It feels like yesterday when we saw three of the top five teams lose, and another three teams jumping into the top 25. Okay, that didn’t happen as we remembered. We didn’t get to see the top five, according to last week’s rankings, lose last week.
But they didn’t have a tough schedule. You can recap that here. And this week will be different as we wrap up another month of the college basketball season and turn our attention to the madness waiting to happen.
Of course, we can’t forget about this week’s rankings, as we will once again have three new teams in. We’ll find out those teams Monday morning, but let’s see how it all effects this week’s set of games as we head into the final full month of the season.
Monday, Jan. 28th
Duke versus Notre Dame
Duke is looking continue showing us they belong in the top five. They are also looking to prove to me why they should be No. 2 overall in the rankings instead of No. 5 like I put them last week. They are also out to prove they deserve to have one of the top four spots in the seeding when it comes time for the tournament.
Notre Dame wants to punch their ticket to the big dance early. A big win over the top team in the ACC will certainly look good on their resume, especially after the bad loss they took to Virginia on Saturday. It might even be the fuel they need to finish the season strong and help them with a deep run in March.
TCU versus Texas Tech
Both of these teams are going in different directions, and it’s not good for Texas Tech, who has lost three of their last four games. Both of these teams are fighting for the right to be in the top 25 after we saw a big drop for Texas Tech last week. Fortunately, they have remained in the top 25 for now, but a loss against TCU will definitely knock them out.
They could probably switch positions in the rankings with a TCU win. But they both want to continue adding more valuable wins to their resume.
Tuesday, Jan. 29th
Tennessee versus South Carolina
This game is all about proving that Tennessee is the No. 1 team in the nation. They took care of business last week with a big win over West Virginia. That will likely keep them right where they are for at least one more week. They can’t let this conference game against South Carolina get away from them though, especially if they want to have the top seed in the tournament. Can South Carolina pull off the upset, or will Tennessee manage to remain on top?
Kansas versus Texas
Kansas took a tough loss to Kentucky this Saturday that will likely knock them out of the top 10 and affect their chances of landing one of the top eight spots in the bracket when it gets time for that. Until then, Kansas will look to take control over their conference and win the conference tournament.
Texas is looking to get their way into the tournament as well, but unfortunately the Longhorns are continuously struggling and they may not be a team that makes the tournament this year.
Virginia versus North Carolina State
Virginia rebounded from their loss against Duke with a big win over Notre Dame, as they destroyed the Fighting Irish and looked like the best team in the ACC again. Of course, they would have to beat Duke to get that title back, but they’ll also be playing for one of the top seeds in the tournament. It may come down to who wins the conference title.
North Carolina State is still hanging on to a top 25 spot, but they are slowly falling out. Their schedule doesn’t get any easier. If they want to be taken seriously in the ACC, this game will be key.
Michigan versus Ohio State
Michigan is still one of those top teams who are looking for a top seed in the tournament. They have looked like one of the best teams, until they lost to Wisconsin and got their first loss. But Michigan rebounded nicely with a big win over Indiana.
Ohio State has lost six of their last seven games. They went from being as high as 14th in the rankings, to possibly missing out on the tournament. A big win here could give them a lot of hope for their chances to make the dance.
Kentucky versus Vanderbilt
Kentucky took care of Kansas on Saturday and secured their spot in the top 10. They aren’t done yet though, as they want to make it in the top five and get a better seed in the tournament. As long as they continue to win games they should win, they should be able to make a big push for the top.
Wednesday, Jan. 30th
Butler versus Marquette
This is one of those games where Marquette needs to win. They want to continue to win games to improve their chances for a higher seed. Butler will be coming out to play their best game of the season, as they look to get a chance to play in the tournament after a rocky season.
West Virginia versus Iowa State
Iowa State needs to continue to win the conference games, because those are what matters right now. They had a great win over the SEC’s Mississippi in a week that featured SEC versus BIG XII, but they need to focus on their conference as the season comes down to the wire.
West Virginia got embarrassed by No. 1 ranked Tennessee. They look to rebound against Iowa State. West Virginia needs this win if they want to have a chance to be in the tournament, but the Cyclones have another plans.
Thursday, Jan. 31st
There is no game of interest on Thursday, other than a rematch between Houston and Temple, where Houston looks to get revenge for their only loss on the season so far. This game against Temple is the first of 10 games against conference opponents, eight of which have winning records, including Cincinnati twice. Can Houston continue to lead the conference with one loss and earn themselves a high seed come tournament time?
Friday, Feb. 1st
Michigan versus Iowa
As I said before, Michigan is out to take the top spot in the nation, but their schedule the rest of the way does not favor them. Iowa is also trying to get themselves a better spot in the standings after repeatedly being in the 20-25 range. A win over the Big Ten’s top team will definitely help Iowa get over that hump, but is it going to be enough?
Maryland versus Wisconsin
The Big Ten started with seven of their 12 teams ranked at some point in the season. Now we are only down to about four of them, but neither one of these teams are in it. They could get their chance to be ranked again with a win in this game, but they still have to prove they are worthy of a top spot by not only winning, but winning big.
Saturday, Feb. 2nd
Virginia Tech versus North Carolina State
North Carolina State looks to be busy this week with their ACC opponents coming to knock them down. This is a make or break week for NC State. If they come up big in this game despite the results of the Virginia game, they should still be able to stay ranked. They could also fall as quickly as they rise. This isn’t the part of the season where you can make any crucial mistakes, so let’s see what NC State can do this week!
Duke versus St. John’s
Duke looks to continue to remain one of the best teams in nation. This game isn’t one that should be taken lightly, especially since this is one of those prove it games for St. John’s.
We already know what to expect from Duke, as they continue be led by Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett. St. John’s has had a decent season and were even ranked in the top 25 a few times. Unfortunately, they were knocked out because of their recent struggles. A big win against Duke could be huge for St. John’s and their chances for a good seed in the tournament.
Iowa State versus Texas
Iowa State looks to continue taking advantage of the weaker conference opponents as they head into the final full month of the season. They want to add some key wins on their resume when it comes time for making the big decision. Can Iowa State continue winning conference games, or will Texas knock them down?
North Carolina versus Louisville
North Carolina lost to Louisville a few weeks ago. It was a minor set back in their season, as they dropped out of the top 10 and have four losses. This is a revenge game for these Tar Heels, but it’s also a game that will help give them the momentum to finish strong. They still have games against both Duke and Virginia.
Louisville looks to beat North Carolina for the second time this season and also use it as their own momentum. They too have games left against Virginia and Duke. Louisville also has a game against Virginia Tech that might be more interesting than it looks now.
Mississippi State versus Mississippi
Not sure if both of these teams will be able to finish as one of the top 25, but they will be in dance. Mississippi State looks to dance their way to revenge after an earlier loss this season to Ole Miss.
Both teams have been struggling lately, so this will hopefully be a win that motivates them to finish strong. Of course, that will not be easy with both still having games against Kentucky and Tennessee.
Texas Tech versus Kansas
Both of these teams have been victims of Iowa State this season. The Big XII is still wide open for anyone to claim. Although, I think Kansas will ultimately win the conference and stay in the top 15, Texas Tech may be fighting for a spot in the top 25 as we start getting into the tougher conference play. Can both of these teams finish atop their conference despite the winner of this game?
Michigan State versus Indiana
How about Michigan State? They seem to be the only team in the Big Ten who can challenge Michigan, although we haven’t even seen the two of them play each other yet. That makes the final month of the season all the more interesting, especially when they are both in the top 10.
Unfortunately, they lost to Purdue early Sunday and it might have effected them. The Spartans’ 21-game Big Ten winning streak was snapped in the process. Now Michigan State will be looking to rebound against a beaten up Indiana team.
That is unless Indiana has something to say about that and they get a much needed win over one of the biggest opponents of the season. Indiana is in need of a big win to add to their resume for this season, as they will be one of those teams who may miss the tournament after having a good start.
Sunday, Feb. 3rd
No game of interest taking place in college basketball on this day. The biggest game of the year in the National Football League will be taking place in Atlanta, Georgia, and it will be one for the ages. Check back this week for some of the most memorable Super Bowl moments.
Also keep an eye on how teams do this week as we start to wrap up another month of basketball and look ahead for the madness. Will we see a new No. 1 team in the rankings, or will Tennessee continue to prove themselves worthy? How about the top ten? Will it be the same? Comment on which games you think are important and who might be on upset alert!
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