Top 5 College Basketball Games: Week of November 24
Top 5 College Basketball Games: Week of November 24, 2013
The 2013-14 college basketball season is underway and hasn’t disappointed so far. With talent at an all-time high, including certain top-five NBA Draft picks performing at historically levels, college basketball fans have a lot to talk about. There is not one clear-cut favorite for the Wooden Award at this point due to the high productivity from a variety of players. If you check out the first installment of my Wooden Award watch list, you will be able to see for yourself.
This week, there are some interesting matchups and storylines to follow. Will New Mexico’s trio of Kendall Williams, Cameron Bairstow and Alex Kirk continue to put up ridiculous numbers? Will Jahii Carson and the 5-0 Arizona State Sun Devils get to 7-0, by defeating two teams currently ranked in the top-25? Who will come out on top in the only matchup between top-25 teams today when No. 3 Louisville takes on No. 24 North Carolina?
I may have some of those answers for you in the top five games of this week. While it is early in the season, the following matchups might come into play when determining a spot in the NCAA Tournament later in the season. The committee will certainly take a look at these contests.
5. San Diego (5-0) at No.19 New Mexico (3-1)
San Diego will travel to play No. 19 New Mexico on Saturday, November 20 at 3:00 p.m. ET.
New Mexico point guard Kendall Williams and forward Cameron Bairstow are both featured in the first volume of my Wooden Award watch list. Williams, averaging 19.8 points and eight assists per game, and Bairstow, averaging 20 points and 6.5 rebounds a game, arguably haven’t been the best players on their team. Alex Kirk has put up 22 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. This dynamic trio is extremely talented, and San Diego, currently sitting at 5-0, will give them another early-season test.
Prediction: New Mexico 88 -- San Diego 64
4. No. 25 Marquette (3-1) at Arizona State (5-0)
The nationally-ranked Marquette Golden Eagles will travel to the undefeated Arizona State Sun Devils on Monday, November 25 at 9:00 p.m. ET.
The player to watch is Jahii Carson, who is currently ranked on my Wooden Award watch list. He is currently averaging 23 points, 3.2 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game. If the Sun Devils are for real, they will have the opportunity to prove it in this matchup. Averaging 86 points a game so far, the Sun Devils might have the edge, as Marquette has only averaged 67 points a game so far and might not have the offensive ability to keep up with the high-scoring Arizona State.
Prediction: Arizona State 78 -- Marquette 62
3. Arizona State (5-0) at No. 23 Creighton (4-0)
After a home matchup against Marquette, Arizona State will travel to No. 23 Creighton on Thursday, November 28 at 11:00 p.m. ET.
After a tough contest against Marquette in which I think the Sun Devils will pull off the home victory, they will travel to Creighton to take on Doug McDermott, who is currently ranked as the runner-up on my Wooden Award watch list. McDermott has the ability to put up insane offensive numbers. However, will he get help from his teammates, especially on the defensive end? I think Arizona State is for real this season.
Prediction: Arizona State 75 -- Creighton 69
2. Florida State (4-1) at No. 16 Florida (4-1)
With five players averaging over 9.4 points per game, led by guard Ian Miller (17.4) and Okaro White (16.0), the Seminoles are looking to improve on their solid start. Florida is dealing with a series of suspensions and injuries and looks like a program in trouble. Will they be able to hold their home court?
Prediction: Florida State 82 -- Florida 75
1. No. 24 North Carolina (3-1) at No. 3 Louisville (5-0)
Tipping off today from Mohegan Sun Resort Casino at 1:00 p.m. ET, the No. 3 Louisville Cardinals will have their first real test of the season when Russ Smith and company take on No. 24 North Carolina.
Just as Smith has led Louisville, Tar Heels sophomore Marcus Paige has averaged 20 points, three rebounds and four assists a game through the first four contests. The matchup of Smith and Paige should make this an interesting contest as both teams have something to prove. North Carolina needs to prove that they belong in the top-25 as they lost to Belmont last Sunday. Louisville wants to show that they are one of the best teams in the country.
Prediction: Louisville 74 -- North Carolina 57