Kevin Ollie

UConn vs. Duke set for December 18

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College basketball’s 2014-2015 non-conference schedule is shaping up to be an incredible slate of competitive, early-season games. One of those being Duke taking on UConn, which was announced in late April. On Monday, a date was set for a neutral floor contest.

UConn, the defending national champion, will take on Duke, which will likely be No. 2 in the preseason polls behind Kentucky, will meet on Dec. 18 for an 8 p.m. tip at the Izod Center in the Meadowlands.

This will be the 10th time these two programs have faced one another, all of them being played at neutral sites. Duke has won five of the matchups. However, the Huskies knocked off the Blue Devils, en route to two of their four national championships. UConn defeated Duke, 77-74 in the 1999 National Title game, and then topped the Blue Devils in the 2004 Final Four before capturing the title over Georgia Tech.

As previously noted, this December matchup makes each team’s out-of-conference schedule a bit tougher. UConn has games at Florida and against Texas while also participating in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. Duke has appearances in the Champions Classic, Coaches vs. Cancer Classic and the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge before heading into conference play.

These two teams last met in November 2009. Duke won 68-59 inside Madison Square Garden.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: A Big 12 and a Big Ten showdown

Denzel Valentine
(AP Photo/Al Goldis)
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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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

 

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POWER RANKINGS: Buddy Hield isn’t going anywhere

Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) drives to the basket as LSU guard Antonio Blakeney (2) defends in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
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It’s Tuesday, which means that it is once again time for the NBC Sports Player of the Year Power Rankings.

And you’ll be shocked to find out that Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield is still No. 1 in those rankings. By a pretty wide margin.

The rest of the top 10?

They can be found here, at the CBT FaceBook page. Follow that page for the countdown: