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December 15, 2006 Now that most schools have taken the past week off to allow time for studying and end-of-semester exams, it's time for the regular students to head to the house and the college hoops stars to do their final bit of "cramming" before the start of conference play in just a short few weeks. A number of quality matchups dot the weekend's slate, including Pittsburgh's trip to red-hot Wisconsin and Purdue's venture to take on in-state rival Butler. And speaking of in-state battles, keep an eye on Kentucky-Louisville and Ohio State-Cincinnati this weekend as well. With those games mentally noted, here's a complete run-down of all the matchups to keep an eye on in the days ahead.

[ Must-See Games in Orange ]


Pittsburgh at Wisconsin

Perhaps the weekend's biggest matchup, this one is a big test for both, and the Panthers could really use a nice win after playing a relatively easy non-conference schedule thus far. The Badgers, meanwhile, are fresh off a road victory at in-state rival Marquette last weekend.

Purdue at Butler

This one is pretty big itself, as it pits two in-state foes who have combined to lose just twice all year. A win here would look good on the resume, regardless of who gets it.

Kentucky at Louisville

The Cardinals haven't been able to put it together yet, while UK still has much to prove. The 'Cats look to be the better team, but can they win on the road against Pitino?

Texas Tech at Arkansas

Bobby Knight is still chasing the record, but his Red Raiders squad doesn't look to have the talent that Stan Heath's Razorbacks do.

Bradley at Iowa State

The Cyclones have already fallen to both Iowa and Northern Iowa, so another loss would only make things that much worse.

Ohio State at Cincinnati

Bearcats have room for improvement but are fresh off a very nice victory over Xavier earlier this week. This in-state test will be much tougher than the first, however.

Western Kentucky at Tennessee

'Toppers already did damage at Georgia, but will likely be in over their heads here if the Vols play anything like they did against in-state rival Memphis last week.

Gonzaga at Georgia

Zags don't seem to missing Morrison all that much, but the Bulldogs are improved and should give Mark Few's squad a good contest.

Santa Clara at Stanford

Broncos have won the ones they should have, but not been able to get it done against the better opponents. Will this one be any different?

Utah State at BYU

Aggies are off to an impressive 8-1 start, including a recent win over Utah. Cougars, meanwhile, have struggled to a 5-4 mark thus far.

Baylor at Syracuse

Bears are working their way back to respectability, and nothing would help that cause more than a big win like this.

UAB at Virginia Commonwealth

Both squads look to have potential of making NCAA runs, but games like this need to be won if those dreams are to come true.

Northern Iowa at Loyola (Chicago)

Ramblers are once-beaten UNI's toughest remaining test before the tough MVC slate begins.

Indiana State at Missouri State

Fresh off a recent win over Butler, Sycamores hope to ride that momentum to a MVC-opening upset of the Bears.

Alabama at Southern Miss

Golden Eagles have yet to lose, but they've also yet to play anyone with the talent of Alabama.

Loyola Marymount at San Diego State

Both teams have had their ups and downs early on, so this should be a good gauge of where each sits heading into the final weeks before conference play begins.

Creighton at Fresno State

Quality cross-country matchup features one of the favorites in the MVC against a one-loss team hoping to contend with Nevada in the WAC.


Wake Forest at Virginia Tech

Neither has gotten off to the type of start they hoped for, but ACC play is like the beginning of a whole new season. The matchups only get tougher from here on out for both.

Southern Illinois at Indiana

Just another in the long line of quality MVC squads, the Salukis will try their luck against a Hoosiers team that has already lost three times this year.

LSU at Oregon State

Tigers survived a murderous week with a split against Texas A&M and Texas, but they don't want to slip up against the Beavers, just 6-4 thus far.

Houston at Arizona

UA suddenly seems to be moving up the ranks, while the high-scoring Cougars were hoping for more than the 6-2 start they've seen so far.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at UNLV

Few teams have won as many games as TAMUCC in recent years. UNLV, meanwhile, suddenly earns a little attention with last week's upset of in-state rival Nevada.

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