The defending national champion Louisville Cardinals fell from No. 3 to No. 9 in the latest AP Poll after losing to then-No. 24 North Carolina 93-84 this past Sunday as 10.5-point home favorites. Taking their place in the top five at No. 5 is Oklahoma State followed by Arizona at No. 4, No. 3 Kentucky and No. 2 Kansas. Michigan State continues to hold down the top spot in the nation for the second-straight week.
Turning to this week’s schedule, it is filled with a number of tournaments in light of the Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend. This Tuesday night in the Cancun Challenge, No. 10 Wisconsin will face 5-0 St. Louis. The Badgers are 6-0 heading into this game after beating Oral Roberts this past Saturday 76-67, but they could not cover as 17.5-point home favorites.
No. 13 Connecticut will also be in action on Tuesday with a home game against Loyola (MD). The Huskies improved to 6-0 on the year with a 59-58 victory over Indiana as three-point favorites on the road last Friday night. The total stayed UNDER the 159.5-point line against the Hoosiers.
Moving on to Wednesday’s slate, both Arizona and No. 6 Duke will be in action in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off. The 5-0 Wildcats will face Drexel in the first game followed by a 9:30 p.m. (ET) tip between Alabama and the Blue Devils. Duke is currently 5-1 this season after falling to Kansas 94-83 on Nov. 12 as a 5.5-point favorite in the State Farm Classic. The winner of these two games will face one another on Friday night in the finals.
No. 3 Kentucky will be back in action on Wednesday at home against Eastern Michigan after squaring off against Cleveland State at home on Monday night. The Wildcats have been opened by 5Dimes as 21-point favorites for Monday night’s contest.
Thanksgiving will feature seven top 25 teams in action including the No. 2 Jayhawks against Wake Forest in the quarterfinals of the Battle for Atlantis Tournament. That contest gets underway at 3:30 p.m. following the USC vs. Villanova game at 1 p.m. Thanksgiving night, Iowa will face Xavier in the third quarterfinal matchup and the UTEP vs. Tennessee game will wrap things up in a 9:30 p.m. start. The Battle for Atlantis semifinals will take place on Friday with the tournament final scheduled for this Saturday.
Other games on Friday’s schedule pit No. 1 Michigan State at home against Mount St. Mary’s and No. 7 Ohio State at home against North Florida in a couple of games involving teams from the Big Ten. The Spartans are 6-0 heading into this game with back-to-back victories over Virginia Tech and Oklahoma last Friday and Saturday night. The Buckeyes are 4-0 out of the gate with a 63-52 victory over American last Wednesday. This Monday night they will face Wyoming at home as 16.5-point favorites before hosting the Ospreys on Friday night. Louisville will also be back in action against Southern Miss on Friday while No. 15 Florida renews a familiar rivalry with a home game against Florida State.
The only game on Saturday’s schedule featuring a ranked opponent has No. 14 Oregon at home against North Dakota. Although, keep an eye out for Kansas in the final of the Battle for Atlantis, assuming the Jayhawks win their first two games.
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.