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Saturday Recap: Five Ranked Teams Fall to Unranked Opponents

January 8th, 2012
Jim Calhoun's return wasn't a triumphant one

The first Saturday of the new year proved to be far more exciting than anticipated, much to the detriment of ranked teams who took their show on the road. Removing #7 Missouri and #20 Marquette, who both lost on the road to ranked opponents (more on both of those games below), five ranked teams lost to unranked opponents with four of the losses coming on the road. The Big East provided the most intrigue, with #8 Connecticut and #9 Georgetown falling on the road while #10 Louisville lost in double overtime at home. So which of the three defeats is most concerning?

Saturday Preview: #20 Marquette at #1 Syracuse

January 7th, 2012
Dion Waiters has gotten off to a good startJust two games on the schedule for Saturday match ranked teams, one of which being #1 Syracuse (16-0, 3-0) hosting #20 Marquette (12-3, 1-1) with the visitors looking to rebound from a disappointing loss at Georgetown earlier this week. The Golden Eagles led by as many as 17 points in the second half but they went away from the "paint touches" that are so valued in Buzz Williams' program, which led to the Hoya comeback. Those paint touches will be even more important at the Carrier Dome, as Syracuse does a good job with their 2-3 zone at limiting those opportunities.

Tuesday Preview: #11 Michigan State at #19 Wisconsin

January 3rd, 2012
Wisconsin point guard Jordan TaylorArguably the quickest way for a team to eliminate itself from a conference title race is to drop games at home. So while the term "must-win" shouldn't be used for #19 Wisconsin (12-3, 1-1) there's no doubt that Tuesday's game against #11 Michigan State (13.2, 2-0) is critical following their loss to Iowa on Saturday. The biggest reason for the Badgers' loss was their three-point shooting, as they made just three of twenty-eight attempts on the afternoon.

Monday Preview: Texas A&M at #6 Baylor

January 2nd, 2012
Baylor guard Pierre Jackson

While bowl games will garner most of the attention on Monday college basketball won't be taking the day off with leagues transitioning into conference play. One such matchup is the first game of Big 12 play as Texas A&M (9-3) visits Waco to take on #6 Baylor (13-0), and Billy Kennedy's Aggies can definitely use a win for resume reasons.

Saturday Recap: Kidd-Gilchrist Leads Kentucky Past Louisville

December 31st, 2011
Kidd-Gilchrist and Davis led the way for Kentucky

The game between Top 5 teams and in-state rivals Louisville and Kentucky was expected to be a high-intensity affair played at a good pace. Well thanks to the "third team" we got the intensity but not the pace, but by the end of the afternoon at Rupp Arena it was clear that Kentucky's 69-62 victory would be long remembered for the play of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Kidd-Gilchrist, who has emerged as the leader of John Calipari's talented squad, stole the show with 24 point and 19 rebounds in leading Kentucky to their 44th straight home victory.

#3 Kentucky vs #4 Louisville: Preview & Prediction

December 31st, 2011
Kentucky

 

NO. 4 LOUISVILLE (12-1) AT NO. 3 KENTUCKY (12-1)

 

Time/TV: Noon/CBS

 

Saturday Preview: #4 Louisville at #3 Kentucky

December 30th, 2011
Louisville center Gorgui Dieng

The final day of 2011 features one of the most anticipated games of the college basketball season, a rivalry game that captivates an entire state and is one of the best games in college basketball. #4 Louisville (12-1), fresh off of a lost to Georgetown in their Big East opener, visits #3 Kentucky (12-1) in what should be a spirited battle at Rupp Arena. The Cardinals have played just one road game this season but it was also one of their best efforts as they won at Butler without the then-injured Peyton Siva.

Thursday Recap: Rutgers Beats #10 Florida

December 30th, 2011
Rutgers knocked off a Top 10 team for the 3rd straight season

The matchup between #10 Florida and Rutgers on Thursday night was hyped up due to the return of Mike Rosario, who transferred from the New Jersey school following two seasons in New Brunswick. But his return was a subplot in what turned out to be one of the best games of the calendar year, with the focus by the end being Mike Rice's young guards. Eli Carter led the way with 31 points, seven rebounds and seven assists while Myles Mack knocked down some big shots late in regulation and during the overtime periods to lead Rutgers to the 85-83 double overtime victory.

Thursday Preview: BYU at Saint Mary's

December 29th, 2011
BYU guard Matt Carlino

It can be argued that Vanderbilt's trip to #13 Marquette is the big game of the day on Thursday, especially when considering a Commodore resume that could use some added bulk. But there's also the first-ever conference game as a member of the West Coast Conference for BYU (11-3), and they're jumping directly into the fire thanks to the league schedule-makers. Dave Rose's Cougars visit Saint Mary's (11-2) in the league opener for both teams, and there are some very good individual battles to keep track of in Moraga.