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The Duke Blue Devils escaped a strong effort from North Carolina earlier this week at home. Now, they must travel to take on another team that they don’t like one bit. The Maryland Terrapins always seem to give Duke their best effort. Maryland started the year on a roll, but they have been cold of late. Can they make it difficult on the Blue Devils on Saturday in front of their fans in College Park?
The Kentucky Wildcats are back in the top 25 after a strong recent stretch, but they are still looking for that huge win to give them some major momentum. Florida was on pace to be the new number one in the country until they were smoked by Arkansas last week. Can the Gators get back on track with a big win or will Kentucky’s youngsters come of age in this SEC showdown?
The Denver Nuggets have been playing some terrific basketball of late. Now, the big test for them is whether they can keep it up as they leave home. The Nuggets will play their last four games of the first half on the road, and it starts with this visit to Cleveland on Saturday night. The Cavaliers aren’t very good, but Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland offense has been piling up the points.
The Baylor Bears travel to Stillwater, Oklahoma to take on the newly ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys. Baylor enters this contest at 14-7 overall and 5-3 in league play. Oklahoma State sports a 15-5 record and 5-3 in league play as well. The action tips at 7 PM in a key conference game for both teams.
Arizona was only of the last teams to lose a game this year, but the Wildcats have lost two of their last five. Their home loss to UCLA last week came as a pretty big surprise. Now, they have to play catch up in the PAC 12 standings. Washington is down a notch from where they were a couple years ago, but the Huskies are 4-3 in the league. Winning in Seattle is never an easy task.
Way back at the beginning of the season the Texas Longhorns were the favorites in the Maui Invitational. Texas flopped in Maui, and they have never really found their groove ever since. The Longhorns would need a minor miracle to be in contention for a NCAA Tournament spot. Kansas State is 15-4 on the year, and the Wildcats are 9-1 at home. Bruce Weber’s team is 4-2 in the Big 12 Conference.
The Chick-fil-A Bowl has developed a reputation over the last few years of being one of the best bowl games before New Year’s Day. That continues this year with a matchup between the LSU Tigers and the Clemson Tigers. LSU was here four years ago, and they laid a 38-3 beat down on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets from the ACC. Can LSU beat up on another ACC opponent in this year’s Chick-fil-A Bowl?
Navy and Arizona State will square off in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in late December. Navy is coming off an emotional last-second victory over Army early this month. Arizona State won their final two games of the year, including a win over rival Arizona. The oddsmakers have made the Wildcats a big favorite in this one.
The New York Giants beat up on the Atlanta Falcons 24-2 en route to their Super Bowl win last year. Atlanta has the best record in the NFL, but the Falcons still really need a postseason victory. This one won’t get them over the hump, but you can bet that the Falcons still want some revenge for last year’s embarrassing playoff loss.
First year Coach John Groce has the Illinois Fighting Illini off to a 9-0 start. Mark Few and the Gonzaga Bulldogs are also 9-0. The Fighting Illini are ranked 14th in the nation and Gonzaga is 10th in the nation. Groce did a great job with the Ohio Bobcats last year, and he is off to a great start with Illinois. Gonzaga has a great home court advantage and this should be a huge game between two unbeaten teams.