We normally preview the top three games of the day along with the top mid-major game for college basketball, but tomorrow’s slate is filled with too many games to do just four. Therefore, we will take a look at a couple of the games that should be good ones today and then tomorrow I will publish the top three games. Think of today as the games you should watch if you have time and tomorrow’s post as the games you absolutely have to watch if you are a college basketball fan. Also, if you are a betting man, so far with my 17 college basketball picks, I am 12 and 5. We will continue to keep track of that as the season progresses. Be sure to check out our college basketball rankings for this week here.
Today I will start by giving you the 6th best game of the day before the jump and then you will get the 5th and the 4th best games of the day after the jump.
#6 Game of the Day: #24 Oklahoma (13-7, 4-4 Big 12) @ Oklahoma State (14-6, 4-4 Big 12)
The 6th, 5th, and 4th best games of the day all come from the deepest conference in college basketball, the Big 12. This game pits two in state rivals against each other both in need of a win to keep themselves off the NCAA tournament bubble. Both teams have played just once so far this week, with Oklahoma blowing out Texas Tech and Oklahoma State scoring a huge win over #18 Baylor. This is a game of contrasting styles at Oklahoma State likes to grind out defensive wins while Oklahoma likes to push the tempo. When the two teams met just two weeks ago at Oklahoma, Oklahoma cruised to an 82-65 win. Oklahoma is led by junior shooting guard Buddy Hield. Hield is averaging 17.7 points per game along with 5.5 rebounds per game. Rebounding is one of Oklahoma’s strengths, as they rank 22nd in the country at 39.1 rebounds per game. Their top rebounder is junior power forward, Ryan Spangler. Spangler is averaging close to a double double, with 10.2 points and 8 rebounds per game, as well as blocking 1.3 shots per game. Oklahoma State is a team that does not rebound the well particularly well or shoot the ball very well, but they have two studs in Phil Forte and Le’Bryan Nash. The two players are averaging half of Oklahoma State’s 69 points per game. Forte, a 5’11” junior guard, is averaging 17.4 points and 2.3 steals per game while shooting 42% from three. Nash, a projected first round pick, is averaging 17.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. The team goes as these two go and Oklahoma has already proven they can slow these two guys down. Oklahoma beats their rivals again, in a close one, 73 to 68.
Follow us after the jump for the two other game previews.
#5 Game of the Day: TCU (14-6, 1-6 Big 12) @ #11 Iowa State (15-4, 5-2 Big 12)
As we said earlier in the week, TCU is a team who will not make the tournament if they can’t turn things around in Big 12 play despite going undefeated out of conference. They blew a huge chance at an upset win with a three point loss to Kansas earlier this week. Iowa State rebounded from their embarrassing loss to Texas Tech with a monster win over Texas. TCU wins games with their rebounding, where they are 17th in the country at 39.6 per game. However, they have not been able to find a go to scorer late in games and it has cost them recently. If Kyan Anderson does not have a big game, they usually lose and more and more, opposing teams have figured that out. Iowa State is one of the most explosive and balanced teams in the country, averaging 80.2 points per game and having an incredible six players averaging double figure points per game. They are also first in the country in assists per game at 18. This team is balanced, experienced, and plays team basketball, particularly at home. They should roll in this game, winning 81 to 65.
#4 Game of the Day: #15 Texas (14-6, 3-4 Big 12) @ #18 Baylor (15-5, 3-4 Big 12)
This is a night game at Baylor between two huge in state rivals. Both teams are coming off losses and will be looking to rebound. Speaking of rebounding, Texas is 3rd in the country at 42.3 per game. There best player is freshman phenom Myles Turner, who is averaging 11.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game. He is an intimidating force in the paint who has led this team to a great start to the season. Baylor is also a great rebounding team, coming in at 7th in the country with 41.2 per game. However, unlike Texas who gets a lot of different guys involved in the rebounding, Baylor has one dominate rebounder, Rico Gathers who is averaging a double double with 10.2 points and 11.9 rebounds per game. Despite not scoring a ton of points, only 68 per game, they are very balanced with six guys averaging between 8.5 and 12.2 points per game. This game is going to be won or lost by whichever team controls the boards. I think Baylor grinds out a close win, 67 to 65.