College Basketball Games To Watch7 min read

College Basketball Games To Watch<span class="wtr-time-wrap after-title"><span class="wtr-time-number">7</span> min read</span>
Conference Season is in full swing and we are going to be expanding our College Basketball coverage here at Let Me B-Frank. Expect a weekly post on the games to watch each weekend, when the games are, what network they are on, and why they’re important.

Saturday, January 20th

#7 Wichita State at Houston 11am CT ESPNU

The Shockers are coming off a stunning home loss against SMU, their first loss in AAC play. They will head to Houston to take on the 14-4 Cougars who most people believe are fighting with the aforementioned Mustangs for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. How will Wichita State respond after the loss and can Houston take advantage of the massive opportunity at home?

Texas at #6 West Virginia 1pm CT CBS

An emotional Longhorns team knocked off Texas Tech earlier this week and will travel to Morgantown to take on Press Virginia. Bob Huggins’ team is looking to bounce back after a blown lead against Kansas at home. The focus will be Texas’ defense and how West Virginia’s offense responds after going stagnant in the final 5 minutes against the Jayhawks.

#11 Xavier at #19 Seton Hall 1:30pm CT FOX

Big game in the Big East as the Musketeers head to Newark to take on the Pirates. Xavier took down St. John’s at home in a closer than expected game while The Hall got blown out at Creighton. The biggest story coming into this game is the turbulent relationship between Desi Rodriguez and Kevin Willard, the two seemed to go at it again in Omaha which resulted in Desi playing just 6 minutes. This is a much more important game for Seton Hall than it is Xavier. Xavier needs to get their dynamic duo of Macura and Blueitt going and The Hall needs to play a complete game.

#14 Arizona at Stanford 3pm CT CBS

Believe it or not, this game is for the top of the standings in the Pac-12. Stanford has quietly gone 5-1 to open conference play and holds wins over Arizona State, USC, and UCLA. The Wildcats have found their form since the disastrous trip to the Bahamas, Colorado loss aside. The key for Stanford is figuring out how the hell they are going to defend DeAndre Ayton. Arizona needs to keep doing what they are doing and control the tempo of the game.

#21 Tennessee at South Carolina 5pm CT ESPN2

Both teams come into the game at 3-3 in SEC play with wins over Kentucky. Tennessee just had a 3-game winning streak snapped on the road at Missouri, while the Gamecocks have taken back-to-back games. South Carolina erased a 14-point deficit in the 2nd half to take down the Wildcats. The key for South Carolina is simple, defend and get Chris Silva the ball. Tennessee needs Grant Williams and, one of the best names in the country, Admiral Schofield to contain Silva and control the glass.

Utah Valley at New Mexico State 5pm CT ESPN3

Huge game in the WAC going on in Las Cruces, both teams come into the contest 4-0 in conference play. Utah Valley has won 8 straight and New Mexico State has won 5 in a row. Utah Valley can score the ball well and has six(!!) players that average double figures. New Mexico State has two studs in Zach Lofton and Jemerrio Jones. People forget that this Aggies’ team knocked off then #6 Miami. This is a strength on strength game with the Wolverines in the top-60 offensively and the Aggies top-25 defensively.

Middle Tennessee at Western Kentucky 6pm CT 

This is one of the best games of the day. Middle Tennessee has a top-40 defense and two dynamic playmakers in Nick King and Giddy Potts. Western Kentucky, even without Mitchell Robinson, has won 7-straight and currently sits at 46 in KenPom rankings. The Hilltoppers aren’t a deep team but have five players who average double figures and shoot nearly 50% as a team from the floor. Middle Tennessee needs to get Nick King involved early and often, they need him to give 20 & 10 to win this one. For Western Kentucky, they need to lock down on defense and use it to fuel their offense.

Florida at #18 Kentucky 7:15pm CT ESPN

Both teams have the ability to be great on offense but have been horribly inconsistent. Believe it or not, Kentucky is the better team in terms of defensive efficiency of the two. Jalen Hudson has been really great for Florida on the offensive end, picking up for the struggles of Chris Chiozza and KeVaughn Allen. Kentucky needs to use their depth to their advantage and wear down the Gators. If the Gators can limit second-chance opportunities, they will be in good position to grab a win at Rupp.

Boise State at Nevada 9pm CT ESPNU

Great nightcap game here, Chandler Hutchinson is arguably the best player in the Mountain West, that includes the stud Frosh Brandon McCoy over at UNLV. Hutchinson does it all averaging 19.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.2 steals, not to mention he shoots 47% from the field and 41% from 3. Nevada was the real trendy preseason pick as top mid-major team and they have lived up to that title. The Martins have been excellent and Jordan Caroline is a monster down in the paint. This is a team that is long and can shoot. Boise needs Hutchinson to dominate this game, and then play good team defense. Nevada needs to get to the rim and force the Broncos to defend.

Sunday, January 21st

Boston College at Louisville 11am CT ACCNetwork

David Padgett has done a great job at Louisville and it is going to be really disappointing if/when they don’t give him the full-time gig. But Jim Christian has a solid squad over in Chestnut Hill. Jerome Robinson loves the giant killer role and Ky Bowman has been a very nice compliment to him. Had they not lost Deontae Hawkins to a season-ending injury this would be a really fun team to watch. The Cardinals look like they’re starting to click here winning 3-straight. Ray Spalding has been playing really good basketball and is a monster on the glass, this is a deep team that is a tough match-up for most any team. BC needs a monster game from Robinson and to force the tempo. Louisville needs Quentin Snider to really control the game and distribute the ball to get his team going.

Canisius at Iona 12pm CT ESPN3

I won’t pretend to know much about either of these teams, but this is for the lead in the MAAC, one of the more entertaining mid-major conferences in America. Iona is a top-100 team in offensive efficiency and is led by Rickey McGill. The Golden Griffins are starting to hit their stride this season and have a pair of big scorers in Jermaine Crumpton and Isaiah Reese. The key to the game is to see which team’s pace they will play at. Iona likes it up-tempo, while Canisius prefers to slow it down.

Vermont at Hartford 1pm CT ESPN3

Vermont ran through the American East last season going to wire-to-wire and just overcame a halftime deficit at New Hampshire to remain unbeaten. They will now travel to Hartford, who is 4-2 in AEC play and looking for the big upset. Vermont is #22 according to KenPom in offensive efficiency and love to play in the half-court. Anthony Lamb and Trae Bell-Haynes are as good as it gets and really play the inside-out game well. Hartford has taken nearly 500 3’s this season and need to get hot from beyond the arc to win this one.


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