Saturday, February 22, 2014

College Basketball Games to Watch: February 22nd

(1) Syracuse vs. (5) Duke - If you don't plan on watching this game you need to rethink your day. Ever since Syracuse joined the ACC back in the offseason, this is the game that we've been waiting for. The first matchup between these two certainly did not fail to disappoint, with Syracuse winning 91 to 89 in overtime.  Duke will likely be wanting revenge after that loss back in February, and they come right off a heartbreaking loss against North Carolina.  Similarly, Syracuse come off a heartbreaking loss of their own, having just been defeat for the first time this season by lowly Boston College.  All I can hope for is that we get to see a little more of Duke star Jabari Parker, who fouled out in the last meeting between these two.

(6) San Diego State vs. New Mexico - These two teams are top of the Mountain West and there is nobody else really close.  The next best team after San Diego State, who are 12-1, and New Mexico, who are 11-2, is UNLV, who are just 8-5 in the conference.  Thus, this game will certainly decide the winner of the Mountain West, but it also has huge tournament implications for New Mexico.  As a fringe team, they are still looking for their first win and what better a way than against conference rival San Diego State.  The game also won't be lacking in scoring excitement, as New Mexico's in-out combo of Cameron Bairstow and Kendall Williams is sure to to light up the score board, while San Diego State's Xavier Thames can put up points in a big way too.

(7) Cincinnati vs. (11) Louisville - Outside of the obvious fact that this game could decide the winner of the American Conference, I am interested to watch the matchup between superstar guards Sean Kilpatrick for Cincinnati and Russ Smith for Louisville.  Kilpatrick is averaging 20.2 points per game, while Russ Smith is averaging 17.8 points per game.  In the first meeting between these two, Sean Kilpatrick put up 28 points as Cincinnati fought back to win by three.  Meanwhile, Russ Smith did not have an efficient game, and ended up with just 16 points on 6 for 15 shooting.  Louisville will be out to get revenge in this hugely significant game between the two teams at the top of the American Conference.

(8) Kansas vs. (19) Texas - Much like the other three games, this matchup is likely to decide the fate of the Big 12, with Kansas having a two game cushion over Texas at the top of the conference.  More than that, though, this game represents a chance for revenge for Kansas, who were beaten by 12 by Texas.  That was back when Texas were in incredible form, as they miraculously won four games in a row against ranked opponents.  Now, Texas have cooled off a fair bit, loosing two of their last four. Certainly, Kansas will look at this as a great chance for revenge against their conference rivals, while Texas will look to get back to winning ways against ranked teams.

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