Victor Oladipo (IU) & William Buford (OSU)By Paul Seaver (TheArenaPulse)
Last week, Missouri fell from the ranks of the unbeaten, as the headline game from this past Saturday ended in upset fashion.
With the conference schedule in full force, more rivalry games are on tap, as teams across the nation look to build an early edge within their respected leagues.
Let's take a look at this week's marquee match-ups (Jan. 9):
Headline Game: Indiana (14-1) at Ohio State (15-2), Sunday (1/15): 4:30 p.m. EST
Revenge will be on the Buckeyes' minds this weekend as the Hoosiers come to Columbus looking for the season sweep against the league's preseason favorite. A Dec. 31 loss to Indiana in Bloomington is one of only two blemishes on Ohio State's resume, as Sunday's tilt will likely feature a pair of Top-10 programs. Ohio State must make a trip to Illinois before turning their focus to the Hoosiers on Jan. 15.
Baylor (15-0) at Kansas State (12-2), Tuesday (1/10): 8 p.m.
After falling to Kansas last Wednesday, the Wildcats responded by handing Missouri their first loss of the season at Bramlage Coliseum. The crowd in Manhattan will be ready to go yet again, as Kansas State looks to end another unbeaten season. Baylor comes in at 15-0 overall looking every bit like the top dog in the conference. However, K-State has their own momentum and Tuesday's match-up once again gives the Wildcats an opportunity to stake their claim among the league's best.
Missouri (14-1) at Iowa State (12-3), Wednesday (1/11): 8 p.m.
The Cyclones took care of Texas at home last week and followed things up with a blowout victory at Texas A&M. At 12-3 overall, Iowa State is a program on-the-rise, so with Missouri making the visit to Ames on Wednesday night, there is no doubt that the Cyclones will be looking for that marquee win. The Tigers' high-powered offense was slowed by Kansas State over the weekend in their first loss of the year, so Frank Haith's squad should be fired up and looking to bounce back.
LSU (11-4) at Alabama (12-3), Wednesday (1/11): 9 p.m.
LSU and Alabama will take the field on Monday night in search of college football supremacy. On Wednesday night, the two schools will square off yet again, this time on the basketball court. LSU is 11-4 overall and despite only one NCAA Tournament appearance since 2006, the Tigers enter this week winners of eight of their past nine games. Alabama is working towards re-entering the Top-25, but the Crimson Tide have a busy week, and taking care of LSU at home is their first priority.
Wisconsin (12-5) at Purdue (12-4), Thursday (1/12): 7 p.m.
Thursday's Big Ten match-up between Wisconsin and Purdue is vital for each. The Badgers are reeling, having lost three consecutive games, while Purdue was beat down by 20 at the hands of Penn State just a few days ago. Both Wisconsin and Purdue have NCAA Tournament aspirations, and that's what helps make this contest all that more important. Thursday's trip to West Lafayette represents the teams' only match-up this season.
Virginia (14-1) at Duke (13-2), Thursday (1/12): 9 p.m.
The nation will get a glimpse into just how real Virginia is this Thursday. At 14-1 overall, the Cavaliers have roared into the Top-25 nationally, appearing like a true contender in the ACC. However, it's a trip to Cameron Indoor this week that will tell just how much potential Virginia really has in their efforts to compete with the ACC's top two teams. This game may hold a little more weight for Virginia, but Duke is out to prove that their loss to Temple last week is well behind them.
Gonzaga (13-2) at Saint Mary's (14-2), Thursday (1/12): 11 p.m.
It has become an annual affair between Gonzaga and Saint Mary's, as the pair have dominated the competition within the WCC for a number of years now. The Bulldogs continue to headline the conference, but Saint Mary's is at it again, and at 14-2 overall, the Gaels will play host this Thursday in the first of two match-ups against Gonzaga. Both teams are red-hot and both teams know what is at stake this week. Saint Mary's has won 12 of their past 13 games overall, while Gonzaga enters this week winners of eight in a row.
North Carolina (14-2) at Florida State (9-6), Saturday (1/14): 2 p.m.
After beginning the season in the Top-25, it has become clear that Florida State is in big trouble already. At 9-6 overall, the Seminoles have been overly disappointing and after beginning ACC play with a 20-point loss to Clemson, the door is closing fast for FSU. This game will be played just two days prior to the one-year anniversary of Florida State's upset victory over then-No. 1 ranked Duke. UNC is beginning to hit their stride, so Florida State can only hope there is magic in Tallahassee this Saturday.
Alabama (12-3) at Mississippi State (13-3), Saturday (1/14): 4 p.m.
After beginning the season at 12-1 overall, the Bulldogs have dropped two of their past three games and after opening SEC play with a loss on the road at Arkansas, Mississippi State returns home for a pair of games this week. Tennessee is in town on Thursday, but the highlight game of the week for the Bulldogs is a visit from Alabama. The Crimson Tide have quietly won four games in a row by an average of 18.5 points, so this game provides equal opportunity for each of these former SEC-West rivals.
UNLV (16-2) at San Diego State (13-2), Saturday (1/14): 4 p.m.
The Mountain West Conference is deep and its top teams have already proven their toughness this season. With league play underway, the race for a conference championship is on, and two teams with aspirations of winning the MWC will square off on Saturday afternoon. UNLV, at 16-2 overall, has won seven consecutive games and the Runnin' Rebels will have all week to prepare for SDSU. The Aztecs own a six-game winning streak of their own and assuming they take care of Chicago State on Tuesday, each team will enter this weekend's contest looking for eight in a row. This week's game marks the first of two meetings between the pair, with the other being played at UNLV on Feb. 11.
*Photo: Victor Oladipo & William Buford *Credit: sbnation.com
For constant college basketball updates and stories, "Like" The Arena Pulse on Facebook.
For college basketball news and updates follow The Arena Pulse on Twitter (@TheArenaPulse)