Who’s hungry for college basketball?
Here’s today’s installment of “The Breakfast Buffet”, a daily column that can be found here every single morning getting you caught up to date on everything that’s happened from the day/night before and everything that’s going to happen in the next 24 hours.
Things To Sample
The date is Jan. 15th and the Wildcats’ best win this season is a neutral site victory in Las Vegas over a North Carolina team that’s currently ranked 33rd in the ROTHSTEIN 45. That would change today if Kentucky can beat Tennessee at home. Rick Barnes’ team has lost two straight on the road, but has six guards — Kennedy Chandler, Santiago Vescovi, Josiah-Jordan James, Zakai Zeigler, Justin Powell, and Victor Bailey — that should help ease the tensions that are normally associated with road games at Rupp Arena. The Vols though, will have to try and a find way to slow down Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe, whose currently one of the front runners for National Player of the Year. The 6-9 big man enters today’s game averaging 17 points and 15.1 rebounds.
Oregon looks to continue its momentum at USC
The Ducks played their best game of the season in Thursday’s overtime win at UCLA while the Trojans struggled at home with an Oregon State team that seems destined to be entrenched in the basement of the Pac-12. Is Oregon primed to continue its momentum tonight at the Galen Center? Don’t rule it out of the realm of possibility. Dana Altman’s teams have always gotten progressively better as the season moves along and the Ducks’ play over the last few weeks reiterates that sentiment. Oregon (10-6) has won four straight games and will officially become a national story to monitor if it can beat USC tonight in Los Angeles.
Auburn looks to avoid a letdown at Ole Miss
Many people — including myself — are debating whether or not to vote the Tigers as the number one team in college basketball next week if they win this game. That’s the absolute last thing on Bruce Pearl’s mind. Auburn (15-1) is just 4-9 against Ole Miss (9-6) since Pearl was hired in 2014, with a 2-3 mark in Oxford. The Rebels are 9-1 at home this season and need quality wins to play their way into the NCAA Tournament picture. Don’t expect Kermit Davis’ team to give an inch tonight against Auburn, whose only loss this season was a double-overtime defeat against UConn at the Battle 4 Atlantis in November.
On The Side
- Gonzaga’s Andrew Nembhard has only scored in double figures three times this season, but it came against UCLA, Texas Tech, and BYU. As Nembhard goes, so do the Bulldogs. The veteran point guard has 20 assists to just three turnovers in his last two games entering today’s tilt at Santa Clara.
- Iowa’s program is officially a family affair. Everyone knows that Fran McCaffery’s two sons — Patrick and Connor McCaffery — have been mainstays in the Hawkeyes’ rotation, but now Kris Murray — the brother of All-American forward Keegan Murray — is emerging as a factor as well. Kris Murray had 29 points and 11 rebounds in Thursday’s home win over Indiana.
- Texas Tech (13-3) will play four of its next five games at home following today’s road tilt at Kansas State. The Red Raiders are holding opponents to just 59.3 points in their first four Big 12 games.
- LSU’s Eric Gaines has to improve his ball security, but his intangibles are a major reason why the Tigers are off to a 15-1 start. The lightning quick point guard has eight steals and three blocks in his last three games to go with a 15-point effort in Wednesday’s road win at Florida. LSU hosts Arkansas today in Baton Rouge.
- Two mid-major games to track today if you plan on filling out a bracket in March? BYU at San Francisco (11 PM ET, CBS Sports Network) and Murray State at Belmont.
- Tennessee at Kentucky
- West Virginia at Kansas
- Texas at Iowa State
- Oregon at USC
- Auburn at Ole Miss
- The Breakfast Buffet: Rick Barnes returns to Texas, Kentucky’s trip to Kansas, Baylor/Alabama
- Midseason All-Americans for the 21-22 season
- The Breakfast Buffet: UConn, UCLA’s weekend will be a test of mental toughness, Purdue/Iowa
- The Breakfast Buffet: Louisville, A big night in the Big East, Oklahoma State building momentum for 22-23
- Episode 326 — Houston’s Kelvin Sampson