Welcome to the weekly watchlist. Each week I will take a look at five games that should be on everyone’s radar for the upcoming week. Sometimes these games will be some of the most high-profile ones but sometimes they will be some games that have a big impact on a team’s season as they look toward March. When the bracket is revealed and we wonder why one team made the field and another didn’t, or why a team is seeded higher or lower than some expected, that seemingly innocuous November result can be just as meaningful as an early-round exit in a conference tournament.
Over the last few seasons college basketball has put more of an emphasis on having some marquee matchups early in the year to try and generate more interest in the midst of college football season. It has worked two-fold for the sport, it has gotten the sport more early exposure without having to wait until January for more eyes to turn towards them. It also has begun to debunk the myth that the regular season in college basketball is meaningless.
Whether a game is in November or during championship week, they are all important, and in the end, have some ramifications for someone even it comes to postseason play. That is why the weekly watchlist will come to you from opening night until the week leading up to selection Sunday.
There are many factors that go into making one season better than another, and one of them is the number of elite teams. This year looks like it might be one of those years, where, in my opinion, anywhere between 10-12 teams could challenge for a No. 1 seed on Selection Sunday. With that in mind, the theme for week two of the season is No. 1 seeds, the battle for those four spots begins in earnest this week. So, let’s get to the games.
**Note: Poll rankings will be from the previous week, this column is published prior to the new poll each week.