Today's Specials: Kansas looks for revenge at Oklahoma State
Wednesday is highlighted by a rematch of Oklahoma State and Kansas, while Colorado State looks to get a key road win.
|Marcus Smart will look to lead Oklahom State to another statement-making win over Kansas. (USATSI)|
Tuesday was highlighted by a top-five matchup and also featured plenty of other quality action. Not surprisingly, Wednesday is more of the same. There is a showdown in the Big 12 and numerous chances of bubble teams to continue to state their case.
Note: All times are Eastern, and the rankings are according to the AP Poll.
Best game: No. 9 Kansas at No. 14 <span data-shortcode= State" data-canon="Oklahoma Sooners" data-type="SPORTS_OBJECT_TEAM" id="shortcode0"> (9 p.m., ESPN2). When Oklahoma State went into Phog Allen and knocked off the Jayhawks a couple of weeks ago, it sent a message to the rest of the country. Kansas went on to lose two more games before righting the ship, while the Cowboys are in the midst of a seven-game winning streak. The winner of this one will move into a tie for first place with Kansas State in the conference standings; the loser has ground to make up. Kansas has received inconsistent point guard play lately, and going against stud frosh Marcus Smart isn’t the best remedy.
Second-best game: No. 22 Colorado State at UNLV (10:15 p.m., CBS Sports). Given the way the Mountain West has gone this season, I’m fully expecting it to go down to the wire. Colorado State is beginning to cement its at-large resume, although another road win here would be key. The Rams have won six in a row. UNLV has lost three of five, with each loss coming on the road. Look for the matchup inside between Anthony Bennett and Colorado State’s dominant rebounding duo of Colton Iverson and Pierce Hornung.
Another one to watch: Minnesota at No. 18 Ohio State (7 p.m., Big Ten Network). Both teams are looking for a win but in different ways. The Golden Gophers have won just three of their last 10 games, although their at-large resume is more comfortable than most people think. Meanwhile, Ohio State has lost three of its last four and only owns two top-80 wins this season. Another notch on the belt would be beneficial for the Buckeyes’ resume. The battle on the glass could be a factor, as will Minnesota’s ability to initiate its halfcourt offense.
Guaranteed win: With three games left in the regular season, Davidson has a 2.5-game lead in the Southern Conference, with Elon chasing. The Wildcats could clinch a share of the regular-season title on Wednesday -- and, fortunately for them, they are facing Furman at home (7 p.m.). The Paladins have won just four D-I games all season. In other games, undefeated WAC leader Louisiana Tech faces Central Baptist College (8 p.m.) for some reason.
Potential upset: Outside of the three “big games,” only one ranked team goes on the road, and I don’t think No. 19 Wisconsin is losing at Northwestern (9 p.m., Big Ten Network). However, a couple of Atlantic 10 teams looking to play themselves onto the bubble are at risk of a loss. Massachusetts has to go to St. Bonaventure (7 p.m.), which has been playing much better lately (despite dropping two overtime games in a row). Meanwhile, Xavier had a tough loss at Dayton over the weekend, dropping the Musketeers to 14-10 overall. Now, they head to Rhode Island (7 p.m.), which is on a two-game winning streak.
Three things to keep an eye on:
- A major bubble battle in the Big 12 goes down on Wednesday, when Iowa State visits Baylor (9 p.m., ESPNU). Neither team is comfortable right now.
- No. 3 Gonzaga is gaining some momentum has a potential No. 1 seed come March; the Bulldogs play host to Santa Clara (11 p.m., ESPNU).
- Kentucky was embarrassed by Tennessee in its first game without Nerlens Noel, but it needs to respond with an impressive effort against Vanderbilt (8 p.m., ESPN3).
Other games to watch:
-- Ranked teams
- Providence at No. 8 Syracuse (7 p.m., ESPN2)
- DePaul at No. 11 Georgetown (7 p.m., ESPN3)
- Houston at No. 21 Memphis (9 p.m.)
- Washington at No. 12 Arizona (11 p.m., ESPN2)
-- At-large implications
- South Florida at St. John’s (7 p.m., ESPN3)
- Ole Miss at South Carolina (7 p.m., ESPN3)
- Oklahoma at Texas Tech (7 p.m., ESPNU)
- Air Force at Boise State (8 p.m.)
- Mississippi State at Alabama (8 p.m., ESPN3)
- UTEP at Southern Miss (8 p.m.)
- Washington State at Arizona State (10 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
-- Conference races
- James Madison at Northeastern (7 p.m.)
- Eastern Michigan at Ohio (7 p.m.)
- Austin Peay at Eastern Kentucky (7 p.m.)
- Belmont at Eastern Illinois (8 p.m.)
- Stephen F. Austin at Sam Houston State (8:45 p.m.)
- South Dakota State at Cal State Bakersfield (10 p.m.)
- UC Davis at Long Beach State (10:05 p.m.)
For more college basketball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnCBB on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed and subscribe to our College Basketball Newsletter. You can follow Jeff Borzello on Twitter here: @jeffborzello
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