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Today's Specials: Holy War rivalry heats up Philadelphia

By Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer
Saint Joseph's guard Langston Galloway is still looking to regain his deadly 3-point stroke from a season ago. (US Presswire)

Monday was quiet, and while Tuesday doesn't have a load of marquee games, there are some interesting ones to keep tabs on. Of course, everything starts with one of the best nonconference rivalries: Saint Joe's and Villanova.

Note: All times are Eastern, and the rankings are according to the AP poll.

Best game: Saint Joseph's at Villanova (7 p.m., ESPNU). The Holy War. The biggest rivalry among the Big 5 games, and Saint Joseph's won last season for only the second time since 2004. Can the Hawks get another one on Tuesday? Saint Joseph's got whooped by Creighton last Saturday but bounced back with a win over Coppin State. Villanova, meanwhile, has lost four of its last six. Villanova's ability to guard the arc will be a key, as will the free-throw battle. ‘Nova loves getting to the line -- but Saint Joseph's is one of the best in the country at avoiding fouling.

Second-best game: North Dakota State at No. 13 Minnesota (9 p.m., Big Ten Network). Minnesota has rolled out to a 10-1 start this season, with the lone loss coming in the Bahamas against Duke. Saul Phillips has North Dakota State off to an 8-2 record, although the best win was over Youngstown State back in mid-November. The Bison are led by the all-around production of Taylor Braun, who uses his size and skill set to create matchup problems. Can North Dakota State keep Minnesota off the offensive glass?

Another one to watch: George Washington at Rutgers (7:30 p.m., ESPN3). Both teams are looking to develop some momentum heading into the holidays. George Washington has been terrible in close games, losing four of its five games by single digits. and Rutgers has won five of six, with the lone loss coming at Ole Miss. Villanova transfer Isaiah Armwood has been tremendous for George Washington, although Rutgers will counter on the interior with Wally Judge. The inside battle will decide the game.

Guaranteed win: No. 3 Michigan heads back to New York City this weekend for a showdown with West Virginia, but first the Wolverines have to take care of business against Binghamton (7 p.m., Big Ten Network). Binghamton has just one win against a Division I team this season, beating Saint Peter's in mid-November. Michigan should move to 10-0.

Potential upset: West Virginia got off to a 1-3 start this season, but the Mountaineers have bounced back lately -- winning three in a row, including a last-second victory to hand Virginia Tech its first loss. They face Duquesne on Tuesday night (7 p.m., CBS Sports Network). The key for the Dukes will be 3-point shooting. West Virginia struggles to guard the perimeter; if Duquesne can knock down shots, it will be close.

Three things to keep an eye on:

  1. Both Boston University and Harvard got off to rough starts this season, with BU going 0-5 and Harvard 1-3 in D-1 games. They battle on Tuesday (7 p.m.).
  2. No. 10 Illinois sent a message on Saturday, going into Gonzaga and knocking off the Bulldogs. There should be no letdown against Norfolk State (8 p.m., ESPN3).
  3. Interesting note: two of the nation's top 10 scorers will go head-to-head when Kevin Foster and Santa Clara face James Kinney and San Jose State (10 p.m.) in a rivalry game.
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