It's just about exam time at many schools all around the country, as students and athletes alike begin to turn their attention towards Christmas and a nice holiday break. Many of the big-name preseason tournaments have concluded play, but that doesn't mean the coming week's college hoops schedule is without a number of marquee matchups. In fact, perhaps the most anticipated matchup of the entire pre-conference schedule is set to take place on Saturday, that battle featuring the Duke Blue Devils and Texas Longhorns, currently ranked numbers one and two in the country.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...
A look back at last week's highlights: Big Ten/ACC Challenge highlights: Ohio State tops Virginia Tech, Wake Forest alludes Wisconsin by three, Illinois picks up huge road win at UNC, Michigan State escapes Georgia Tech by a pair, Maryland storms back in second half to top Minnesota, Virginia eases past Northwestern, Duke knocks off Indiana in thriller, and Iowa survives defensive struggle with NC State .... Monday saw Gardner-Webb upset Minnesota, while Dayton rebounded from a weekend loss to knock off in-state rival Cincinnati by nine on Tuesday .... Vanderbilt rammed home a 30-foot three at the buzzer to stun Oregon on Wednesday .... Nevada proved they are again one of America's top teams with a road triumph at Kansas Thursday night .... Saturday was a huge day of college hoops, and perhaps the biggest surprise was North Carolina's dominating performance at Kentucky .... If that didn't surprise you, Houston's win over Arizona might have. It was the Cougars' second big win of the week, the first coming on the road at LSU .... Villanova topped Oklahoma in a tight battle of teams expected to be major contenders come March .... Other Saturday outcomes of interest: Illinois comes from behind to beat Xavier, Memphis knocks off former CUSA rival Cincinnati on the road, Georgetown gets big road win at Oregon, Clemson slams South Carolina in in-state showdown, Nevada continues to roll with win over Pacific, and Wichita State bested Northwestern State in a battle of two quality mid-major squads .... Duke survives Virginia Tech by two on buzzer-beating shot in each squad's ACC opener .... Washington tops in-state rival Gonzaga in high-scoring thriller.
MUST-SEE THIS WEEK
Northwestern State at Oklahoma State
The visitors have already gone on the road and beaten Mississippi State.
Maryland at George Washington
Huge showdown in the nation's capital gets "Big Monday" started.
Villanova at Bucknell
Bison have already taken down Syracuse, now get shot at 'Cats.
St. Joseph's vs Kansas (New York City, NY)
Young and struggling Jayhawks need a quality win.
Florida at Providence
Billy Donovan takes his hot Gator squad back to his old stomping grounds.
Iowa at Northern Iowa
Two in-state rivals, both with serious NCAA potential, meet in Cedar Falls.
Boston College vs Michigan State (New York City, NY)
The Eagles were left out of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge but get their shot this week.
Utah at Colorado
Both teams are expected to make noise in their respective leagues.
Iowa at Iowa State
Hawkeyes remain on the road for yet another in-state showdown.
California at Kansas
Bears and big man Leon Powe meet KU in another huge game in Lawrence.
Duke vs Texas (East Rutherford, NJ)
The marquee matchup of December pits the top two teams in America head to head on a neutral floor.
Marquette at Wisconsin
This in-state rivalry seems to always come down to the wire.
Ohio State at St. Joseph's
It's the Hawks' second big game of the week, this one though at home.
Indiana vs Kentucky (Indianapolis, IN)
Both teams lost tough ones last week but appear to be favorites in their conferences.
Oklahoma State at Gonzaga
Cowboys take a young squad on the road to face one of the nation's top teams.
Nevada at UCLA
Wolfpack took down Kansas last week, now get shot at Bruins.
Cincinnati at Vanderbilt
'Dores shocked Oregon in final seconds last week, welcome in struggling Bearcats this week.
Wichita State at Michigan State
Shockers have been one of the country's better mid-majors in recent years.
Illinois at Oregon
Desperate Ducks get shot at Illini and perhaps the nation's best guard in Dee Brown.
Boston College at Maryland
Huge showdown on Sunday night as BC is welcomed to ACC basketball.