Pregame Shootaround: Duke-North Carolina headlines a busy night

1 Comment

Game of the Night: No. 15 North Carolina at No. 4 Duke, 9:00 p.m.

The most historic rivalry in the history of college hoops will take place once again tonight in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Kentucky-Louisville is a more heated and hated rivalry, one that dominates conversation in the state for 365 days a year, but it pales in comparison to the history of Duke-UNC. But here’s the bigger point that needs to be made: it’s a good thing that we still have a pair of rivalries this intense that there is a legitimate argument to be made. Thanks to realignment, that’s not always the case.

The Other Game of the Night: No. 14 Iowa State at No. 22 Oklahoma State, 9:00 p.m.

Iowa State is really the only team within striking distance of winning an outright Big 12 title, but if they are going to make that happen, they cannot afford another loss. Oklahoma State has proven to be a tough out at home — they beat Kansas in Stillwater — and the Cyclones have not been great on the road in league play.

Who’s Getting Upset?: No. 12 Louisville at Syracuse, 7:00 p.m.

Playing without starting point guard Chris Jones, the Cardinals will make the trek up to snowy Syracuse to take on the Orange just days after suffering their worst loss of the regular season, a 74-65 defeat at the hands of N.C. State.

Five Things to Watch For

1. Xavier vs. Cincinnati, 7:00 p.m.: One of the most underrated rivalries in the country, there is legitimate dislike on both sides here.

2. No. 5 Wisconsin at Penn State, 7:00 p.m.: Frank Kaminsky and the Badgers take their show to State College.

3. Massachusetts at Rhode Island, 7:00 p.m.: This might be the biggest bubble game of the night, as Rhode Island is on the cut line while UMass is streaking but still desperately needs to add to a weak profile.

4. No. 11 Northern Iowa at Loyola (IL), 8:00 p.m.: If you haven’t seen Seth Tuttle play yet, you need to.

5. Missouri at No. 18 Arkansas, 9:00 p.m.: Mike Anderson has Arkansas rolling right now, while his old school, Missouri, is having a difficult time adjusting to new head coach Kim Anderson.

Bubble Games

  • East Carolina at Tulsa, 7:00 p.m.
  • Davidson at George Washington, 7:00 p.m.
  • Providence at DePaul, 9:00 p.m.
  • UCLA at Arizona State, 9:00 p.m.
  • Colorado State at Fresno State, 10:00 p.m.
  • Boise State at UNLV, 11:00 p.m.
  • Colorado at Oregon, 11:00 p.m.