College basketball is nearing March, aka, the best time of the year. However, there’s still plenty of tough conference matchups over the next couple weeks and this weekend that are sure to bring some surprises. On this edition of What to Watch For we give you a game of the weekend that you can’t miss, a player to watch for, a team on upset alert, and best line of the weekend to help you win some cash.
GAME OF THE WEEKEND
Doug Wattley: Kentucky @ #7 West Virginia (Jan. 27th) — A very young Kentucky team looks for a key win vs. West Virginia at home. Jevon Carter has dominated as of late and West Virginia is trying to keep their conference championship hopes alive. Expect West Virginia to come out strong here, but if Kevin Knox and Kentucky can get into a groove, this is anyone’s game.
Chase Swaringen: #2 Virginia @ #4 Duke (Jan. 27th) — A huge ACC matchup for both teams. Virginia comes into the game on a eleven game winning streak meanwhile Duke is trying to prove that they still deserve a #1 seed when March rolls around. Look for the home court advantage to really pay dividends here as the Cameron Crazies should give the Blue Devils the energy needed to win this game.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Doug Wattley: Kyle Guy, Guard, Virginia — If Virginia is going to pick up a win against Duke they will need Kyle Guy to be at his best. Guy is a do-it-all player that can take over a game at will but the home-court advantage for Duke will be in full effect. If Virginia wants to steal a win on the road, Guy will need to be at the top of his game.
Chase Swaringen: Juwan Morgan, Forward, Indiana — Purdue will come into Assembly Hall on Sunday as the hottest team in America. The Boilermakers have rattled off sixteen straight wins and the only thing that stands in their way to seventeen is Juwan Morgan. Morgan has been electric offensively as of late (20+ points in back to back games) and if the Hoosiers have any chance of beating their in-state rivals it’s going to take a monster effort from Morgan on both sides of the ball.
Doug Wattley: #12 Oklahoma @ Alabama (Jan. 28th) — A showdown between Collin Sexton and Trae Young. Alabama at home is a dangerous team and if the Sooners aren’t careful they could be on the wrong end of a non-conference trap game.
Chase Swaringen: #1 Villanova @ Marquette (Jan. 28th) — Yes, Villanova is the top team in college basketball right now. However, in the Wildcats’ last game against Providence, they started slow and found themselves down nine at one point in the first half. A slow start against a Marquette team led by Markus Howard could prove costly for Villanova. Marquette also won their last home game against a ranked opponent (Seton Hall) by twenty points.
Doug Wattley: Florida (-6.5) vs. Baylor — Florida is finally coming into form. Baylor has shown an inability to win on the road (0-5). Expect the Florida faithful to carry the Gators through this game.
Chase Swaringen: Louisiana Lafayette (-11.5) vs. Troy — The Ragin’ Cajuns are 8-0 in conference play and 18-3 overall. Louisiana Lafayette is clearly the favorite here and a matchup against a 9-12 Troy team should not be a close game, especially at home. No conference opponent has gotten within ten points in conference play against Louisiana Lafayette. Take the Ragin’ Cajuns against the spread.