As the end of the year winds down, and a new year surfaces, we get to look forward to all the great basketball games that lead up to March Madness. Last week the games didn't disappoint with a shocking upset, a favored team pulling out a win, and a top 10 team going down in the final minutes. So can we look forward to another compelling week of national and WCC games to occupy our time? The answer is yes and here are a few reasons why!
The National Games:
#22 Iowa @ #4 Wisconsin
On Sunday the game of the week will match up Iowa with Wisconsin. The game will be televised by the Big Ten Network at 7:30 pm EST and should be a game that will entertain. Wisconsin is the better team but Iowa could come in and make things difficult for the Badgers. Wisconsin should win this game, at home, but it should be closer than anticipated.
#12 Oregon @ #21 Colorado
At 5 pm EST two of the premier Pac-12 basketball teams will take the court as Oregon travels to Colorado. The game will be televised on Fox Sports 1 and will provide a thrilling addition to any basketball Sunday. Colorado is very tough at home but Oregon has been tested and should win a close one.
#20 SDSU @ #16 Kansas
In another Sunday game look for San Diego State to travel to Kansas and put up a fight. With two evenly matched teams like this, fireworks will fly and entertain the masses. In this case I see the Aztecs going into a very hostile environment and taking down the Jayhawks. Home court will give Kansas an advantage but not enough to pull out the win.
#5 Michigan State @ Indiana
On Saturday at 2 pm EST the Michigan State Spartans will travel to a tough Indiana team. The game will be shown on CBS and will provide a good road test for the Spartans as Indiana has been very good when in their own building. In this match up I don't forsee the home court advantage being enough for the Hoosiers.
Also keep an eye on these WCC games:
BYU @ Pepperdine
On Monday the Cougars visit Pepperdine and will try to stop their three game skid. With the struggles of late, this will be no easy task for the Cougars and Pepperdine will try to take advantage of it. For Pepperdine this could be the quality win they have been looking for but I think the Cougars will be to much for them. Even at home I think Pepperdine falls.
St. Mary's @ Gonzaga
On Thursday the two best teams in the WCC will face off on ESPN2. The game is at 9 pm EST and could go a long way towards paving the way to a WCC regular season title. Both teams have shown weaknesses in the last few weeks but the home court advantage should put the Bulldogs over the top.
Pacific @ Gonzaga
At 8 pm EST on Saturday, Root Sports will show the game that pits the newcomers against the conference leaders. Pacific will be looking to get a road winner and build confidence against a strong but vulnerable Gonzaga team. I think the Bulldogs would pull out the win wherever it was played, but playing at home will only help.
As teams get into the conference schedules, crazy things tend to happen and less than stellar games on paper turn into barn burners in the gym. Look for a few of these games to go down to the wire and maybe even show a few upsets. Let us know what other games you will be watching!