By Chris Carlson
Another entertaining week of College Basketball another batch of major upsets. Only in this up-side-down regular season could a winless in-conference club go on to pull off a miracle victory not once but twice in a matter of days. Let’s take a look at the upcoming slate of games through Wednesday which this scribe along with everyone else has no idea how it turn out.
Marquee Matchup on Saturday
#3 Purdue vs. #4 Michigan State: On Wednesday the Boilermakers failed to close out their Big Ten business versus Ohio State. Now, Purdue takes the show on the road against a deep and sturdy Spartan team. On the court that is a fact, but plenty of outside distractions will either bring Michigan State’s locker room closer or bleed into the games. Each team has the pieces in place to make a final four run come tourney time. This matchup is a 50-50 proposition. At some point this red-hot Purdue club is due for some adversity and it will come this Saturday, dropping back to back games.
The Pick: Michigan State protects home court adding a quality win to their resume.
Marquee Matchup on Tuesday
#7 Texas Tech vs. #17 Oklahoma: The Big-12 race is heating up and one of these programs could finally dethrone the Kansas Jayhawks. The Red Raiders look to have rebounded nicely off their mediocre phase, sitting atop the Big-12. Oklahoma is stuck in fourth gear, hampered by riding the back of Trey Young. Defense stands out as a difference-maker which favors Texas Tech.
The Pick: Red Raiders keep their good mo-jo going with a solid victory over the Sooners.
Marquee Matchup on Wednesday
#8 Auburn vs. #24 Kentucky: The biggest surprise in the country by far is the Auburn Tigers. Not just as flash in the pan, the Tigers have managed to keep a tight-grip on the SEC lead for a while. Kentucky is nowhere near elite this year, (who is?) yet still represent a tougher test then the recent run of ho-hum opponents Auburn faced. This blogger is not ready to fully trust Kentucky in March. However after losing a close one at home vs. Tennessee, of course Kentucky will win to add to this wacky College Hoops season.
The Pick: The Wildcats replicate a spirited road win against West Virginia and seal the deal in a razor-tight finish.
Upset Special of the Week
#2 Virginia is very impressive squad in a variety of ways. #25 Miami is in need of a signature win and a wild home arena in Coral Gables helps their cause. The Hurricanes halt Virginia’s string of 16-straight victories.
Under The Radar
#11 St. Mary’s vs. #12 Gonzaga is a West Coast Conference rivalry flying under the radar with plenty of importance both in-league and on the national scene.
Quick Hits Recap
-#10 Kansas has lost 3 games at Allen Fieldhouse this season for the 1st time since 1998-99. Marking head coach Bill Self’s 13th loss at home in 15 seasons at Kansas.
-St. John’s 11-game losing streak ends in miraculous fashion, somehow upending #1 Villanova and #4 Duke.
-So far this wacky season has produced 36-losses inside the Associated Press Top-10.
-The 8th-ranked Auburn Tigers sit atop the SEC standings entering the AP-Top 10 poll for the first time since 2000.
-On Thursday another chapter in the longstanding North Carolina vs. Duke rivalry, separated by an 8-mile stretch of Tobacco road, lived up to the billing per usual. UNC rallied back from a 12-point deficit at the break to defeat Duke 82-78.
*Note: The rankings used in this prediction article will not reflect the new Associated Press Top-25 rankings.
Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio or TheGruelingTruth.Net
Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio