12-21-19 College Basketball Games to Watch
This is by far the best day of college hoops match-ups so far.
#1 Kansas (-1 ½) at #18 Villanova (Big East/Big 12 Challenge) at noon (FOX)
#6 Kentucky (-3 ½) vs. #5 Ohio St. (CBS Sports Classic; T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV) at 5:15 p.m. (CBS)
We get two ranked vs. ranked games today. Kansas tries to break the early season “curse” of being #1 in Philly against Nova. Villanova got waxed earlier this year by Ohio State, so they need to prove they can hang with a top ten team, especially at home. Can Saddiq Bey, Jermaine Samuels, and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl slow down Udoka Azubuike enough? Can Nova’s guards slow down Devon Dotson? I think the answer is “no,” but in a crazy season so far it wouldn’t shock me if Nova gets it done.
Kentucky took a rough loss to Utah earlier in the week and now they get an Ohio State team coming off their first loss of the year. They need Tyrese Maxey to have another big game (like he did versus Michigan State to begin the year). Ohio State probably would have been #1 instead of Kansas had they not been beaten handily Sunday by a previously struggling Minnesota team. I expect Kaleb Wesson to have a big game in this one. The Buckeyes should win, which means UK will.
The Undefeated Watch
Austin Peay vs. Duquesne (-9 ½) (St. Pete Shootout; Eckerd College-St. Petersburg, FL) at 2:30 p.m.
Liberty (-3 ½) vs. Akron (Battle for the Capital-Championship Game; Washington, DC) at 3:30 p.m. (FloHoops) $$
Lehigh at #12 Auburn (-24) at 6 p.m. (SECN)
#20 San Diego St. (-6) vs. Utah (HoopHall/Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Game-Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA) at 6:30 p.m. (Pac-12N-Mountain/JIP Pac-12-National)
Only four undefeated teams remain; Liberty rallied yesterday to stay in this select group. They will get a test from Akron today in the championship game of the Battle for the Capital. Auburn is a huge favorite over Lehigh and they should stay unblemished. Duquesne could get a run from Austin Peay but are solid favorites in their game as well. Can San Diego State do what UK could not and knock off Utah at a neutral site? If I had to make a guess, I think Liberty goes down today, while San Diego State survives a scare from Utah. Auburn and Duquesne should roll to victories.
Upset Watch Games
USF vs. #19 FSU (-10) (Orange Bowl Classic; Sunrise, FL) at noon (FS2)
#25 West Virginia (-13 ½) at Youngstown St. (Covelli Centre) at 1 p.m.
Stanford (-9 ½) vs. San Diego (Al Attles Classic; San Francisco, CA) at 3 p.m. (Pac-12N)
E. Washington at #2 Gonzaga (-20) at 5 p.m. (Root/WCC Network)
N. Florida at Syracuse (-13) at 6 p.m. (ACCN)
E. Michigan at #15 Michigan St. (-23 ½) at 7 p.m. (BTN)
Northwestern at DePaul (-6) at 8:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
St. John’s vs. #16 Arizona (-11) (Al Attles Classic; San Francisco, CA) at 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
These eight games could provide some upsets. Northwestern is the most obvious pick here since they are a minor underdog. North Florida would be the next most obvious pick to me the way Syracuse has been playing.
Other Games to Watch
Indiana (-2 ½) vs. Notre Dame (Crossroads Classic; Indianapolis, IN) at noon (ESPN)
VCU at Wichita St. (-5 ½) at noon (ESPN2)
Missouri vs. Illinois (-3) (Braggin’ Rights; Enterprise Center; St. Louis, MO) at 1 p.m. (SECN)
UCF at Oklahoma (-10) at 2 p.m. (FS Oklahoma/FSN)
W. Kentucky at Rhode Island (-6 ½) at 2 p.m. (ESPN+) $$
Wright St. at Toledo (-5) at 2 p.m. (ESPN+) $$
Utah St. vs. Florida (-3 ½) (Orange Bowl Classic; Sunrise, FL) at 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
#17 Butler (-2) vs. Purdue (Crossroads Classic; Indianapolis, IN) at 2:30 p.m. (BTN)
Colorado St. at Tulsa (-3) (Bok Center Basketball Showdown) at 2:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
North Carolina (-3) vs. UCLA (CBS Sports Classic; T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV) at 3 p.m. (CBS)
Belmont vs. Alabama (PK) (Rocket City Classic; Huntsville, AL) at 3:30 p.m. (SECN)
*Coastal Carolina at S. Alabama (-5) (Sun Belt) at 4 p.m. (ESPN+) $$
Oklahoma St. (-3 ½) vs. Minnesota (Bok Center; Tulsa, OK) at 5:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Colorado vs. #13 Dayton (-5) (United Center; Chicago Legends Showcase) at 6:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
Murray St. (-2) at Evansville at 7 p.m. (ESPN+) $$
St. Louis vs. Kansas St. (-1 ½) (Wildcat Classic; Sprint Center; Kansas City, MO) at 7 p.m. (ESPN+) $$
N. Kentucky at UNC Greensboro (-8) at 7 p.m. (ESPN+) $$
Creighton at Arizona St. (-3) at 8:30 p.m. (Pac-12N)
Oregon St. (-6 ½) at Texas A&M at 8:30 p.m. (SECN)
Cincinnati vs. Iowa (-3) (United Center; Chicago Legends Showcase) at 9 p.m. (BTN)
LSU (-2) at USC (HoopHall/Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Game-Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA) at 9 p.m. (FS1)
St. Mary’s (-7 ½) vs. Nevada (Al Attles Classic; San Francisco, CA) at 12:30 a.m. (technically 12/22) (ESPNU)
These 22 games have the potential to be very entertaining! On paper, this is the best day of the season so far; hopefully the games live up to my expectations. Enjoy!