Viewer's Guide: Wichita State faces stiff test at Indiana State
Wichita State and San Diego State look to keep rolling, while Stanford and California are among the potential bubble teams trying to get wins.
On Wednesday, all eyes will be on Wichita State. The Shockers have the best shot to finish the regular season unbeaten, but they first have to get out of this week unscathed. Aside from that, there are several bubble teams looking to get momentum, while San Diego State looks to keep rolling.
Note: All times are Eastern, and the rankings are according to the AP Poll.
Best game: No. 4 Wichita State at Indiana State (8:05 p.m., ESPN3). Is there where Wichita State finally falls? The Shockers sit at 23-0 overall, but the upcoming two games are where they could suffer their first loss. Up first is a trip to Indiana State, and then a Saturday road game at Northern Iowa. If Wichita State can get out of these two games without a loss, the potential pitfalls going forward are very limited. In the first meeting, Wichita State rolled by 20 points, although Indiana State star point guard Jake Odum was coming off a concussion. He needs to play well, as does Manny Arop. The Sycamores can’t allow Wichita State to get second-chance points and points at the free-throw line.
Second-best game: Stanford at California (9 p.m., ESPN2). After Arizona, the Pac-12 standings are crowded. Seven teams are either 6-3 or 5-4 in conference play – and these northern California squads are among that group. California is coming off a huge win over Arizona, snapping a three-game losing streak and boosting the Golden Bears’ resume. Stanford, meanwhile, had a slim loss to Arizona on Wednesday, but bounced back with a win over Arizona State. The battle up front could be the decider, with Dwight Powell and Josh Huestis going against Richard Solomon and David Kravish. Also keep an eye on Justin Cobbs vs. Chasson Randle. The Golden Bears getting production from Tyrone Wallace will be key.
Another one to watch: No. 5 San Diego State at Boise State (9:15 p.m., CBS Sports Network). My preseason pick to win the Mountain West against the team that will actually win it. Boise State has been inconsistent this season, winning its first eight games but going just 7-7 since then. The Broncos are struggling to win on the road, and their defense has been porous to say the least. Meanwhile, San Diego State has won 18 in a row and sits at 8-0 in the Mountain West. The Aztecs field one of the biggest lineups in the country – while Boise State relies heavily on its perimeter group. The Derrick Marks vs. Xavier Thames point guard matchup should be tremendous though.
Guaranteed win: Two games in the ACC likely won’t be very close. First up is Boston College tripping to No. 20 Virginia (7 p.m., ESPN2). Steve Donahue’s seat continues to heat up, as the Eagles are just 6-15 overall and 2-6 in the ACC. Meanwhile, Virginia is one of the hottest teams in the country, with wins in eight of nine. After that, Florida State won’t have much trouble defending its home court against Virginia Tech (9 p.m., ESPN3). The Seminoles have lost three in a row, but Virginia Tech has lost eight in a row and 10 of its last 11. The Hokies haven’t been defeated by fewer than 20 points in two weeks.
Potential upset: No. 13 Saint Louis at Saint Joseph’s (7 p.m.). Saint Joseph’s was one of the A-10 favorites a year ago, but the Hawks disappointed. Now, though, they are off to a 5-2 start in the league and can make a statement with a win over Saint Louis at home. St. Joe’s just beat UMass, and face VCU on Saturday. Picking up all three wins would be enormous. Also, keep an eye on Tennessee’s trip to Vanderbilt (8 p.m., ESPN3). It will be a white-out in the crowd, and the Commodores are fired up for it.
Three things to keep an eye on:
- Oklahoma had won four in a row before losing at Iowa State, while West Virginia has won three of four. Can the Mountaineers knock off the Sooners (7 p.m., ESPNU)?
- Minnesota has lost its last two and four of its last six games – and the Golden Gophers now go on the road for three of their next four. First up is a trip to Purdue (8:30 p.m., Big Ten Network).
- The Big South doesn’t get a ton of love here usually, so here’s this: there is one 6-2 team and five 5-3 teams in the league – all six play a game against one of the other 6-2/5-3 teams on Wednesday night. Campbell at UNC-Asheville (7 p.m.); High Point at Coastal Carolina (7 p.m., ESPN3); VMI at Gardner-Webb (7 p.m.).
Other games to watch:
- Nebraska at No. 10 Michigan (6:30 p.m., Big Ten Network)
- No. 25 Pittsburgh at Miami (7 p.m., ESPN3)
- Charleston at Delaware (7 p.m.)
- Dayton at George Mason (7 p.m.)
- Duquesne at George Washington (7 p.m.)
- La Salle at Massachusetts (7 p.m., CBS Sports Network)
- St. Bonaventure at Richmond (7 p.m.)
- American at Loyola (Md.) (7:30 p.m.)
- Alabama at Arkansas (8 p.m., ESPN3)
- No. 14 Louisville at Houston (9 p.m., ESPNU)
- UNLV at Colorado State (9 p.m., ESPN3)
- Portland at No. 23 Gonzaga (11 p.m., ROOT)
- Wyoming at New Mexico (11:05 p.m., ESPNU)
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