By Chris Carlson – Last week Baylor fended off Texas Tech and Kansas while Minnesota knocked off Michigan that end the Wolverines run off 11 straight wins to start the season. This week the Big Ten, Big-12, Big East, and SEC all have important games on the docket. The debate is starting to mount for the best conference between the Big Ten and Big-12.
Marquee Matchups on Saturday
#10 Wisconsin vs. #15 Ohio State: The Big Ten is the deepest league in college basketball lending itself to a bunch of Top-25 clubs squaring off several times during any given week. This one is a closely matched tilt that should get decided in the closing minutes. The Buckeyes score more points but there’s a sizable difference in defense favoring the Badgers. The height and versatility to step out and hit the three of Micah Potter will likely be the key to victory.
The Pick: Wisconsin grinds out the home victory with a few clutch shots and key stops.
#6 Tennessee vs. #19 Missouri: The Vols were caught looking ahead to the Tigers getting dumped by Florida 75-49 on Tuesday. Missouri lost in their first meeting with Tennessee by 20 points so if they want to keep pace in the SEC standing this is obviously a must win. Normally, one would think the Tigers are the more hungry team based of the first game but the fact the Tennessee slipped up tells me they will be focused and ready to get the win and climb back into SEC contention.
The Pick: Tennessee pulls out a closer than expected win.
Marquee Matchup on Monday
#12 West Virginia vs. #14 Texas Tech: The Big-12 doesn’t have the depth of say the Big Ten but with Baylor, Texas, Kansas and these two programs it may be the best league in the country pound for pound. Last week a buzzer-beater victory via guard Mac McClung long jumper put the Red Raiders over Texas. Texas Tech followed that win up with a valiant effort in a lost to Baylor. The Mountaineers are ranked #14 but stand at 2-3 in the conference so something has to give. It should be noted West Virginia lost on a buzzer beater to Texas and we’re very competitive against #1 Gonzaga early in the year.
The Pick: West Virginia wins by getting back to playing hard-nosed defense.
Upset Special for the Week
Oklahoma stuns #2 Baylor on the strength of wins over Kansas, Texas Tech and close losses to Texas and West Virginia. Also, the Bears won’t go undefeated right?
Under The Radar
#20 Clemson vs. Florida State: The ACC is struggling some sure but this should good one as FSU looks to get their groove back. The Seminoles are always tough to beat at home.
#11 Creighton vs. Seton Hall: Don’t sleep on the Big East or Seton Hall plus Creighton has loss back to back games.
Quick Hits Recap
-The ACC is way down this year at this point which makes sense without Duke or North Carolina in the A.P. Top-25 for the first time since 1982.
-Add Kentucky along with UNC and Duke making it the first time all 3 teams haven’t been ranked since 1961.
-Gonzaga, Kansas, Iowa, and Minnesota stand out of the pack by holding victories over 4 ranked opponents.
-In the first 4 minutes, Alabama nailed 6 three-pointers in a 105-75 drubbing of the LSU.
-Undefeated Baylor leads D1 basketball in scoring margin averaging 26 point victories and rank 6th in scoring in the nation.
Note: The rankings used in this prediction article will not reflect Monday’s New Associated Press Top-25 Rankings.
Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio & Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio