College basketball daily-11/12/18

Today is my wife's birthday, so cutting it close on this one. Here are some games to watch: (all times Eastern)

GAMES OF NATIONAL INTEREST:

1. Stanford at North Carolina at 7 p.m. (ESPN2). Tar Heels get their first test against a Power 6 team in their home opener after getting nice road wins against mid-majors Wofford and Elon. Stanford is off to a good start with a home win over Seattle and a road win at UNC-Wilmington. How often do you see 2-0 Power 6 teams play each other with 3 of their 4 wins coming on the road at mid-majors? The answer is not nearly enough. Anyways, I think Jerod Haase may have Stanford finally moving in the right direction. Expect a close game with the Heels getting the win.

2. Utah at Minnesota at 9 p.m. (Big Ten Network). Two 1-0 Power 6 teams go head to head in what I think will be a good one. Minnesota is coming off a horrendous year, and they need a good start to the season as most think Richard Pitino is on the hot seat. Utah always seems to over-achieve under Larry Krystowiak every year. With the Gophers seemingly much healthier this year, I like them to win a close one.

3. Vermont at Kansas at 9 p.m. (ESPN2). Vermont has become a power in the America East conference, and is once again the favorite to win that conference (especially with Hartford off to a slow start). Kansas fell to #2 in the AP poll despite a good win over Sparty in the Champions Classic (thanks to Duke killing UK). Expect Kansas to come out and try to demoralize the Catamounts early. I think Vermont hangs around for a half, but ultimately I would expect Kansas to win by 20 or more.

4. Buffalo at S. Illinois at 8 p.m. (ESPN+). After their big win at West Virginia Friday night, Buffalo is ranked #25 in the AP poll. Southern Illinois gave UK a good run on Friday night, but fell short late. This should be an excellent test for the newly-ranked Bulls. Don't be surprised if the Salukis win, as they are in contention to win the Missouri Valley this year along with front-runners Loyola-Chicago and Illinois State. Still, I am going with Buffalo in what could be a final possession type of game.

UPSET WATCH:

Troy at Pittsburgh at 7 p.m. (ACC Network/Watch ESPN)

Bowling Green at VCU at 7 p.m. (MASN/ESPN+)

Jacksonville St. at Penn St. at 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)

San Diego at Washington at 11 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)

Other games that could/should be fun to watch:

Campbell at Ohio at 7 p.m. (ESPN3)

Middle Tenn. State at Belmont at 8 p.m. (ESPN3)

Illinois-Chicago at Duquesne at 8 p.m. (ESPN+)

Oklahoma at UTSA at 8 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)

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