Just over a week after it was announced that South Carolina would host Oklahoma State in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, it was reported Friday that Frank Martin’s program has added a third Big 12 foe to its 2014-15 slate.
As first reported by Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, the Gamecocks will take on Iowa State January 3, 2015 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. In addition to the games against Oklahoma State and Iowa State, South Carolina will also host Baylor during non-conference play and those should be solid tests for the Gamecocks before they start SEC play.
While Iowa State will be looking to build on a 28-win campaign that included a Big 12 tournament title and a spot in the Sweet 16, South Carolina’s looking to take a step forward after its young roster went through a tough 2013-14. Of South Carolina’s top five scorers from a season ago just one, guard Brenton Williams, was a senior.
Villanova transfer Tyrone Johnson played in just 16 games due to injury, and he’ll be back along with rising sophomores Sindarius Thornwell, Michael Carrera and Duane Notice.
Fred Hoiberg’s Cyclones will have to account for the departures of guard DeAndre Kane and forward Melvin Ejim, but with forwards Georges Niang and Dustin Hogue returning Iowa State will have some solid pieces to move forward with. Iowa State has also added a five-member recruiting class that includes UNLV transfer Bryce Dejean-Jones and freshman big Giorgos Tsalmpouris.
Tonight’s bubble action. This post will be updated as the games are completed.
Cincinnati at UCF, 7:00 p.m.
Pitt at No. 12 Miami, 7:00 p.m.
No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.
Ole Miss at Florida, 9:00 p.m.
Georgia at No. 22 Kentucky, 9:00 p.m.
Arkansas at Mississippi State, 9:00 p.m.
GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.
The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.
THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.
We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR
- Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
- Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
- Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
- Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
- No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
- No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.