The week ahead is all college basketball. Well, ok, the NFL Pro Bowl takes place on Saturday. It’s the NFL so I’m including it in the broadcast listings this week but does anyone actually watch it? No thanks. The only good All-Star game is the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. That game is terrific. The others I can do without.
I’m changing up The Week Ahead a little this week to highlight the top games of the week. I’m not just going to pick the best game of each day. Sometimes there are two games worth watching on one day and really nothing worth watching on another day during the college basketball season. The format will likely change throughout the year depending on the time of year. Regardless, the idea is to point out some of the best games of the week to help you plan your TV time.
Here is the best of The Week Ahead…
BEST OF THE WEEK: Kansas State at Kansas (6pm Tuesday on ESPN2)
The first of two conference games between Kansas and Kansas State takes place on Tuesday at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas. This is not the best of the week because it will be the most exciting game or even the best game. But no game this week will have the interest of the Kansas City area more than this one.
Kansas is currently alone in second place in the Big 12 at 4-1. The Jayhawks are one game behind Baylor because of their loss at home last Saturday to the Bears. Now the Jayhawks have to stay within striking distance on Baylor until the rematch on February 22.
Kansas State is looking to start a winning streak. After losing their first four conference games, Kansas State finally got a Big 12 win against West Virginia at home. The reward for getting their first conference win is a trip to Lawrence where they get the #1 team in the nation.
KenPom has Kansas winning this game 72-54 but who knows. Crazy things can happen when rivals meet. But…. I don’t see anything too crazy happening. I would expect a big win for Kansas.
DON’T MISS: Tennessee at Kansas (3pm Saturday on ESPN)
ESPN’s College Gameday will be in Lawrence, Kansas on Saturday for this game. I guess they will be there because it’s Kansas and it will be the 300th consecutive sellout at Allen Fieldhouse. I don’t expect this to be a close game.
Tennessee hasn’t been anything special this season. They did win at Missouri recently 69-59. The Volunteers are 3-2 in the SEC.
KenPom has Kansas winning this game 69-54.
MONDAY: Oklahoma at Baylor (8pm on ESPN)
Oklahoma is tied for third in the Big 12 with a 3-2 record. Baylor leads the conference with a 5-0 record. KenPom has Baylor winning the game 74-63. Baylor’s offense is better than Oklahoma’s defense and Baylor’s defense is better than Oklahoma’s offense. I’m taking Baylor in this one.
THURSDAY: Michigan State at Indiana (7:30pm on FS1)
Michigan State leads the Big Ten with a 6-1 conference record. Their only conference loss came in the state of Indiana at Purdue on the 12th. Now they have to go back to Indiana to play a Hoosiers team that is not as good as Purdue but does have a better conference record than the Boilermakers right now. Indiana is 3-4 in the Big Ten but does have a quality win over Ohio State last Saturday 66-54. However, they went to Rutgers on Wednesday and lost 59-50. I’m picking Michigan State.
FRIDAY: Wisconsin at Purdue (6pm on FS1)
Have these Friday night Big Ten games on FS1 been going on before this season? Am I just learning about this? I don’t remember it but I’m glad to have these so we actually have some good games to watch on Friday nights. Wisconsin lost at Michigan State on Friday 67-55. Purdue recently beat Michigan State at home but then lost at Maryland. KenPom has Purdue winning 57-53 so we should get a good game. Give me Purdue.
SATURDAY: Baylor at Florida (7pm on ESPN)
KenPom has Baylor winning this game 65-64. This game should be a lot of fun. Baylor is playing really well right now and leads the Big 12 with a 5-0 record. Florida is 4-1 in the SEC, tied with Kentucky for second place, one game behind 5-0 LSU. These are two good defensive teams. Yes, Florida did recently allow 91 points to Missouri but the Tigers shot out of their minds in that game. On Saturday they held Auburn to 47 points in a 69-47 win. And we saw Baylor win at Kansas. I lean towards Baylor in this game but it should be a good one.
SATURDAY: Kentucky at Texas Tech (5pm on ESPN)
This is another game of really good defenses going against each other. Texas Tech dropped back-to-back games recently against Baylor and West Virginia. Kentucky had a really bad loss to Evansville at home earlier in the season and lost at South Carolina this past Wednesday but overall they are 4-1 in the SEC and always get better as the season progresses. I lean towards Kentucky in this game but if Texas Tech is playing well they could very well win this one.
Thanks for reading…