We are almost there. March is just a couple days away and this weekend promises to be nothing short of spectacular. Let’s take a look at the games featuring Top 25 teams playing one another.
Oklahoma at Texas
This is a big game for both teams. Oklahoma has been scuffling a bit lately and does not look like the team they did a few weeks ago. Texas is trying to get a big home win heading into March. The Sooners are a legitimate national title contender and feature National Player of the Year candidate Buddy Hield. As marvelous as Hield has been all year, he needs some help coming down the stretch. Texas had a great chance to win in Norman until Hield sent them home with a game-winning 3. Shake Smart has really turned this team around this year and has them on the verge of making the tournament. They play hard, play smart and are very gritty. Expect nothing less today.
Arizona at Utah
A great matchup between two Pac-12 teams. Utah has the best player in the game in Jakob Poeltl, a sure fire lottery pick. Arizona can counter with several big bodies down low. Arizona is a very talented team, as always, and is coming off a loss to Colorado. They will be looking to avoid back-to-back losses this week. Utah blew out Arizona State with suffocating defense this week. Utah has the edge defensively but Arizona can fill it up.
Louisville at Miami (FL)
What a shame Louisville will not be playing past next week. This is a team that is playing great right now and could make a serious run at the national title. The Hurricanes have been a favorite of mine all season. They play hard, they are athletic and they are experienced. This should be a defensive battle that comes down to the last few possessions. Both teams refuse to give in and are well-coached.
Maryland at Purdue
It seems almost every game in Big 12 play has a ranked team in it. It seems like the poor teams never play each other. Saturday pits the Terrapins and the Boilermakers against each other. Maryland won the first game at home behind a strong effort by their big men. This game figures to be a little different. Maryland shot 27 free throws that game compared to 5 for Purdue. With the home crowd and their own big presence, this will not be the case today.
North Carolina at Virginia
The Tar Heels can all but wrap up the conference title with a victory against the Cavaliers. Easier said than done. Virginia is good. Really good. They have great guard play, solid role players and play great defense, especially at home. North Carolina has been disappointing and inconsistent. Yes they are 23-5 and could end up 35-5 and win the title. Odds are they will not. Their guards seemingly lack intelligence most games and they go away from Brice Johnson way too often. If they continue to do this against Virginia, they will be further exposed.