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.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Broncos reportedly waive kicker McManus, sign Connor Barth

Report: Browns not committed to Brian Hoyer long-term

Pablo Sandoval, Red Sox officially agree to contract

Ex-NFLer passed out in Wendy's drive-thru, arrested for DUI

Ex-NFL DB Fred Smoot arrested on domestic assault charges

Jets’ Sheldon Richardson: ‘I didn’t get drafted to lose games’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jose Canseco's fiancée Leila Knight breaks it off with slugger

Rex Ryan reportedly wants to start Michael Vick in Week 13

Tom Thibodeau: Derrick Rose must ‘get out there and play’

Reports: Jon Lester, Red Sox still engaged in contract talks

Peter King, Red Sox picked the wrong time to send these tweets

Report: Pablo Sandoval felt disrespected by Giants

Watt buys pizza, shows gratitude to Houston firefighters, cops

College football's post-Week 13 Playoff projection

Which teams have the best shot at an undefeated season?

Infographic: Terrell Suggs' sack victims after notching 100th

Dude Perfect video features Russell Wilson, Pete Carroll

Rick Pitino 'played four white guys and an Egyptian' in blowout

NFL Power Rankings after Week 12

WATCH: James Harden had another lapse on defense

One thing every NFL team should be thankful for

Could Kentucky beat the 76ers?

NFC South mess should force NFL into new playoff format

WATCH: Steve Smith, Kenny Vaccaro get into scuffle

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.

Post-Week 13 CFB Playoff projection

What has Masai Ujiri built in Toronto?

How L.A. should replace Hanley

Lester, Red Sox still talking contract

Why each NFL team should be thankful

Could Kentucky beat the 76ers?

Greatest college football rivalries

LeBron on losing streak: 'I stink'

Report: Manziel, friends get in brawl

Tate: Loss to Pats was 'embarrassing'

Bill Belichick burns Dominic Raiola

Boldin on Haslett: He's irrelevant

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.