 14 rebounds from Draymond Green but lost 81-74 to Northwestern. The loss knocked the Spartans into a share of the Big Ten lead with Illinois, and Ohio State and Michigan (14-4, 4-2) are a half-game back. Speaking of the Wolverines, the upset bug also got them, as Trey Burke’s 19 points weren’t enough in a 75-59 loss to Iowa. Still, it is nice to see Michigan among the upper teams in the nation once again following several down years.


COASTAL CAROLINA at UNC-ASHEVILLE (7 p.m. Tuesday at Justice Center in Asheville, North Carolina)

Carolina basketball fans will turn their attention to the Big South for this game, which pits the conference leaders against each other in a game that could have tournament implications for the winner. Coastal Carolina (13-4, 6-1) is one game back of UNC-Asheville (12-6, 7-0) in the standings, so a CC win would knot the standings. The Chanticleers have won three in a row against Charleston Southern, Gardner-Webb and Presbyterian following a stretch where they dropped three of four. Anthony Raffa leads Coastal Carolina with 17 points a game. UNC-Asheville has won six in a row and has 82.5 points per game, good for seventh in the country. Jeremy Atkinson scored 19 points and had eight rebounds in an 86-79 win over High Point.


ARKANSAS at No. 2 KENTUCKY (9 p.m. Tuesday at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky)

Six teams are within one game of the league lead in the Southeastern Conference heading into this week, and two – Kentucky and Vanderbilt – are undefeated. Arkansas (13-4, 2-1) is one game back in the league along with Mississippi State, Florida and Alabama. The league could look a little different heading into this weekend. The Razorbacks recovered from a mild upset against Ole Miss and beat LSU 69-60 behind 19 points and four assists from B.J. Young. Kentucky (17-1, 3-0) has a nine-game winning streak following a narrow 65-62 win over Tennessee in a game where Anthony Davis’ 18 points and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s 12 rebounds were key.


MARYLAND at FLORIDA STATE (9 p.m. Tuesday at Donald Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Florida)

Seminole basketball fans are still in shock following the team’s utter dismantling of North Carolina on Saturday, a game that has everyone wondering who the true leader in the Atlantic Coast Conference might be. (Even Duke is suspect, yes.) Maryland (12-4, 2-1) is one of five teams tied one game behind Duke in the standings. Florida State (11-6, 2-1), North Carolina, NC State and Boston College are the others. The Terrapins have won nine of 10, the latest a 61-50 victory over Georgia Tech. Florida State, whose leader Deividas Dulkys may still be scoring points in that 90-57 UNC win, has won six of its last nine with losses to Florida, Princeton and Clemson marring that mark.


BALL STATE at CENTRAL MICHIGAN (7 p.m. Wednesday at McGuirk Arena in Mount Pleasant, Michigan)

Four teams are tied atop the West Division of the Mid-American Conference, and at least one will be out of first place after this game. Ball State (10-5, 2-1) is coming off a 51-48 loss to Eastern Michigan in a game where Randy Davis scored 11 points and Jarrod Jones grabbed 11 rebounds. Ball State does have one quality loss to start the season against Arizona but the others are to mid-range teams, so it needs some sort of postseason success to go to the Big Dance. The Chippewas (7-9, 2-1) were upset by an overachieving 2-13 Northern Illinois squad in their last game, as Trey Zeigler’s 18 points couldn’t prevent a 74-66 setback. CMU has lost seven of its last 10.


MARSHALL at WEST VIRGINIA (7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Charleston Civic Center in Charleston, West Virginia)

Neutral conferences, neutral corner. These are the top two basketball teams in the state, so this is sort of a game to determine which school has bragging rights. Marshall (13-4) has a 4-0 record in Conference USA and a four-game winning streak following a 61-54 win over Central Florida. Deandre Kane barely went over his scoring average of 15.9 with a 16-point performance in that contest. West Virginia (13-5) has lost twice in Big East play to Baylor and Connecticut and definitely plays the tougher schedule of the two schools. Kevin Jones had 24 points and 14 rebounds as the Mountaineers beat Rutgers 84-60. This game won’t decide any conference title, but it’s a fun way to spend a Wednesday.


No. 13 VANDERBILT at ALABAMA (7 p.m. Thursday at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, Alabama)

With the excitement over a national championship still coming down, attention slowly turns to college basketball. Here’s a primer for football-crazed Crimson Tide fans: your basketball team isn’t bad, either. Vanderbilt (13-4, 3-0) brings a seven-game winning streak into Alabama and John Jenkins’ 18 points were crucial in a 77-66 win over Georgia to extend that string. Vanderbilt and Kentucky share the SEC lead, but Alabama (13-4, 2-1) could challenge for that top spot with a big win here. The Tide’s five-game win streak just ended at the hands of a pretty good Mississippi State squad, 56-52, as Jamychal Green’s 14 points and three assists led the way.


BOSTON COLLEGE at NORTH CAROLINA STATE (8 p.m. Thursday at RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina)

Somehow, despite having lackluster scoring and rebounding skills, Boston College managed to find its way into the ACC picture. You can’t count the team out, either, not with the way things have been going lately. The Eagles (7-10, 2-1) have wins over Clemson and Virginia Tech following a three-game losing streak that included setbacks against Harvard and North Carolina. Dennis Clifford scored 15 points against Virginia Tech, which is big considering BC’s leading scorer , Matt Humphrey, is only at 10.1 per game. NC State (13-5, 2-1) just crushed Wake Forest, 76-40, for its seventh win in eight games as Lorenzo Brown led the way with 20 points and six assists. Its loss in this string came to Georgia Tech.


CALIFORNIA at WASHINGTON (8:30 p.m. Thursday at Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle, Washington)

Two of the top teams in the Pac-12 are featured here as the Golden Bears travel up the coast for a big game. California (15-4, 5-1) has won five of six, the only blemish coming in a shocking loss to Oregon State, a team near the basement in the Pac-12. The last game was better, as California’s Jorge Gutierrez netted 15 points in an 81-45 thrashing of Utah. California and Stanford are tied atop the league, by the way, with the first matchup between the teams coming on January 29. Washington (11-6, 4-1) has won six of seven and the last three, as the Huskies just won the bragging-rights game 75-65 over Washington State. If Washington scores the upset, life could get interesting in the Pac-12.