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College Basketball Weekly Watch List 1/15-1/22

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College Basketball Weekly Watch List 1/15-1/22

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We are one day into this week of college basketball, and surprise, surprise, it’s already been a wild one. This week doesn’t present any major blockbuster match-ups, but there is potential for some huge upsets and some games that will shake up the projected NCAA tournament field. Let’s not waste anymore time. Here are the games every college hoops fan needs to keep an eye on this week.

Hot Takes:

Rock Chalk Jayhawk:

It’s no secret that the Kansas Jayhawks have much more competition in the Big 12 then they have had in the past 13 years. For a month or so, they had fans thinking that just maybe it wouldn’t be their year to win the conference. But they spoofed us all. With a massive road win over West Virginia, the Jayhawks are right back on track to do some damage throughout the rest of the year. Their biggest concern now? A team that downright nobody saw coming.

Welcome to the party, Texas Tech:

At this point, you are out of your mind if you don’t consider Texas Tech as a legitamate team. I didn’t believe in this team until they came in to Allen Fieldhouse, the toughest place to play in college basketball, and manhandled the Kansas Jayhawks. Believe it or not, they are in the driver’s seat in the Big 12. The one thing that concerns me about this team is their lack of experience, so a bump in the road wouldn’t stun me, but expect this team to be around come tournament time.

Big Ten, Big Bounceback:

I was preparing myself to demolish the Big Ten in this week’s edition, but I held myself back when I realized what Ohio State and Michigan are doing. Ohio State is supposed to be rebuilding, but look where they are now? Meanwhile, Michigan is supposed to be a bubble team if anything, but they are coming off a road win at Michigan State. So, what the heck is happening in the Big Ten? Well, say goodbye to Wisconsin, Minnesota and Northwestern, the teams that were supposed to do something this year, and turn your attention to the two aforementioned start-ups. Purdue still seems like the clear favorite to win the conference, but who knows what the standings will look like next week. Even the Indiana Hoosiers are getting into the mix.

Tuesday:

Clemson at North Carolina:

I am going to start off this preview by saying North Carolina is extremely lucky that they are still ranked. If Notre Dame would have made their layup buzzer-beater, the defending champions would have fallen outside of the top 25, but they didn’t and now they are ranked 15th. They welcome Clemson on Tuesday, which should be a phenomenal game. The Tigers got a big win over Miami this weekend but are still searching for that signature win to really solidify them as a top 25 team. Marcquise Reed has been phenomenal and Donte Grantham has been a huge boost to Clemson, but I don’t think their talent will be enough to knock off a North Carolina team (riding high on momentum) at home. Joel Berry is going to have a bounce back game and the Tar Heels will pick up their third straight W.

Games to Watch:

Wisconsin at Purdue

Louisville at Notre Dame

Kentucky at South Carolina

Clemson at North Carolina

Picks:

North Carolina beats Clemson

Kentucky beats South Carolina

Notre Dame beats Louisville

 

Wednesday:

Texas Tech at Texas:

I’ll say it again, Texas Tech is legit. Did anyone see it coming? Nope. They solidified themselves as a top 25 team after they beat Kansas on the road and will take the lead in the Big 12 with a win over Texas. The Longhorns are off to a rough start in the conference, but are coming off an emotional win over TCU a couple games ago the day one of their star players, Andrew Jones, was diagnosed with Leukemia. Although they haven’t gotten off to the start they were hoping for in Big 12 play, Texas is still one solid team. This game is going to be extremely close. No team will ever have a double digit lead. Although I have a ton of respect for this Red Raiders program I am taking the Longhorns in the upset of the week. But just so you know in advance, TTU will be back.

Game to Watch:

Auburn at Alabama

Texas Tech at Texas

Seton Hall at Creighton

Picks:

Auburn beats Alabama

Texas beats Texas Tech

Creighton beats Seton Hall

 

Thursday:

St. Mary’s at Gonzaga (Blockbuster of the Week):

Pay attention to this matchup because this is going to be the Gonzaga Bulldogs’ one decent opponent until tournament time. St. Mary’s is coming in red-hot after defeating teams that pretty much none of us have heard of and Gonzaga is pretty much the same. So, before I dive into this preview, I am going to express the need for the Bulldogs to change conferences. They have proven the past few years that they are as good as almost any team in college basketball and they nearly won the national title last year. Still, they are playing nobody schools from the WCC. Pac-12, Mountain West, Big 12, whatever–somebody pick this team up! Now to the game. The Gaels could potentially break the top 25 with a huge road win. If you haven’t heard the name Jock Landale yet, get used to it because you will hear it a lot if St. Mary’s makes a big tournament run. He is averaging 21.2 points per game and is the Bulldogs biggest threat. Meanwhile for the Zags, Johnathan Williams is a huge reason why this team is ranked in the top 25 along with Josh Perkins and Zach Norvell Jr. This will be another back and forth game. The Gaels are going to put up an incredible fight, but will fall just short in the closing seconds of the contest. Zag’s get another signature dub.

Games to Watch:

Virginia at Georgia Tech

Minnesota at Maryland

St. Mary’s at Gonzaga

Picks:

Virginia beats Georgia Tech

Maryland beats Minnesota

Gonzaga beats St. Mary’s

 

Friday:

Indiana at Michigan State:

Could Indiana be a tournament team? College basketball expert analyst Andy Katz sure thinks so, and so do I, but that is only if they beat Michigan State on the road. In order for the Hoosiers to win, they need Juwan Morgan and Robert De’Ron Davis to have big games in the paint along with sharp shooter Robert Johnson to be big along the perimeter. Nick Ward has blossomed into a clutch player for the Spartans and has stepped up when Miles Bridges has been quiet, but in recent games it hasn’t been enough. Last week Michigan State had to go to overtime with a simply mediocre Rutgers program, then of course lost to Michigan on their home floor. All factors considered, this could be a really close game and there’s definitely potential for an upset, but Michigan State dropping their second game at home seems a little unrealistic. I’m taking the Spartans in a tight one at the Breslin Center.  

Games To Watch:

St. Bonaventure at Davidson

Illinois at Wisconsin

Indiana at Michigan State

Picks:

Davidson beats St. Bonaventure

Wisconsin beats Illinois

Michigan State beats Indiana

 

Saturday:

Xavier at Seton Hall:

The Seton Hall Pirates got off to a wicked hot start in one of the best conferences in college basketball, but have since cooled off after suffering a 20-point loss to Marquette. Saturday afternoon they have a huge home game against the Xavier Musketeers, which will be their first game this year against a top-15 team. In their most recent game against Georgetown, Myles Powell and Desi Rodriguez both put up 19 points in a double-digit win over the Bulldogs, while Angel Delgado was once again efficient in the paint. In order to defeat this difficult Musketeer team all of them, including Khadeen Carrington, need to be extremely efficient on offense, because when Xavier gets hot, there is no stopping them. Trevon Bluiett had a bounceback game Saturday afternoon where he put up 24 points in a win over Creighton. The Musketeers’ other super star, J.P. Macura, on the other hand, has been quiet. He only had ten points and has seemed to be in a slump the past few games. Xavier’s X-factor will be Kerem Kanter. He has filled the role as their big man and has been a huge factor in why they are in third place in the Big East. This is going to be a very high-scoring game. If both teams win this week, then this game will determine who will take over second place in the conference. Xavier will get off to a cold start, but will bounce back in the second half and defeat the Pirates on a huge run to close the game.

Games to Watch:

Villanova at Connecticut

Rhode Island at Dayton

Oklahoma at Oklahoma State

Xavier at Seton Hall

Notre Dame at Clemson

Florida at Kentucky

Picks:

Villanova beats Connecticut

Rhode Island beats Dayton

Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma

Xavier beats Seton Hall

Clemson beats Notre Dame

 

Sunday:

Miami at NC State:

We all know by now that PNC Arena is extremely difficult to play in no matter how good NC State is. Miami is coming off a tough home loss to Duke and a crushing defeat at Clemson. They are lucky to still be in the top 25 and need to win in Raleigh to keep it that way. Allerik Freeman and Torin Dorn have been immense for the Wolfpack, while Dewan Huell and Bruce Brown Jr. have struggled in their past few games. This is going to be a defining game for Miami. Are they a legit top 25 team? If they are they will win Sunday afternoon, but I don’t see that happening. I like NC State to pull the upset. Miami is slumping and they will need to pick up a signature win next week in order to impress the NCAA Tournament committee

Games To Watch:

Miami at NC State

Virginia at Wake Forest

Boston College at Louisville

Picks:

NC State beats Miami

Virginia beats Wake Forest

Louisville beats Boston College

 

Last Week:

(19-5)

Overall Record:

(69-32)

 

About the Writer
Joe Thomas, Author

Joe Thomas is a staff writer for The Forest Scout who has a burning passion for sports. He covers high school football, hockey and baseball along with...

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College Basketball Weekly Watch List 1/15-1/22