Happy February 12, everyone. Tonight we get some big time games in the ACC. Top ranked Syracuse hosts Pitt and Duke and North Carolina hook up. 4 of the top 15 are on the road. Tonight could be something crazy. Let's get to it.
(1) Syracuse at (25) Pittsburgh – ESPN
Two of the best defenses in the ACC tangle in this big time matchup between old Big East rivals. Syracuse has played as one of the slowest teams in the nation lately while Pitt hasn't broken 50 in regulation this month. The Orange topped Pittsburgh 59-54 back on January 18. That was a game the Panthers led with 2 minutes to go before Tyler Ennis took over. Ennis scored 16 in the first game, with CJ Fair and Jerami Grant adding 13 and 12 respectively. Pitt shot 38% / 35.7% / 56.5% against the Orange last time. Lamar Patterson scored 18 at the expense of 6 of 15 shooting.
South Florida at (24) Connecticut – ESPN2
The Huskies have dominated the bottom of the league throughout this calendar year. Houston happened New Year's Eve. UConn starts a finishing kick where they play bad team USF, good team Memphis, bad team Temple, good team SMU, bad team USF, good team Cincinnati, bad team Rutgers, good team Louisville.
(6) Villanova at DePaul – Fox Sports 1
The Wildcats can put a full game between themselves and Creighton by sweeping the Blue Demons. Villanova won the first meeting by 26 thanks to 55.4% shooting. James Bell led five Wildcats in double digits with 17 on 6 of 9, 3 of 5, 2 of 2, with 8 rebounds.
(14) Kentucky at Auburn – ESPN3 / Regional
Kentucky hasn't lost to Auburn since 2000, when Auburn was ranked #4. That spans 15 meetings.
(8) Duke at North Carolina – ESPN
The famous rivals meet when both are on hot streaks. Duke has won 7 of 8 with the loss being in OT to the #1 team in the country. UNC has reeled off 5 in a row, all by double figures, to move to 6-4 in the ACC standings. 4 of the top 10 scorers in ACC play are featured. You have Jabari Parker, 16.5, and Rodney Hood, 15.7, of Duke and Marcus Paige, 15.3, and James Michael McAdoo, 15.3, of North Carolina. Like I need to sell you on this one.
UCF at (20) Memphis – ESPNU
UCF has lost their conference road games by 23, 10, 18 and 17. Memphis' three straight conference home wins have been by 23, 22 and 32.
George Washington at VCU – NBC Sports Network
The two 7-2 squads in the A-10 hook up. GW has the best offense in the league at 1.09 points per possession. VCU has the second best defense at 0.94 points per possession. The players to watch in this one are Patricio Garino and Kevin Larsen of GW and Treveon Graham and Juvonte Reddic of VCU. GW won the first meeting by 10. They hit 56% from the field. Garino popped 25 on 8 of 14, 2-3, 7-8 and Larsen scored 22 on 9-11 shooting.
Baylor at TCU – ESPNU
If Baylor's NCAA hopes have any air in them, beating TCU is a must. Fun fact, the worst two teams in the Big 12 right now.
Penn State at Indiana – Big 10 Network
Indiana needed a second half rally behind Noah Vonleh's 17 points and Yogi Ferrell's 15 points and 7 assists to beat Penn State by 3 in Happy Valley.
Tennessee-Martin at Southeast Missouri St – CBS Sports
Neither one of these teams is good. Yet this is a game on TV.
New Mexico at Boise State – CBS Sports Net
The Lobos can pull into a tie with San Diego State atop the Mountain West with a win. The Lobos beat BSU 84-75 three weeks ago with a well balanced effort led by Hugh Greenwood's 20 points, Kendall Williams' 18 and Cameron Bairstow's 17. Ryan Watkins posted 15 and 22 boards for Boise that time. Can he do it again? Probably not. 22 boards is a lot.
Stanford at Washington – ESPN2
Chasson Randle went for 33 on 11-15, 1-3, 10-13 FTs when the Cardinal beat Washington at home. The next 3 seem easy, two are the Washington trip who Stanford handled the first time, before UCLA and the Arizona trip follow. This could be a 5 game win streak for the Cardinal.
Illinois at Nebraska – Big 10 Network
Nebraska has been fun to watch at home. They are 4-6 in the Big 10. Illinois is not much good.
Air Force at San Jose State – Root Sports
Not even going to pretend.
California at Washington State – ESPNU
Cal followed the Arizona win by losing to Stanford. The Bears have lost 4 of 5. Cal rolled the Washington schools earlier in the year. That included beating Wazzou by 21.
Winthrop at Longwood
Loyola (MD) at Lafayette
Navy at Bucknell
Lehigh at American
American has lost two straight to end up in a Patriot league tie. The Eagles beat Lehigh earlier in the year by 2. American would like to get on track before the showdown at Boston on the 19th.
Presbyterian at Campbell
Coastal Carolina at VMI
VMI leads the Big South 'North' at 7-3 while CC is tied with UNC-Asheville at 7-3 in the South. VMI has the best offense in the league, with High Point, while CC has the third best defense.
Army at Holy Cross
Boston at Colgate
Boston has won 4 of 5 to end up tied with American on top of the Patriot league. Colgate is the team that beat American over the weekend. Boston beat Colgate by 8 in the first meeting.
St Peter's at Iona
The Gaels have won 7 straight for a commanding 2 game lead in the MEAC. One of those wins was an 8 point victory against St Peter's.
James Madison at Delaware
The Blue Hens have gotten some scares on their way to a 10-0 conference record. One of those scares was a 78-74 win at James Madison. Delaware plays one more home game after this with 4 on the road.
Northeastern at UNC-Wilmington
Maine-Fort Kent at NJIT
Albany at UMBC – ESPN3
Rhode Island at Dayton
It would be very bad for UD's NCAA hopes if they lost this game.
Richmond at Duquesne
Same goes for Richmond, who has seemingly lost everyone on their team lately.
Binghamton at New Hampshire
George Mason at UMass
UMass won by 1 at George Mason earlier in the year. UMass has been much better at home.
Hartford at Maine
UMass Lowell at Vermont
The Catamounts have a game lead in the loss column on Stony Brook. They could make it a full game in the league with a sweep of UML. Vermont won the first meeting by 14.
Akron at Western Michigan
A big time game in the MAC as the 'East' leading Zips take on second place in the 'West' Western Michigan. Both teams have won 5 of 6. Akron has feasted on the bottom of the MAC, outside of Kent State, while the Broncos have taken down Ohio in their streak.
Bowling Green at Kent State
Buffalo at Miami
Eastern Michigan at Ball State
Ohio at Toledo – ESPN3
This is one to keep an eye on . Toledo is 20-3, 8-2 in the MAC and leading the 'West.' Ohio is 7-3 in the 'East' and 17-6 overall. Ohio won a 95-90 overtime thriller on the 1st.
Texas Tech at Oklahoma – ESPN3
The Sooners try to keep pace with Texas and to a lesser extent Kansas. OU topped Tech by 9 in Lubbock.
Drake at Missouri State – ESPN3
Loyola (IL) at Northern Iowa – ESPN3
Indiana State at Bradley
Central Michigan at Northern Illinois
Illinois State at Evansville
Georgia at Mississippi State – ESPN3
Georgia would be tied for third in the SEC with a win.
LSU at Texas A&M – ESPN3
So would LSU.
St Bonaventure at Fordham
Fresno State at Nevada