10 To Watch: Best College Hoops Games Still On Tap

Can Marcus Foster and K-State finish second in the Big 12?

Can Marcus Foster and K-State finish second in the Big 12?

Seven days.

After four months of frantic college basketball competition, schools across the country have just seven days to improve their standing, prove their worth, and generally head to tournament action on a roll.

To get you ready for what will be a hectic end to the regular season, BettingSports.com has sifted through the remaining schedule and picked out 10 choice cuts of hardwood action coming your way between now and Sunday’s night.

Monday 3 March

Kansas State at Oklahoma State (9:00 p.m. ET)

Despite a surprise loss against the Cowboys on Saturday, No. 5 Kansas (22-7, 13-3 Big 12) locked up the Big 12 title outright thanks to other results going its way. That leaves a four-team battle royal for second-place in the conference.

No. 15 Iowa State (22-6, 10-6 Big 12), Kansas State (20-9, 10-6 Big 12), Oklahoma (21-8, 10-6 Big 12), and No. 24 Texas (21-8, 10-6 Big 12) all have a shot at finishing in the runner-up spot – and receiving a first round bye in the Big 12 tournament – but a fluke of scheduling means that none of the sides will meet head-to-head between now and the end of the season. That means this race will likely come down to tiebreakers.

The Wildcats can set the pace Monday night as they travel to Stillwater, Okla., to take on Oklahoma State. The Pokes will be looking to play spoiler. BettingSports.com has all the odds and trends for this matchup.

Tuesday 4 March

Creighton at Georgetown (7:00 p.m. ET)

Time is running out for No. 9 Creighton (23-5, 13-3 Big East) to earn a regular season conference championship in its first year in the Big East. The Bluejays are currently a game back of No. 8 Villanova despite owning a pair of wins over the Wildcats.

A loss to Georgetown (16-12, 7-9 Big East) will close the door on any hopes of the Bluejays finishing at the top. A win put the pressure back on the Wildcats, who will meet the Hoyas on Saturday. John Thompson III’s team has a huge opportunity to shape how the realigned Big East finishes in its first year.

Wednesday 5 March

Louisville at Southern Methodist (7:00 p.m. ET)

No. 7 Louisville (24-5, 13-3 American) is looking for a conference championship in its only year in the new American Athletic Conference. The Cardinals are on track for at least a share of the regular season title but aren’t quite there just yet.

A win over Southern Methodist (23-6, 12-4 American) will put the pressure on Cincinnati – playing on Thursday (see below) – to keep pace. A loss would give the Bearcats the advantage while also potentially propelling the Mustangs into a three-way tie at the top of the standings.

Can Sean Kilpatick and Cincinnati edge in front of Louisville?

Can Sean Kilpatick and Cincinnati edge in front of Louisville?

Thursday 6 March

Memphis at Cincinnati (7:00 pm. ET)

Regardless of Wednesday’s result in Dallas, No. 11 Cincinnati (24-5, 13-3 American) needs to pick up a win at home against No. 21 Memphis (22-7, 11-5 American), either to keep pace with the Cardinals or to take an advantage. The Bearcats defeated the Tigers 69-53 earlier in the year.

The Tigers won’t be laying down for anybody though. After Thursday’s game in Cincinnati, Memphis hosts SMU on Saturday which means the school still has a shot at sharing the title. A win over the higher-ranked Bearcats wouldn’t do the Tigers any harm in the eyes of the selection committee either.

Villanova at Xavier (7:00 p.m. ET)

With a game advantage over Creighton, Villanova (26-3, 14-2 Big East) has no room for error if it’s to win the Big East regular season title outright. A trip to Cincinnati to face Xavier (20-9, 10-6 Big East) won’t be easy though.

The Musketeers have dropped just one game at home all season, and earned a huge win over Creighton this past Saturday to really set the cat amongst the pigeons. A win on Thursday would be huge, not just for the home side’s credentials but also for the Big East standings heading into the final weekend of play.

Iowa at Michigan State (9:00 p.m. ET)

A relatively straightforward schedule means No. 16 Michigan (21-7, 13-3 Big Ten) should take the regular season conference title. But tournament seeding will still be on the line as No. 18 Michigan State (22-7, 11-5 Big Ten) hosts No. 20 Iowa (20-9, 9-7 Big Ten) on Thursday night.

Both the Spartans and Hawkeyes have struggled in recent weeks, each going 1-3 in their last four. The Spartans still have an outside shot at a share of the regular season title, but Wisconsin is all of a sudden looking like a smarter bet to finish second. This matchup will go a long way to decide where Michigan State is seeded in the Big Ten (and NCAA) tournament.

Can Duke defeat North Carolina on Saturday?

Can Duke defeat North Carolina on Saturday?

Saturday 8 March

Kentucky at Florida (12:00 p.m. ET)

If all goes according to plan for Billy Donovan’s side, this game could be for a perfect conference record. No. 1 Florida (27-2, 16-0 SEC) locked down the SEC regular season title last week, securing the AP’s top ranking in the process. Can they finish 18-0 in SEC play?

No. 17 Kentucky (21-8, 11-5 SEC) would love to play spoiler, but there’s even more at stake for the Wildcats. After a dismal loss to South Carolina on Saturday, the side needs another marquee win to really impress the selection committee. A win over Florida fits the bill, while a long SEC tournament run wouldn’t hurt. This is shaping up to be the SEC’s most anticipated game of the season.

North Carolina at Duke (9:00 p.m. ET)

A Tobacco Road showdown between the Tar Heels and Blue Devils needs no introduction. Always a must see matchup, this weekend’s showdown is shaping up to be something a little special.

Neither No. 6 Duke (23-6, 12-4 ACC) nor No. 19 North Carolina (22-7, 14-4 ACC) will finish the regular season as champions but both will have a solid shot in the ACC tournament. The winner of this one will have the higher seed come tournament time, and likely a bye in the first round. The loser could earn a bye still, but that’s not a given. That means this one’s worth something. Oh, and then there are those all-important bragging rights.

New Mexico at San Diego State (10:00 p.m. ET)

If both teams take care of business during the week, Saturday night’s showdown between No. 13 San Diego State (25-3, 14-2 MWC) and No. 25 New Mexico (23-5, 14-2 MWC) will determine who heads to Las Vegas as the Mountain West’s regular season champion and No. 1 tournament seed. As far as final weekend storylines, that’s as good as it gets.

Sunday 9 March

Wisconsin at Nebraska (7:30 p.m. ET)

Winner of seven straight, No. 14 Wisconsin (24-5, 11-5 Big Ten) still has an opportunity at sharing the regular season Big Ten title with Michigan, but in all likelihood, the Badgers’ best shot is finishing second, something they can do by running the schedule.

After Wednesday’s home game against Purdue, the Badgers will travel to Lincoln, Neb., to face Nebraska (17-11, 9-7 Big Ten), a team in good form. After beginning conference play 0-4, the Cornhuskers have gone 9-3, including wins in six of the last seven, to emerge as a threat come tournament time.

This showdown is shaping up to be the most attractive fixture on the final Sunday of the regular season.

 

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