Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/17/14
The college basketball season is just getting under way, but the second week of action has several great matchups. Here are the top four. Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Duke Blue Devils, Thursday, Nov. 22 This game will give Duke more of a test than it’s faced in the first two weeks of the season. Minnesota is a better team this year — at least, that can be said right now, because the Golden Gophers haven’t been plagued by the injuries that ravaged them last season. This is a more mature and seasoned group of players, but maturity and seasoning don’t mean much without improved health. Minnesota’s healthy returning starter from last year is forward Trevor Mbakwe, a bruising low-post force who is an animal on the defensive glass and presents imposing size for any opponent. Minnesota commits a lot of turnovers, but the Gophers’ power is something that Duke will have to respect. Missouri Tigers vs. Stanford Cardinals, Thursday, Nov. 20 Missouri’s stay in the 2012 NCAA Tournament lasted much shorter than the Tigers had hoped. Missouri was a No. 2 seed and had Final Four aspirations, but the Tigers got knocked off by 15th-seeded Norfolk State in their first game. The road to college basketball’s premier event begins in earnest for Mizzou this Thanksgiving Day against a Stanford team that won the National Invitation Tournament and looked really good doing it. The Cardinal are poised to get back to the NCAA Tournament this year, and a win over Missouri would put them in very good shape, albeit at an early point in the season. Creighton Bluejays vs. Wisconsin Badgers, Friday, Nov. 23 This is a huge game in the Midwest, at least for late November. The Bluejays are the favorite, bolstered by the fact that they have National Player of the Year candidate Doug McDermott on their roster. McDermott, the son of Creighton head coach Greg McDermott, is a skilled and well-rounded tweener forward who can work with his back to the basket or score as a face-up player. He can shoot from distance yet operate in the paint. He’ll be a tough assignment for a Wisconsin team whose defense got shredded last week in a loss at Florida. Wisconsin has a revamped roster with a lot of turnover from 2011-2012, so in the first weeks of the season, the Badgers are probably going to be behind the curve to an extent. This is Creighton’s game to lose, but seeing Wisconsin as an underdog injects a lot of drama into the proceedings. Oregon Ducks vs. UNLV Running Rebels, Friday, Nov. 23 This is one of the first good looks the nation will get at a UNLV team that is regarded by some pundits as a Final Four dark horse and by others as the best team in the West. UNLV spreads the court with multiple shooters who are very agile and nimble. Oregon plays a similar style with a lineup that doesn’t have much size. Perimeter defense will acquire a very prominent role in deciding the outcome of this contest. UNLV is expected to win, but Oregon looked very strong in its win over Vanderbilt this past Friday.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Urban Meyer discusses notion of running 2-QB system

Report: Tiger Woods to practice at Augusta

Did Jerry Jones want enough cap room to add Peterson?

Robert Kraft testifies, recalls conversation with Hernandez

Phil Jackson issues message of hope to season ticket holders

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Heart attack prompted Armstead's retirement from Pats

MLBPA reacts to Kris Bryant's minor league assignment

Gregg Marshall's show canceled, Bama speculation grows

Report: Shaka Smart in discussions with Texas

Report: Rick Barnes expected to land at Tennessee

Demaryius Thomas planning to skip Broncos' workouts

Russell Wilson should sit until new deal is done

WATCH: Shaq rips Lakers, Clippers during Bieber roast

Can we envision the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA Finals?

Bettor to win $1M if Michigan State wins national title

Five NFL coaches already on the hot seat

WATCH: Stars' Patrik Nemeth catches puck inside visor

10 winners and losers from the past week in the NFL

University of California soccer player found dead

Joe Namath parties with twin 100 year-old women

WATCH: Mike Napoli hits home run as bat shatters

WATCH: Marc Gasol misses shot, rips jersey in disgust

PHOTO: Minor league team to wear Jabba the Hutt jerseys

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Tiger's plane spotted in Augusta

Can we envision the Hawks in the Finals?

Five coaches already on the hot seat

10 winners and losers from the past week in the NFL

Namath parties with 100 yr-old women

Report: Shaka Smart talking to Texas

Rick Barnes to land at Tennessee?

Browns GM suspended for texts

Hernandez's fiancee disposed of box

Mayweather-Pacquiao: It's sparring tall-tale season

The MLBPA has a problem

Final Four preview: Can every team win?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.