LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – What a strange and slow Saturday in
college basketball. For the first January in a long time, Louisville, Kentucky
and Indiana are all idle this weekend.
Get your work done today because it's the last weekend that
none of the three will play until they exit the NCAA Tournament.
That doesn't mean we still can't talk basketball. My
recommendations for the best games to watch today:
*Purdue at Michigan State – noon, Big Ten Network. Boilers
hanging tough early.
*Ohio State at Illinois – 2:15, Big Ten Network
*Georgetown at Marquette – 2:15, ESPN3.
*Stanford at UCLA, 3 p.m., Pac-12 Network.
It's a good time to pull together the rankings on
Louisville, Kentucky and Indiana and check the week ahead for the teams coached by Rick Pitino, John Calipari and Tom Crean.
The Cards play their first Big East road game Wednesday
against Seton Hall in Newark, a venue where U of L has lost twice since 2008.
If you want to watch Kevin Willard's team, you can – as soon as you stop
reading this blog. The Pirates are playing at Notre Dame on ESPN3. The game
tipped at noon.
Seton Hall has won seven straight, the last two by a single
point. But the only possible NCAA Tournament team in the group is Stony Brook.
The Pirates' best win? Stony Brook, the only Top 100 team Seton Hall has
Louisville finishes the week at home against South Florida Saturday.
The Bulls ruined Senior Day for Kyle Kuric and Chris Smith last season. South
Florida remains tempo-obsessed. The Bulls have limited eight teams to less than
60 points. But USF is 9-3, with losses to Central Florida, Western Michigan and
Oklahoma State. The Bulls have won seven of eight.
Remember last season when SEC coaches squawked that Kentucky
never had to play on a two-day turnaround? Evidently the league office listened
because the Wildcats start league play with a tight two-day turnaround.
They're in Nashville Thursday night for a 9 p.m. tip against
the sagging Commodores and then return home for 4 p.m. Saturday game against
Vandy is merely a shell of the team Kevin Stallings has
coached the last three seasons. The Commodores have already been beaten at home
by Villanova and Butler. Vandy has not beaten any teams ranked in Pomeroy's Top
100. Jeffery Taylor, John Jenkins and even Barry Goheen aren't walking through
A&M is coached by former Murray State head man Billy
Kennedy. The Aggies are 10-3, but lost to Southern University at home two weeks
ago. Their best win was by a point over Washington State.
The Hoosiers have a chance to back up their Big Ten opening
win at Iowa with another road victory against Penn State Monday night. The Nittany
Lions lost their best player, point guard Tim Frazier, to an Achilles' injury,
but have still managed to win eight of 13. Penn State, however, has beaten two
Top 100 teams – Providence and Bucknell. The Nittany Lions lost their Big Ten
opener, but looked competitive in a nine-point stumble at Wisconsin.
Next Saturday the Hoosiers play one of the marquee games in
the nation, hosting Tubby Smith and Minnesota at noon. The Gophers were the
only visiting team to win in Assembly Hall last season – and they did it
without injured forward Trevor Mbakwe, who will be a matchup problem for IU. Minnesota closed out Michigan State in its Big
Ten opener – and Smith's team has looked like Top 10 material.