It is the first day in February, so we know we are in the heart of the college basketball season. The last day of January saw Kentucky keep rolling, thanks in part to a soft first half of their SEC schedule. We saw Illinois pull off an ugly, but very big 1-point victory versus Michigan State and we will wait to see the severity of Draymond Green’s knee injury.
We saw Marquette continue to expose Seton Hall, Vanderbilt’s continued inability to win a big game, as well as Arkansas’s surprising climb towards a possible NCAA Tournament bid.
Finally, the last day of January brought us a big come from behind victory by Iowa State over Kansas State, while New Mexico completely destroyed an Air Force squad who many believed might give the Lobos problems in Colorado Springs.
The beginning of February, of course, brings us more big games. Let’s take a look at what is on tap for tonight:
#20 Indiana (17-5, 5-5) at #21 Michigan (15-6, 6-3) – 630PM ET, BTN
Lovely Big Ten match-up in this one. Two evenly matched teams who have performed much better at home. Indiana’s only conference road win came at Penn State. It is imperative for the Hoosiers’ tournament seeding hopes that they find a way to beat a good team on the road. However, Michigan is undefeated in Big Ten home games this year.
Prediction: Michigan 76, Indiana 73
#31 Connecticut (14-6, 4-4) at #13 Georgetown (15-4, 6-3) – 7PM ET, ESPN2
UConn is getting awfully close to “must-win” territory and it’s not getting any easier for them, as they now have to travel to DC to face one of the Big East’s best teams. The Huskies will – or should – be hungry and this will be the second straight hungry team the Hoyas have faced, after losing at Pittsburgh over the weekend. This could be a classic case of who wants it more.
Prediction: Georgetown 72, Connecticut 71
Maryland (13-7, 3-3) at Miami, Fl (12-7, 3-3) – 8PM ET, ESPN3
Two ACC also-rans go at it in this one. Both teams are hovering in the mediocrity zone, but there is plenty of time for both to make a run at a potential NCAA Tournament bid. This game will be a crucial start for each of them.
Prediction: Maryland 68, Miami 64
Memphis (15-6, 6-1) at Southern Miss (17-3, 6-1) – 815PM ET, CCS
It’s a battle for Conference USA supremacy in this match-up. So. Miss has been way off the radar, but if the season were to end today, they’d likely be a participant in the big dance. Memphis has been a disappointment to most this year, as they have been unable to record a win versus a big time opponent.
Prediction: Memphis 71, Southern Miss 69
Colorado State (13-6, 3-2) at #6 UNLV (18-3, 4-1) – 1030PM ET, MTN
Like Southern Miss, Colorado State has also been under the radar with a high RPI rating that makes them a strong NCAA Tournament possibility at this point. The problem is, the Rams hadn’t beaten anyone until a home victory versus San Diego State over the weekend. Their previous tests on the road versus good teams have not ended well. Tonight may be their toughest test yet.
Prediction: UNLV 83, Colorado State 70
What are your thoughts on tonight’s games?