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HITTING STRIDE IN COLLEGE HOOPS CONFERENCE PLAY
January 22, 2007

SCS.com The final full week of the month of January is upon us, which means we're right in the thick of things in terms of college hoops conference play. The past week saw a number of upsets all across the country as the word "parity" again presents itself loud and clear. Another crucial week of basketball has arrived, and it too features a slate of games dominated by in-conference action. Perhaps the biggest game of the week is a Texas-size showdown between the state's Aggies and Red Raiders, both of whom are coming off impressive weekend victories. Below is a preview of all the week's top games!

MUST-SEE GAMES

Northern Iowa at Southern Illinois
Tuesday 8:05 PM CST

There are just three teams who have won six MVC games thus far, and two of them will meet in this battle set to take place in Carbondale Tuesday evening. The Panthers won the earlier meeting by five points but this time must attempt to pick up the win on the road.

Texas A&M at Texas Tech
Wednesday 7:00 PM CST

The Aggies are the lone remaining Big XII team without a conference loss and are fresh off a convincing win over Oklahoma State this past weekend. This one, however, is on the road, and the Red Raiders themselves had a big victory on Saturday, taking down Kansas in Lubbock.

Vanderbilt at LSU
Wednesday 7:00 PM CST

The Commodores have been as impressive as any team in the SEC since the new year began, already picking up conference victories over the likes of Alabama, Tennessee, and most recently on the road at Kentucky. LSU needs to get production from others besides Glen Davis.

Michigan at Wisconsin
Wednesday 8:00 PM CST

It seems as if Wisconsin has the Big Ten's most solid team at this point, but the Wolverines are just a game back at 4-1 in league play thus far. This will undoubtedly be their toughest conference matchup to date, though, as the Badgers almost never lose a game in Madison.

Clemson at Duke
Thursday 6:00 PM CST

After losing two straight, the Tigers got things back on track over the weekend with a home win over Boston College. Duke, meanwhile, also seems to have recovered from a slow start to ACC play, and the Blue Devils are now 3-2 in the league. This should be a good late-January barometer for both.

OTHER TOP MATCHUPS

MONDAY

Connecticut at Louisville - 6:00 PM CST

Neither of these squads is looking very NCAA worthy at this point.

Oklahoma at Oklahoma State - 8:00 PM CST

Cowboys were thumped at Texas A&M Saturday night but should win this one.

TUESDAY

Indiana at Illinois - 6:00 PM CST

Hoosiers looking like a very good basketball team, while Illini is now 2-4 in Big Ten action.

Florida State at Boston College - 6:00 PM CST

Seminoles are trying to avoid a horrific start to ACC play, while BC is still hanging near the top of the standings.

Notre Dame at St. John's - 6:30 PM CST

Irish want to avoid tripping up on the road against one of the Big East's weaker teams.

Villanova at Providence - 6:30 PM CST

'Cats got huge win over Texas on Saturday, but both teams could really use a nice conference victory.

Alabama at Auburn - 8:00 PM CST

Bama squeaked one out against Georgia on Saturday, while the Tigers are actually playing pretty well thus far.

Virginia Tech at Miami - 8:00 PM CST

Tech looks for real in the ACC but needs to keep proving that by winning road games like this.

San Diego State at UNLV - 9:00 PM CST

Air Force is running away with the MWC title, so neither wants to fall any further behind.

WEDNESDAY

North Carolina at Wake Forest - 6:00 PM CST

Heels look like the class of the ACC, but you know the Deacons will want this one bad.

Virginia Commonwealth at George Mason - 6:00 PM CST

VCU is the lone Colonial team without a league loss. Can GMU pull the upset?

DePaul at Georgetown - 6:30 PM CST

Both of these teams are hovering around the .500 mark in Big East play, though the Hoyas look to be the better of the two.

Arkansas at South Carolina - 6:30 PM CST

Hogs rebounded from loss to Georgia with a thumping of LSU, but can they get one on the road?

Texas at Nebraska - 7:00 PM CST

Longhorns have tons of potential but are still inconsistent. This is one they really need to win.

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati - 7:00 PM CST

Bearcats got a nice home win over WVU on Saturday and now try their luck against the Big East's best team.

Kentucky at Georgia - 7:00 PM CST

Though UK has the better record, many would argue that UGA is playing better hoops. They'll get a chance to prove that here.

Tennessee at Mississippi - 7:00 PM CST

Vols haven't looked great since SEC play began, though the same could be said for UM. Both need this win.

Kansas at Baylor - 7:00 PM CST

Jayhawks tripped on the road at Texas Tech, now try their luck against a fesity Bears squad.

Creighton at Missouri State - 7:05 PM CST

Another crucial battle between two teams in the top half of the MVC standings.

Florida at Mississippi State - 8:00 PM CST

Gators head out on the road for just the second time since Christmas looking to win their 11th straight.

Tulsa at Memphis - 8:00 PM CST

The Tigers are the class of CUSA, but Tulsa may be one of their biggest competitors.

Virginia at NC State - 8:00 PM CST

Cavs had big expectations but need to start winning some games quickly.

Georgia Tech at Maryland - 8:00 PM CST

Jackets seem to be playing a tough game every time you turn around.

THURSDAY

Winthrop at High Point - 6:00 PM CST

Best two teams in the Big South meet head-to-head.

UCLA at California - 8:00 PM CST

Bears have gotten off to a nice start in Pac-10 play, but this one will be their toughest outing yet.

Oregon at Washington - 10:00 PM CST

Ducks are rolling right along, while UW seems to be falling farther and farther behind.

U.S.A.
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