GAME OF THE WEEK...
(3) North Carolina at (2) Wake Forest
Coming into the week, North Carolina and Wake Forest are two of only four ACC teams without a conference loss, and both have been defeated just once so far this season. The Deacons and Tar Heels were ranked numbers one and two, respectively, in the SCS.com Preseason Fab 15. UNC has not lost since their season-opener on the road at Santa Clara nearly two months ago. Wake has not dropped a game since the first day of December, that a double-digit loss at current number one Illinois.
The Deacons have won eight straight games, six of them by at least seventeen points. Junior guard Justin Gray, a SCS.com Preseason Second Team All-America selection, leads the way for Wake with over 17 points a contest. Big man Eric Williams tosses in 15 himself while pulling down a half-dozen boards each night out. Preseason First Team All-American Chris Paul totals 14 a game while dishing out more than six assists per contest. Four other Deacons average between six and eight points a game.
North Carolina's thirteen straight wins is one of the longest current streaks in the NCAA. The Heels have knocked off the likes of Iowa, Kentucky, and Maryland during that stretch, each of those victories coming by at least 13 points. UNC has scored at least 105 points in five games this season, including their last three. Preseason First Team All-American Rashad McCants and forward Jawad Williams each score almost 17 a game, while the big man, Sean May, tosses in 16 of his own. Raymond Felton and Marvin Williams contribute 10 each, while three other Heels account for between five and six points each night out.
This is about as good as it gets in college hoops. These two were preseason numbers one and two in the country and are currently ranked in the top three nationally. Three players who were named either First or Second Team All-Americans by SCS.com prior to the season will be on the court. Recent additions to the ACC mean this is the only time these two squads will meet each other on the hardwood during the regular season, so don't miss this one. The matchup is as even as it gets, but I'll go with the home team in Winston-Salem.
The Editor Says: Wake Forest
THE WEEK'S OTHER TOP MATCHUPS...
(4) Syracuse at Notre Dame
Only three teams have yet to lose a conference game in the Big East, and two of them get together Monday evening in South Bend as part of ESPN's "Big Monday" presentation. The Irish's Chris Thomas can go lights-out, but the Orange are more balanced and will win only their third true road game of the young season.
The Editor Says: Syracuse
(7) Georgia Tech at (3) North Carolina
There won't be a tougher week for anyone in the nation than the one UNC is looking at. This home game with Georgia Tech is followed by the Game of the Week on the road at Wake Forest. The Jackets are one of the ACC's and nation's best, but UNC is rolling and wins their fourteenth straight on Wednesday.
The Editor Says: North Carolina
(8) Texas at Texas A&M
The Aggies have quietly gotten off to an 11-1 start to the season, a start that began with eleven consecutive victories. A five-point loss on the road at Kansas is their only blemish, and that is actually an impressive loss. This would be monumental for A&M, but Texas is just too good and will squeeze one out in College Station.
The Editor Says: Texas
Louisville at (15) Cincinnati
These are probably Conference USA's top two teams this season, though UofL has been streaky thus far and has work to do if they are to live up to potential. Losses to Iowa and Kentucky are no shame, but a three-point defeat at Houston looks bad. Cincy's only blemish was at Illinois. Bearcats gain an early CUSA edge.
The Editor Says: Cincinnati
Arkansas at (10) Mississippi State
Though their non-conference schedule strength has been degraded by experts like Dick Vitale, the Razorbacks have gotten the job done this far, jumping out to a 13-2 start that includes a road win at Missouri. Defending SEC champion Mississippi State and their star Lawrence Roberts get the job done at the Hump.
The Editor Says: Mississippi State
BEST OF THE REST...
Connecticut at Oklahoma - Monday
UNLV at Utah - Monday
Louisville at Southern Miss - Tuesday
Ohio State at Wisconsin - Tuesday
Villanova at Providence - Tuesday
Missouri at (6) Oklahoma State - Tuesday
Maryland at (2) Wake Forest - Tuesday
Alabama at Arkansas - Tuesday
Kent State at Western Michigan - Wednesday
Vanderbilt at (14) Kentucky - Wednesday
Miami at Virginia - Wednesday
(5) Kansas at Iowa State - Wednesday
Florida at Auburn - Wednesday
Texas Tech at Kansas State - Wednesday
South Carolina at LSU - Wednesday
(10) Mississippi State at Tennessee - Wednesday
Bradley at Wichita State - Wednesday
Southern Illinois at Evansville - Wednesday
SW Missouri State at Northern Iowa - Wednesday
Charlotte at UAB - Wednesday
UTEP at Nevada - Wednesday
(11) Duke at NC State - Thursday
Western Kentucky at Arkansas-Little Rock - Thursday
UCLA at Arizona State - Thursday
Marquette at Memphis - Thursday
Oregon at (9) Washington - Thursday
Utah State at Pacific - Thursday
(4) Syracuse at Providence - Saturday
Florida State at Miami - Saturday
Seton Hall at Pittsburgh - Saturday
(14) Kentucky at Georgia - Saturday
Iowa State at (6) Oklahoma State - Saturday
Western Michigan at Bowling Green - Saturday
Georgetown at Villanova - Saturday
Minnesota at Iowa - Saturday
Florida at Vanderbilt - Saturday
Kansas at Colorado - Saturday
(1) Illinois at Northwestern - Saturday
Oregon at Washington State - Saturday
Oklahoma at Baylor - Saturday
UCLA at (13) Arizona - Saturday
Utah at Wyoming - Saturday
New Mexico at Air Force - Saturday
Tennessee at South Carolina - Saturday
Texas A&M at Texas Tech - Saturday
Pepperdine at Gonzaga - Saturday
Ohio State at LSU - Saturday
Missouri at Kansas State - Saturday
Creighton at Northern Iowa - Saturday
Oregon State at (9) Washington - Saturday
(12) Boston College at West Virginia - Sunday
Michigan State at Wisconsin - Sunday
(7) Georgia Tech at NC State - Sunday
Virginia at (11) Duke - Sunday
The Editor's CBB Records:
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