Last week brought a number of hard fought and close games. With the excitement of last second shots, close games, hard fought battles, and even frustrated coaches, the national landscape changed in dramatic fashion. This week brings great opportunities for teams to make their cases for tournament seedings and in some cases, inclusion in the NCAA Tournament. Here are a few of the games that should glue us to the TV as the season begins the home stretch.
Baylor vs 24 Texas
At 9 pm EST on Wednesday, ESPNU will televise the battle between the Bears and the Longhorns. Baylor has won their last four games but two of them have needed overtime. On the other side of the court, Texas has lost three of their last five, including a 31 point loss on Saturday. The last time the teams met, the Longhorns won by 14 in Baylor. Look for the home crowd to make a difference in this game as Texas pulls out the win.
11 Cincinnati vs Connecticut
Saturday at Noon EST, ESPN will show the Bearcats visiting the Huskies. Cincinnati is coming off a last second home loss to Louisville and will be looking to keep their lead in the AAC. Connecticut is out of the running for the leagues top seed, but will be looking to bulk up their resume for the Big Dance. The last time the teams faced off, the Bearcats beat the Huskies at home by five. Look for the home team to take this game as well.
7 Louisville vs 21 Memphis
Another great match-up on Saturday will pit the Cardinals against the Tigers on CBS at 2 pm EST. Louisville is sitting half a game behind Cincinnati for the AAC lead, and would love to put more pressure on the Bearcats. They are currently on a six game win streak that includes a last second shot against Cincinnati. Memphis has won five of their last six and will be trying to boost their seeding in the NCAA tournament. In the last meeting, the Tigers knocked off the Cardinals by six, on the road. Look for Memphis to earn the sweep as the win at home.
4 Syracuse vs 12 Virginia
In possibly the best game of the week, ESPN will show the Orange visit the Cavaliers at 4 pm EST on Saturday. Syracuse is coming off two losses last week, including a very emotional loss to Duke. Even though they started off the week undefeated and ranked number one, they will be visiting Virginia with two conference losses and possibly a game and a half behind the Cavaliers for the league lead. Virginia has won 11 straight and will be looking to continue their streak and put another win on their resume. Look for Syracuse to bounce back and take the game on the road.
BYU vs San Diego
In the first of a limited number of key games in the WCC, the Cougars will take on the Toreros on ROOT Sports at 4 pm EST on Saturday. BYU is looking to hold on to the second seed in the WCC Tournament and keep their at large bid alive for the Big Dance. The Cougars have won seven of their last eight while beating Gonzaga and Saint Mary's. San Diego has lost four of their last seven but are coming off a huge win against Gonzaga and will be confident they can beat the Cougars at home. Look for the Cougars to come out and play as if their tournament hopes are on the line and take another one on the road.
Gonzaga vs Saint Mary's
On Saturday at 10 pm on ESPN2 the Bulldogs will travel to face the Gaels and try to regain some momentum heading into the WCC Tournament. Gonzaga has endured their first back to back losses of the year and will need to win one of their last two in order to solidify the regular season league championship. The Gaels are coming off a win but lost the previous two games to San Francisco and BYU. This should be an exciting game but look for the Bulldogs to pull off the win on the road.
Now that we have given you our picks, what are yours?
10 pm EST ESPN2 Gonzaga @ Saint Mary's