Top 10 Games to Watch this Weekend


10. Wake Forest at #17 Xavier, 8pm ET (FS1) – The semi-annual Skip Prosser Tournament pins the late Prosser’s two teams against each other every other season. Prosser would be proud of the efforts of both teams so far, especially Wake who learned how to score again this season (82.0 ppg). Although Xavier needs to win this game at home very badly after dropping two of its last three.

9. Dayton vs. Northwestern, 7pm ET (BTN) – A huge non-conference game for both teams, benefitting the winner rather largely come Selection Sunday. Here is your friendly reminder that Northwestern has never made the dance. Dayton’s Charles Cooke and Scoochie Smith are the best guard duo in the A10 and extremely fun to watch. Northwestern has only lost to Butler and Notre Dame and has beaten Texas and Wake Forest, so this would be another big win for them towards making history.

8. Memphis at Oklahoma, 12:30pm ET (CBS) – Two big name programs and teams that will most likely be in the NCAA tournament as 7-9 seeds. Memphis tries to turn things around after losing 2 of its last 3 to Ole Miss and Monmouth as Oklahoma tries to do the same after losing to Wisconsin and Wichita State. Something has to give in Norman.

7. Davidson vs. #3 Kansas (game played in Kansas City), 7pm ET (ESPN2) – Davidson almost beat North Carolina in Chapel Hill and Jack Gibbs is probably the best player in the A-10. Gibbs and Frank Mason III are virtually the same style of player except Mason has become a bigger perimeter threat this year.

6. #19 Arizona vs. Texas A&M (game played in Houston), noon ET (ESPN2) – Arizona’s freshman seven footer Lauri Markkanen might be the best player from a good team, in a good conference that you haven’t heard of. He’ll go head-to-head against Tyler Davis as A&M tries not to lose to a third-straight Pac-12 opponent this season.

5. Georgetown at Syracuse, noon  ET (ESPN) – The ole’ band is back in town with a nice former Big East matchup. The 92nd meeting of this historic rivalry shows that these two teams still enjoy butting heads on a yearly basis (take notes Maryland and Duke). Both teams have struggled to start the season but this should be a bruiser and a huge win for whoever survives come March.

4. #21 Notre Dame vs. #15 Purdue (Game in Indianapolis), 2pm ET (ESPN2) – Any other weekend and this game is higher on the list, but what a great weekend we’ve got coming up. This is the first game in the annual Crossroads Classic, which is the best under-the-radar yearly event that pins the four best schools in the Hoosier State against one another. Notre Dame fought tooth and nail with Nova this past weekend and led for the majority of the game only to fall late. Purdue also lost a heartbreaker to Nova early in the season and more recently to Louisville. Both teams should be ranked higher in my opinion and whoever wins this one should skyrocket through the rankings.

3. Ohio State vs. #2 UCLA (Game in Las Vegas), 3pm ET (CBS) – I wrote a whole article on the CBS Sports Classic (http://www.collegehoopsdaily.com/cbs-sports-classic-preview/) but here are the highlights. Lonzo Ball against JaQuan Lyle will be an excellent guard matchup and UCLA is the best team in the country in my opinion and should be watched as often as possible.

2. #18 Butler vs. #9 Indiana (Game in Indianapolis), 4:30pm ET (BTN) – The remote is going to be getting a workout watching these top four games of the weekend, which are unfortunately very much overlapping. Indiana is 2-0 in their huge tests against North Carolina and Kansas, but lost that unforgivable game to IPFW, who probably think they now deserve to be in the Crossroads Classic. Butler has its best team since Gordon Hayward’s buzzer-beater rimmed out against Duke in the 2010 championship. They have already beaten Arizona, Utah, and Cincinnati, but like Indiana lost a stinker to another Hoosier State squad, Indiana State. This game is for more than just bragging rights, it is for redemption against schools in the state of Indiana.

1. #7 North Carolina vs. #6 Kentucky (Game in Las Vegas), 5:45pm ET (CBS) – Probably a top three game so far this season in a year with a non-conference schedule that has already been awesome. Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox against Joel Berry and Justin Jackson and Roy vs. Calipari, what more can you ask for at 5:45pm on a Saturday. Let’s get overtime(s) in this one and watch it all night long!

Scott Zolotorow