Welcome to the first edition of Weekend Watch. In this article we will preview and pick the weekend’s biggest games. We also put times next to each game for your convenience. Enjoy the weekend of college hoops and we’ll see you guys on Monday!
- Xavier (14-7, 5-4 Big East) at Seton Hall (14-6, 4-4 Big East)- 11 AM, FOXS1
Both of these teams need this pivotal bubble game. Xavier won the first meeting by double-digits in Cincinnati and has already shown they can get a sweep over good teams. Matt Stainbrook has been on another level lately. The senior C has teamed up with Trevon Bluiett to get the Musketeers within striking distance of a NCAA Tournament birth. Meanwhile, Seton Hall just ended a 3-game losing streak with a win over Marquette. The Pirates need wins to boost their resume and Sterling Gibbs will look to help grab one tonight. The junior G has scored 22+ in 3 of his last 5 games.
@catteberry33: Seton Hall
- #5 Wisconsin (18-2, 6-1 Big 10) at Iowa (13-7, 4-3 Big 10)- 11 AM, ESPN
Wisconsin has bounced back well after suffering a loss to Rutgers on January 11th. They really have a good chance to give themselves some cushion in the conference race as Maryland got ran out of the gym last night by Ohio State. You need to keep an eye on how Kaminsky matches up to the athletic front line of Iowa. The Hawkeyes have hit a bit of a rut. They’ve lost back-to-back games and really need to end the losing streak to stay on the bubble. Iowa just saw Wisconsin 10 days ago and were man-handled at the Kohl Center. They’ll be looking for that sweet thing called revenge tomorrow.
- Kansas State (12-9, 5-3 Big 12) at #9 Kansas (17-3, 6-1 Big 12)- 1 PM, ESPN
This is the first match-up between the two Big 12 teams from the Sunflower state this season. Kansas State missed a big
opportunity against West Virginia on Tuesday and getting a fourth conference loss may be deadly to the Wildcats. Getting a win at Allen Fieldhouse is never an easy task and Marcus Foster and Nino Williams will need to play well. Foster was benched earlier in the season by Coach Weber but he has responded nicely. Kansas will counter with Perry Ellis and Frank Mason. Mason has been a nice surprise this year for Coach Self as the sophomore G is leading the Jayhawks in minutes per game, points, and assists. Lawrence will be the place to be tomorrow.
- #12 Wichita State (19-2 9-0 MVC) at #18 Northern Iowa (19-2, 8-1 MVC)- 3 PM, ESPN2
Ahhhh, the biggest game of the Missouri Valley conference season is upon us. Northern Iowa will finally get their chance to prove all the doubters wrong. The Panthers are just nine points short of being 21-0 this year. The reason this team is so good is because they’re 6th in the nation at points allowed at 54.7 per game. If you exclude OT games, the Panthers have allowed just two teams to reach 60 points this year! Wichita State, on the other hand, is almost just as good of a defensive team as they are 8th in the nation in points allowed at just 56.0 per game. 60 points may be the magic number to reach in this one.
@coach_fritz: Northern Iowa
@catteberry33: Wichita State
- #13 North Carolina (17-4, 7-1 ACC) at #10 Louisville (17-3, 5-2 ACC)- 3 PM, ESPN
Here are some stats for you. North Carolina is 2nd in the nation at rebounding and at assists per game. They’re also 16th in points scored per game. Marcus Paige has been an absolute monster this year. He has lived up to all the hype and then some. The junior G looks primed and ready for an NBA career. If you flip the coin, Louisville could not be more different than the Tar Heels. They are a defensive machine that can struggle offensively sometimes. Coach Pitino’s boys have really bought in on the defensive side, especially Montrezl Harrell. These two teams have already seen each other once as Marcuse Paige banked in a shot in the closing seconds to give UNC the 1-point victory.
- George Washington (16-5, 6-2 A-10) at Rhode Island (14-5, 6-2 A-10)- 3 PM
This may be the biggest bubble game of the weekend. Both of these teams absolutely need pivotal bubble wins to get the committee to take a long look at their resumes. For Rhode Island, this is an elimination game. This is one of the few chances they have left on their conference slate after already losing to VCU earlier in the year. George Washington is a little different. They have some wiggle room but this would give them some cushion. The Colonials missed a huge chance against VCU earlier this week and will need to get this one.
@coach_fritz: George Washington
@catteberry33: Rhode Island
- #19 Texas (14-6, 3-4 Big 12) at #20 Baylor (15-5, 3-4 Big 12)- 5 PM, ESPN2
Texas will play their 3rd ranked team in as many contests tomorrow as they travel to Wace. The Longhorns have under-
performed this year as this team brought back EVERY SINGLE PLAYER from last year and added some talent. They’re fading big-time in the conference race and absolutely cannot lose a 5th conference game. Baylor, meanwhile, is coming off a tough loss to the hands of Oklahoma State. Baylor has been sort of a weird team this year as they have been up and down at times. Coach Drew better figure it out because the Bears also look to avoid a 5th conference loss.
- #4 Duke (17-3, 4-3 ACC) at #2 Virginia (19-0, 7-0 ACC)- 6 PM, ESPN
Can Duke right the ship after suffering a brutally tough loss just 3 days ago? We will find out tomorrow. The Blue Devils just dismissed Rasheed Sulaimon from the team due to a violation of team rules. This could mean we could see Grayson Allen get more minutes now. The freshman was highly recruited out of high school but has yet to find his way in Durham. Virginia is one of the 2 last undefeated teams in college hoops. Tony Bennett may be the most underrated coach in America as he has built a stellar program. Malcolm Brogdon and Justin Anderson have played lights out this year and the Cavaliers will want to win their 20th game in as many tries tomorrow.
- Memphis (13-7, 6-3 AAC) at #3 Gonzaga (21-1, 10-0 WCC)- 9 PM, ESPN2
- Michigan (13-8, 6-3 Big 10) at Michigan State (14-7, 5-3 Big 10)- Noon, ABC