Northwestern at Boston College (7:00pm ET)
Both teams sitting at .500 on the season and both coming off losses, each is looking to get back on track. For Northwestern, they will need to continue to defend but also find ways to score the basketball. Staying in attack mode will be key, as 25.3 percent of their points come from the free-throw line, something they will need to do vs. the Eagles. Boston College has to get back to scoring. They have struggled as of late and haven’t been taking care of the ball. Derryck Thornton will need to shoot the ball better and Nik Popovic has to get back on track after a 2-point performance vs. Richmond.
Iowa at Syracuse (7:00pm ET)
Of course, you have the Syracuse defense at home, which seemingly always creates havoc but what will center Luka Garza be able to do. He is averaging 19.6ppg and 10.1 rebounds, shooting 56 percent from the floor and 47 percent from three. But will their guards be able to create any space or knock down shots? Iowa averages 80 points per game and doesn’t hurt themselves with turnovers, as well as attacking the offensive glass. Syracuse will need to limit those extra possessions. The Orange have the length to be very disruptive but they will need to find some type of offense outside of Elijah Hughes as well, who is averaging nearly 20 points per game.
(4) Michigan at (1) Louisville (7:30pm ET)
What was an exciting matchup coming in just weeks ago now turns into a Top-5 showdown. Louisville gets a big test to see just what they are made of, while Michigan looks to continue their fast-rise up the rankings with another Top-10 win. Michigan’s offense is incredibly efficient and they can score it inside and out, but Louisville isn’t far behind them either. For the Wolverines, it will be interesting to see the potential matchup of Isaiah Livers vs. Jordan Nwora, while Jon Teske has to continue to be a dominant force in the paint. Guard play and ballhandling will be key for the Cardinals vs. some tough guards for Michigan. Michigan will have to keep Louisville off the boards and free throws could be a key factor to watch (Michigan only shooting 67.8% from the line, compared to 76% for Louisville).
(17) Florida State at Indiana (9:00pm ET)
Florida State is giving up 59 points per game to opponents and Indiana is averaging 86 points per game offensively… something has to give. Neither team is that good behind the arc, so much of the action could be around the paint and attacking inside the arc. Both teams also do an excellent job getting to the free-throw line, so whoever can get the other in foul trouble early could help secure a win. One key to watch is Indiana’s ability to attack the boards. They are very good at rebounding the basketball and at times, FSU has trouble keeping opponents off the boards.
Rutgers at Pittsburgh (9:00pm ET)
Both sitting with six wins but both are still looking to prove themselves. Pittsburgh is coming off a fantastic run in the Fort Myers Tip-Off, securing a championship while Rutgers is looking for their first big win on the season. This one looks to be a low-scoring affair, led by the guard play for both. Both teams seem like they would like to attack when the opportunities are there but this has the making of a low-scoring affair.
(10) Duke at (11) Michigan State (9:30pm ET)
Duke got some bad news surrounding Cassius Stanley days ago, not far after they lost to Stephen F. Austin. How much of an impact may that have for the Blue Devils? We shall see. Michigan State though has had issues offensively, especially when Cassius Winston isn’t involved. Players like Aaron Henry and others have to be more aggressive. But the matchup down low may be the ultimate determining factor… Vernon Carey, Matthew Hurt vs. Zavier Tilman and company. Who can create havoc and fund success down in the paint? That will be key, as well as the matchup between Winston and Tre Jones. No matter what, this is going to be fun to watch.