College basketball games this week: Top 10 games to watch

A litany of Big 12 showdowns and a huge matchup in Lexington highlight this week’s college basketball schedule.

We are just over two months away from Selection Sunday and there is a lot of meaningful college basketball left to enjoy. LSU was the star of last week’s schedule and made a huge statement by sweeping Kentucky and Tennessee at home, results that will significantly boost their NCAA Tournament resume.

The Big 12 is set to take center stage on this week’s college basketball schedule as a lot of heavyweight matchups are in store from the nation’s most rugged conference. Let’s break down the Top 10 games of the week below, beginning in the Big 12 on Tuesday night.

Top 10 games on this week’s college basketball schedule

Texas Tech at Baylor – Tuesday, 1/11 at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN3

The nation’s top team gets a stiff test from in-state rival Texas Tech, which is coming off an impressive upset win over Kansas despite being short-handed for the game. Baylor will be tested here by the Red Raiders’ tenacious defense.

Iowa State at Kansas – Tuesday, 1/11 at 8:00 p.m. ET on Big 12 Network/ESPN+

This matchup is an important one for Iowa State, which has followed up a perfect 12-0 start by dropping two of its first three Big 12 games. Winning at Allen Fieldhouse against an angry Kansas team coming off a loss will be a tall order for the Cyclones.

Auburn at Alabama – Tuesday, 1/11 at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN

The hardwood edition of the Iron Bowl should be a thriller as Auburn, which looks like the SEC’s best team, heads down to Tuscaloosa to take on the Crimson Tide. It is hard to figure out which version of the Crimson Tide will show up since Alabama has had very high highs (wins over Gonzaga and Houston) to go along with questionable defeats (including a loss to Missouri over the weekend).

Duke at Wake Forest – Wednesday, 1/12 at 7:00 p.m. ET on ACC Network

Duke has looked a bit sluggish coming off its COVID pause, struggling a bit with Georgia Tech before losing at home to Miami over the weekend. This road tilt at Wake Forest is dangerous for the Blue Devils since the Demon Deacons are one of the few ACC teams that have a legitimate shot to craft an at-large resume and know beating Duke could be their meal ticket.

Ohio State at Wisconsin – Thursday, 1/13 at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN3

This week’s top matchup in the Big Ten sees Ohio State look to re-establish its mojo by picking up a quality road win against Wisconsin at the Kohl Center. The Badgers made a statement by winning at Purdue last week and feature star guard Johnny Davis, who is averaging 22.6 points per game as a prime contender for Player of the Year awards.

Oregon at UCLA – Thursday 1/13 at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3

UCLA is back from its COVID pause with a two-game winning streak and faces a tricky matchup here with Oregon coming to Pauley Pavilion. The Ducks were ranked in the preseason before struggling mightily but the talent is there for Oregon to give UCLA a huge scare.

BYU at Gonzaga – Thursday, 1/13 at 11:00 p.m. ET on ESPN family of networks

The WCC could send four teams dancing this season but the conference’s two best teams remain Gonzaga and BYU, who square off on Thursday night in Spokane. This game will tip late for East Coast fans but it is worth brewing an extra cup of coffee to watch some offensive fireworks if you don’t have to work on Friday.

Tennessee at Kentucky – Saturday, 1/15 at 1:00 p.m. ET on ESPN

Both of these teams lost at LSU last week and are facing each other in Lexington on Saturday. The road to a good NCAA Tournament seed will be much harder for the loser, which is especially true for a Tennessee team that has already lost to Alabama and LSU this season.

West Virginia at Kansas – Saturday, 1/15 at 1:30 p.m. ET on CBS

Any chance to watch Bob Huggins and Bill Self square off is worth it for college basketball fans. West Virginia views itself as a potential tournament team but finding a way to win at the Phog would raise serious eyebrows around the nation.

Texas at Iowa State – Saturday, 1/15 at 2:00 p.m. ET on Big 12 Network/ESPN+

The Longhorns have three losses this season and all three have come on the road against ranked teams, a trend of underperformance in big spots that has followed Chris Beard over from Texas Tech. Finding a way to win against Iowa State, which also needs this game to avoid spiraling out of control in Big 12 play, would be noteworthy.

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