Is Kentucky-Louisville currently a better rivalry than Duke-North Carolina?
I'm not 100 percent certain that I'd go that far.
But it's definitely a more interesting rivalry.
Let's do the Friday Look Ahead.
|John Wall leads the unbeaten Wildcats against the Cardinals. (Getty Images)|
Another interesting matchup: Bill Self's top-ranked Kansas Jayhawks will get their toughest test to date Saturday when they play No. 18 Temple at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia. It'll be the Jayhawks' first game against a ranked opponent and just their second true road game. To remain undefeated, they'll have to snap Temple's seven-game winning streak and win at a place where Villanova already lost.
Yet another interesting matchup: Seventh-ranked Duke has established itself as the best of the one-loss teams while winning its past four games by an average of 40 points. Jon Scheyer looks like the ACC Player of the Year, Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler are performing like all-league selections, and Mason Plumlee is healthy. So it shouldn't be a surprise that Mike Krzyzewski feels good about how things are going heading into Sunday's ACC opener against No. 21 Clemson.
"I'm not saying we're this perfect machine, but we're anxious to start," Krzyzewski said. "And the nine kids we have that are going to play are healthy enough to play. We have bruises and knees and all that kind of stuff, but when you have nine guys that can play and they have great attitudes and they're hungry to play, then it's time to get going."
Guaranteed to be a blowout: Ten of Kansas State's 12 victories have come by double-digits, including each of the past six in a nine-game winning streak. On Sunday, the 12th-ranked Wildcats get South Dakota. So you can go ahead and make that 11 of 13 and each of the past seven.
Guaranteed to be an upset: I've nailed three straight in this category by taking unranked home teams over ranked visitors, and I could do it again -- but that wouldn't really test my skills. So give me unranked UTEP over No. 20 Texas Tech at Texas Tech on Sunday. Derrick Caracter is averaging 14.2 points and 12.0 rebounds in his past five outings. If he gets a double-double against the Red Raiders, we'll be celebrating my brilliance again Monday.
Player trying to keep rolling: Scottie Reynolds is averaging more points (17.2), assists (4.2), rebounds (3.4) and steals (1.7) per game than he's ever averaged, and he's doing it while shooting a career-best 45.1 percent from the field for No. 8 Villanova. Still, Reynolds isn't always mentioned in conversations about elite guards, and I'm starting to think that might be an oversight heading into Saturday's game at Marquette.
Player trying to get rolling: It would be silly to blame Kemba Walker for Connecticut's loss at Cincinnati the other night, but he certainly didn't help. The sophomore guard was 3 of 11 from the field with four turnovers as he extended a poor streak in which he's made just 11 of 39 field-goal attempts in UConn's past four outings. Assuming Ater Majok never makes the impact he was supposed to make, Walker must be better. If not, the 10th-ranked Huskies could also get caught Saturday against Notre Dame.
Three things you need to know
1. Ekpe Udoh's importance to Baylor can be measured in a lot of ways, but the best way is to look at how the Bears are rebounding this season as opposed to last season, when Udoh was sitting out per NCAA transfer rules. Baylor outrebounded its opponents by an average of 0.7 boards last season but are now outrebounding opponents by an average of 11.4 boards, meaning they're better this season by an average of 10.7 boards per game. Udoh is averaging 10.3 boards per game. So yeah, the transfer from Michigan is having a massive impact heading into Saturday's game at South Carolina.
2. Two of college basketball's best "Fantasy" players will meet Sunday when Houston plays Iowa State. On one side is the Cougars' Aubrey Coleman, who is averaging a nation-best 26.6 points per game. On the other side is Craig Brackins, a 6-foot-10 forward who is averaging 17.5 points and 8.1 rebounds for the Cyclones while shooting 59.1 percent from 3-point range.
3. The Atlantic 10 as a conference has moved to fourth in the RPI thanks to several nice wins over prominent BCS-affiliated programs, and more could be on the way. In addition to Kansas-Temple, this weekend provides Oklahoma State-Rhode Island, Georgia Tech-Charlotte and Xavier-Wake Forest. My guess is that the A-10 gets a win in at least one of those matchups. A 2-2 record in those four games would be great.
Final thought: Gonzaga coach Mark Few has apologized for the "dreadful" performance his team delivered on what he called my network, and though I appreciated him calling it my network, I told him no apology was necessary. I mean, this is same network that canceled Secret Talents of the Stars after one show, and there's no way Gonzaga's 76-41 loss to Duke two weeks ago was worse than Star Trek's George Takei singing On the Road Again. So, Coach Few, if you're reading, man, don't even worry about it. You're back on my network with a game at Illinois on Saturday. Long as Elias Harris doesn't try Friends in Low Places, we're cool.